La Cañada teen on the path to becoming a Marine Corps officer

John Griffith, the son of Susanna and Doug Griffith of La Cañada Flintridge, graduated Aug. 6 from Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Va.

The 18-year-old next plans to earn his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Cal State Los Angeles, from which he expects to graduate in May 2017. Griffith began attending the university at the age of 14 via its early entrance program. Once he receives his degree, he'll be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

An aspiring astronaut, he interned during two summers at Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) in El Segundo.

Griffith is a product of local schools, having attended Paradise Canyon Elementary and La Cañada High 7/8 before moving on to Cal State L.A. He returns to the LCHS campus annually to lead a rocket-building and launch exercise as part of the eighth-grade science curriculum.

Once commissioned as a second lieutenant, Griffith will participate in six months of follow-on officer training at the Basic School in Quantico. After that, he hopes to begin flight school in Pensacola, Fla., to become a naval aviator.