For years, Briann Goode has seen photo images and video footage of the sights and sounds of all things Europe.
“I’ve never seen Europe before, but I’ve seen pictures on the internet and I’ve heard great stories about it,” Goode told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I just knew it was a beautiful place to visit.”
To her credit, Goode’s golden opportunity to witness Europe up close and in person is about to come to fruition.
A 17-year-old Bolton High senior, Goode will be traveling overseas for a 10-day visit March 17-26 to a number of European establishments, most notably Berlin, Prague, Kraków and Budapest.
During this tour, Goode, an honor student who graduates in May, will visit an assortment of museums while partaking in city walks as well as visiting the largest European salt mine and trying a slew of the continent’s delectable traditional dishes.
Having already been accepted to Murray State University in Kentucky, where she will enroll this fall, Goode will earn college credits while studying abroad in Europe.
While Goode acknowledged that this overseas visit is a testament of her overall body of work as a student, she said amongst the things this tour will enable her to acquire is a level of independence, something traditional undergraduates often struggle with, particularly when making the immediate transition from high school to college.
“This trip is a testament of my hard work as a student and I’ve always been a hard worker in French,” Goode, a Tifton, Georgia native, said. “I’ve taken (Honors) French I, II, and III, and I’ve done nothing but work hard in all. I just knew that I wanted to visit Europe when I read about the history and I looked up all the information. And I knew that the only way I could go is if my grades were all A’s.”
Among those who are especially impressed with Goode’s display as an honor student are her parents, Brian and Gwendolyn Goode. In fact, traveling overseas isn’t new to Briann’s father, who is a military veteran and is currently active in serving the country.
“We are elated she has been given such a great opportunity that many have not had in the past,” Gwendolyn Goode said. “It is truly a blessing. We are excited for her. She has been out of the country before, but not for a learning experience such as this one. We will miss her but, again, grateful for her opportunity.”
In watching his daughter excel in recent years, Brian Goode said that she has earned the opportunity to travel and study abroad essentially has brought more meaning, of sorts, to life for him and his family.
On June 9, 2007, the Goode’s endured arguably the saddest moment of their lives when their oldest daughter, Gwenasha D. Ridley, was killed as a result of injuries she sustained in a car crash.
She was 16.
Nearly nine years removed from their daughter’s untimely death, Brian and Gwendolyn Goode are intrigued by how Briann has steadfastly pressed and navigated her way through such a trying occurrence.
“It is a wonderful feeling knowing that through her perseverance, she overcame the obstacle of growing up having loss a sister but still applied herself to achieve greatness out of life,” Brian Goode said. “We couldn’t be more proud.”
When asked in ways is Briann carrying out the legacy of their oldest daughter, Gwendolyn Goode said, “I wouldn’t say she is carrying out the legacy of our oldest more than trending her own pathway while honoring her sister at the same time.”
Regardless, among the things about which the Goodes wholehearted agree is that this is unique, commendable opportunity for Briann, who’s armed with an array of talents, most notable that of an accomplished singer.
“While in Europe, I will be with other students of different ethnicities,” Briann Goode said. “This will give me the experience of being away from home and away from my parents.”
Which, after all, isn’t a bad thing, but rather a Goode one.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an honor student, entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.