Prepare for Takeoff

By Sangjie Zhaxi

Hillside High School senior, Jordan Griffith, a recently licensed pilot, is ready to take off towards the future he wants. After years of long-term planning and meticulous time management, he has finally turned his passions into reality - he loves being in the air. As a student, Jordan juggles school work, football, aviation and flying to make this extraordinary achievement.

Photographing Jordan's life was one of the most rewarding experiences of my time at Duke, especially those moments of going up in the air with him. I was extremely lucky to know Jordan because I learned a lot about him as a person and his passion for flying as well as aviation in general. Jordan is only seventeen, but he is one of the most mature people I have ever met in his age. His sense of care for others' wellbeing and kindness is something we all should look up to.

I want to thank Jordan for welcoming me and allowing me to photograph his experiences in this particular time of his life. I admire his hard work, determination, and success. My thank also goes to Ms. Griffith, who welcomed me to their house and shared many of their stories with me.