The world as her textbook

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Grace Scrafford is a senior at Whitefish High School. (Courtesy photo)

One of Grace Scrafford’s defining times during high school was when she spent a semester in South America.

“I love to travel and see new things,” she said. “We traveled to places I’ve always heard about and it was a great opportunity.”

The Whitefish High School senior graduates with the Class of 2018 on June 2.

During her sophomore year, Scrafford spent half the school year with The Traveling School, of Bozeman, living and learning in South America. Along with 15 other girls and four teachers, she got to travel and improve her Spanish while still completing her coursework.

“I love Spanish,” she said. “I want to be fluent in it and I was interested in the culture. We got to go to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu.”

Instead of attending gym class, she went on a five-day backpacking trip. When it was time to practice her Spanish skills it meant heading to the market to purchase food for dinner. Science class was studying tortoises on the Galapagos.

“It was experiential learning, which I loved,” she said. “I’ve learned that I need to have hands-on stuff to do.”

During high school, Scrafford played on the Bulldog soccer team for four years, was on the track team and participated in DECA earning a spot twice to the international competition. She was also on the student council and a member of National Honor Society.

This year in DECA Scrafford competed in apparel and accessories marketing and says her part-time job at Sappari helped her in competition.

“Business is interesting to me, she said. “You have to create a promotional plan for a business and it’s much more creative than people think.”

Scrafford says she likes to “mix things up” by trying new experiences.

“When you’re in a new place life feels so full,” she said. “There is always room for something new to learn.”

When her younger sister Eden wanted to become scuba diving certified and needed a partner, Scrafford reluctantly volunteered. Now, she says she enjoys scuba diving and got the chance to dive when she made the trip to Costa Rica, where her father lives part-time.

“It was one of the coolest things, I’ve done,” she said.

After graduation, Scrafford is headed to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

She plans to major in animal science, but says it could change as long as she follows he larger plan to see the world.

“My vision is to study city and regional planning and work with the Peace Corps. in an underdeveloped region,” she said. “Or with animal science I could become a veterinarian and travel abroad working in conservation.”

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