Class of 2002: The Story of Vanessa Griffin

Ms. Griffin is a GHHS alumna who worked very hard, and has been very successful in life. If you work hard, you too can be successful!

How+many+GHHS+graduates++have+spent+time+working+at+the+White+House%3F+Vanessa+has%21
Back to Article
Back to Article

Class of 2002: The Story of Vanessa Griffin

How many GHHS graduates  have spent time working at the White House? Vanessa has!

How many GHHS graduates have spent time working at the White House? Vanessa has!

How many GHHS graduates have spent time working at the White House? Vanessa has!

How many GHHS graduates have spent time working at the White House? Vanessa has!

Vanessa Griffin, Guest Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






I graduated from GHHS in 2002 and joined the U.S. Navy when I was 17-years-old.  All of my education had been dedicated toward being competitive for college. Universities like USC, MIT, and Yale kept contacting me about visiting their campuses.  Imagine everyone’s surprise when I suddenly decided to graduate a year early and head into the military.  Why did I do this? I didn’t have money for school.  I was determined to earn my way and not burden my parents.  I shipped out to boot camp on September 11, 2002.

I spent the next five years grabbing every opportunity for free education that I could get.  I did not have a traditional college experience.  I worked full time and many of my classes were taken online while I was deployed to the Persian Gulf with a shaky Internet connection.  It took me about 6 years to obtain my B.S. in Homeland Security.  After leaving active duty, I decided to take my experience and education and use it to get more of both.

I was able to contract for the government with a company that paid to further my education.  In two years, I completed a M.A. in International Relations, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Intelligence and Terrorism Profiling.  It didn’t cost me a dime. I didn’t stop there. I joined the Navy Reserves and started taking advantage of their free education, which included several professional certifications.  Soon, I was landing six-figure jobs with agencies that I had only seen in movies.  In my career thus far, I’ve worked with the National Security Agency (NSA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Joint Staff, and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).  None of these agencies would have even looked at me if I hadn’t sacrificed to get my education.

My degrees gave me credibility in the public sector as well, and I have had the pleasure of serving on several commissions for the local government.  I work with many non-profit organizations to help raise awareness for various causes.   I’ve flown planes, driven race cars, bowled at the White House, climbed mountains, and have traveled around the world.  I own three companies, two of which I’m currently selling for a profit.  I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without my constant pursuit of education and its benefits.  I will never stop pursuing.  I read.  I watch Khan Academy videos while I get ready in the morning.  The Navy Reserves recently offered me 12 more months of free tuition, and thousands of dollars worth of professional education.  Why not?  Knowledge gives me the power to do whatever I want to do.  Don’t be one of those people who pretend that they can’t achieve their dreams. Go after it and love it!

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email