The World's Her Oyster
Without some probing, it'd be easy to miss how much 17-year-old Griffin Bradley has accomplished in a few short years. She's sweet, amiable and humble in demeanor, and even when one of her many accolades is mentioned, she's quick to give credit to others. Take, for example, the Kurtzberg Award she recently won from the Camera Club of Hilton Head for one of her sunset photographs. When the subject comes up, she pauses for a moment and then grins. "Oh, yeah, I did win one," she nods, and then quickly points out how honored she feels, explaining, "There were kids a lot more talented than me who entered."
As a senior at Hilton Head Island High School this fall, Griffin enjoys history and photography classes. In terms of extracurricular activities, she will take on the role of co-editor of the school yearbook this year, sharing the responsibilities with her long-time friend Leacy Kelley. In addition, she's a member of the National Art Honor Society.
As Griffin speaks, it's evident that she deeply values her relationships with friends and family. She lights up when talking about her core group of friends, some she's known almost since birth. "I'm lucky to have them," she acknowledges. Later, she says the same about her family, adding, "My brothers mean the world to me."
It is this relationship with her two older brothers that led to an extraordinary opportunity for her two years ago. One day, her brother Logan approached her about traveling across the country with him by RV. She was thrilled with the idea and explains, "He could have chosen anybody. I was honored that he chose me." With their parents' support, Griffin and Logan began planning their trip.
And so, in June of 2010, at the age of 15, Griffin and her brother set off to explore the United States. Ultimately, they planned to reach Seattle in July to greet their brother Cooper on his return home from his first tour of duty in Iraq. They had a few areas they wanted to target along the way, but much of the timing and the exact stopping points were left open. Trip highlights included stops in Arkansas and Alabama to visit family, as well as stops in Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Glacier National Park.
Having been born and bred in Hilton Head, Griffin says that while she loves the beauty of the Lowcountry, when she traveled across the United States, she couldn't get over the "many different types of beautiful I didn't know about" in the various areas she visited. She also says she'd have "no hesitation" about taking the trip again and adds, "If I did, I'd love for my other brother to be there, too." Someday, when she and her brothers all have families of their own, she says she'd even like to take a trip with all their families together.
For someone who had never been west of Arkansas before her RV trip, she did well, covering an extensive part of the country in a few short weeks. Of course, it comes out later, however, again only after some questioning, that Griffin has also traveled several times overseas, to places including Beijing, Lisbon, Vienna and Hungary. She is already excited about her next trip; after graduation, she hopes to travel to Italy with her parents. Clearly, wanderlust is in her blood.
Griffin plans to attend college, hopefully in state, and mentions the University of South Carolina as a possibility. "But I haven't visited Clemson yet," she's quick to add. She's considering nursing for a career, but is leaving her options open. When asked about where she hopes to see herself in ten years, she smiles and says she'd love to have a family and live in Charleston.
An endearing young lady, Griffin unabashedly adores the people around her. She is warm and poised, and quick to point out her blessings. Without question she's ready, in her own quiet way, to take on the world. Without a doubt, she'll be successful.