ST. PETERSBURG –There is an old adage that says the early bird will get the worm. Well, for Aldric Griffin, Jr., or A.J. as most would call him, he won’t be getting any of those worms since by his own admission his favorite activity is sleeping.
However, when he clears the sleep from his eyes, he is as solid of a student as they come. He says it’s easy for him to wake early in the morning, but it’s the getting up part that’s hard. This may be the case with many other kids his age.
A.J., a 2017 graduate of The Boca Ciega High School, has left many with their eyes and mouths wide open. He is the ultimate student who graduated summa cum laude and ranked number six his graduating class. He was inducted into the National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society, scored 1410 on SAT, a 28 on the ACT and finished with a 4.60 weighted grade point average. Well, I guess he woke up!
“I would have to say that I’ve made pretty good accomplishments and I’m proud of them,” stated A.J. “I do realize that it doesn’t necessarily show intelligence, but it just shows how hard I worked.”
The hard work also came with a few challenges. A.J. schedule was filled with multiple rigorous college courses that required extra hours of study. While trying to maintain a high level of excellence, he was also taking care of his mother who was ill throughout the school year.
To keep up with his schoolwork and additional responsibilities, A.J. limited his time playing video games to the weekend. He also found paying closer attention in class and taking better notes along with finishing school work right after school to be helpful.
His strive for excellence helped him to become a certified Microsoft specialist, Autodesk Inventor Industry and Engineering Core Industry Certified. He also earned the Dr. Mac J Williams Award of Excellence, Academic Excellence (Sponsored by Omega Psi Phi, Eta Rho Chapter) and the Vyrle Davis Student Achievement Award.
“The only way to keep learning is to keep experiencing new things,” said A.J. “The good thing about going to the AKAdemy, Pathfinders and Professional Opportunities Program for Students [programs] is you’ll be exposed to different things.”
A.J. will gain more exposure when he attends the University of South Florida in the fall. He plans to major in computer science with hopes of an internship at a major computer company and obtain a master’s degree in computer science.
In 10 years, A.J. sees himself making his way up the corporate ladder at Microsoft, until he reaches CEO level.