On most counts, Bradley Smith is just your average 13-year-old eighth grader.
In his spare time, he likes to go to the local trampoline park, Jump, or play video games. After school, he likes to come home and play with his dogs for a while before doing homework.
And one of his favorite classes is an answer you might expect: physical education.
“I like PE, because it’s fun to run around and do stuff. And not have to sit and do math all day,” he said with a laugh.
But another one of Bradley’s favorite subjects isn’t one you might expect a preteen to offer as an answer: Spanish. He hopes to one day be able to use his Spanish skills to travel to countries in South America and learn the histories of the ancient people there.
“The history in those countries is just so interesting to me,” he said.
Although there is no one in his family or close circle of friends to speak Spanish with, learning a new language in class is one of his favorite parts of the day.
“It’s fun because you’re learning something that can be used in the real world,” he said.
Another answer you might not expect from an eighth grader in response to what they want to do after high school is to attend law school.
Bradley’s passion for law and order stems from listening to true crime podcasts with his dad in the car. Now he listens to any and all true crime podcasts he can find. “As long as they have a good voice and are interesting, I’ll listen.”
Then, what started as a bonding experience from point A to point B for Bradley and his father, became a hobby and then a dream. Bradley hopes to attend the University of Virginia Law School after high school.
But before he makes any big decisions, he said, he has to get through high school first. Which is something he’s looking forward to. Bradley can’t wait to gain an even bigger sense of independence than he has currently at Jouett.
“I like Jouett because they give you instructions, but then just let you do the assignment,” Bradley said.
He’s also looking forward to the opportunity to join some clubs or extracurricular activities when he attends Albemarle High School next year. He’s not quite sure what club yet, but he’s keeping an open mind. And for a kid as independent as Bradley, that’s the most exciting part.
“I’m going to make that decision when I get there,” he said. “I just want to keep my mind open.”