“You got to live and learn and make mistakes to be a man.” ~ Future
If you have ever researched Sewanee- The University of the South, they say their students’ experiences stretch further & reach higher than their boundaries can contain.
This has always been the case with Grant Shephard. His boundaries are limitless and he has experienced as much life as people twice his age. I have heard him touted by his peers as one of the smartest kids they know or even better, unmotivated genius. As I mentioned this to him, in perfect Grant form, he responded humbly. Nah.
Grant began his academic career as a student at Linkhorn Park in their Math and Science Academy. Wanting to challenge himself further, he bolstered his academic curiosities at Plaza Middle School in the rigorous and selective, International Baccalaureate Program.
Cape Henry Collegiate was lucky to get Grant as a student in the Fall of his 8th grade year. After a successful soccer season at Plaza Middle School, knowing he was admitted to Cape Henry for high school, Grant decided to leave Plaza Middle School and begin his CHC career early.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Grant since his elementary school days. He always keeps me guessing. Grant keeps most at arms length, yet while doing so, has a way of drawing you in. His ups and downs in life makes him who he is today. He was very open about his successes and failures. As he sat with me for this interview, Grant reflected on the last 4 years and his time spent at Cape Henry and where he is headed. We laughed a lot and got off track a lot but that is part of what makes Grant, well, Grant.
Grant is blessed with both brains and braun. While searching for colleges, he had many options and things to consider. Should he go for soccer or academics or both? After several visits, Grant decided that he’d do both. “It’s the best of both worlds. I know I’d need to play soccer while in college because if I had too much time on my hands, I would get distracted. I will get a good education and I will be busy.” Wanting a smaller school as well as soccer made Sewanee the right fit.
Grant thinks he will go into Finance. When asked why, he stated that he’s good at math and Finance is math. Yes, it is, Grant...always to the point.
As we were talking about the future, I asked Grant what he was most looking forward to. He sat quietly for a moment and answered, “I’m actually not sure. I’m not sure what my next steps will be, but I will consider all possibilities. I wasn’t sure what I even wanted up to this point, then everything just came together my senior year.”
One thing Grant is sure about is what he will miss. The last few years have defined who he is today. He smiles as he says he will miss his family and friends- and oh, yes, his dogs. “So many people have played an important role in my life. I didn’t always know it at the time.”
Without hesitation he mentions his coach and mentor, Dave Brun. Grant feels as though Coach Brun performed a “metamorphosis” on him. “He molded me. He treated me like a man and I learned to feel more confident and do things on my own.” Coach Brun talked to Grant tons but, with a sheepish grin, said he could’t really tell me what they talked about. The same can be said for other teachers who Grant touted as some of his faves. He wanted to shout out to Scott McGraw, Kim Johnson, Robyn Judge and he said his favorite “bad ass” is Steve Palmer, though he didn’t care to share why for any of them. “They will all know”, he says with an affectionate smile. In perfect Grant Shepherd form, says, “Let’s finish this, Ms. Pam”.
As we finished, I asked Grant if he had any regrets thus far or advice he’d like to leave for future Cape Henry generations or his friends and family. He laughed and told me that he had many regrets, however, if he regretted things, then he’d prefer not to talk about the regrets. Fair enough.
“Advice, hmmmmm, yes, I do, Honor someone by doing something, not just saying it.”
Grant, it has been an honor to watch you become the person you are today. The challenges are part of the process but this time is yours. Enjoy it.
“My hard work finally catching up with perfect timing” ~ Future