The Point Loma High School co-valedictorian has spent more than two years flying above San Diego while piloting a helicopter.
Grady began lessons after expressing interest to his parents, Doug and Christina Grady of Point Loma. He started at 16 years of age and was licensed as a pilot at 17, both the minimum legal ages permitted by federal aviation rules. At 18, he is now working on his commercial license.
While doing this, Grady finished his studies at PLHS with a grade point average of "about 4.83" he recalls. He tied for the top position with co-valedictorian Jonathan Omens.
But Grady also launched objects through the air the past two seasons as the quarterback of the Pointer football team. As a senior, he completed 77 of 135 passes for 1,249 yards, a 16.2 average, with 12 touchdowns against only six interceptions.
He also ran the ball 92 times for 525 more yards, a 5.7 average, scoring eight touchdowns. Listed at 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighing a generous 175 pounds, Grady took the biggest hits his opponents could give and bounced up each time.
But perhaps most importantly, he led the Pointers to wins over rivals Madison and Cathedral Catholic on consecutive Fridays, teams that had owned the Pointers for a number of years.
It was during a summer University of San Diego passing camp before his senior season Grady's future took a unique twist.
"I had heard some of the University of Michigan coaches were going to be there," Grady recalled, "and I figured it would be a few assistant coaches. I was there mainly to try and get recruited by USD."
But Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh (a former USD head coach) was also among the visitors. After watching Grady quarterback and then make some excellent pass receptions, Harbaugh offered him a preferred walk-on spot with his famed Wolverines football team. This means Grady is on the team with an opportunity to earn a scholarship.
And so, on June 20 Grady moved into student housing in Ann Arbor to start working out with the team and enrolling in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
Grady spent much of his final semester at PLHS on the road, finishing the few classes he needed over the Internet.
"I was in a Rotary camp on the eastern border of India for 15 days," he said. "After touring that area I thought 'since I'm already half-way around the world I might as well hit some other places on the way back.'"
So, carrying a backpack, Grady went on to tour 11 more countries on his own over the next six weeks, traveling through Dubai, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Monaco, Romania, Greece, Austria, Italy, Spain and France.
Grady also played basketball and baseball during his prep career. He was also involved with California Scholarship Federation, Interact (sponsored by Rotary) and he originated the Business Club, which evolved into the Young Entrepreneurs of America.
Grady leaves PLHS with much gratitude and appreciation for his teachers.
He singled out history teacher Glenn Richard as most memorable.
"I had Mr. Richard for two years, advanced placement European history and advanced placement art history, two pretty brutal classes," Grady said, "with a lot of material to get through but he always made it very fun and not too hard. He was a reasonable guy and made me want to be in class every day."
Grady also singled out math teacher Brian Macky, who he had for three years, as someone who made the highest levels of math much easier to comprehend.
"For the record," Grady concluded, "I want to say all the teachers I've had at PLHS have done a great job and I've learned a lot from every one of them."