Grayson Gadams '17 - Entrepreneur

When the COVID crisis hit in March and many businesses had to shut down, Grayson Gadams (Class of 2017) actually started a business. An entrepreneur at heart, Grayson, currently a senior at Norfolk Academy, capitalized on the additional time he had on his hands while attending school virtually. Instead of playing video games, he broke out the power tools and went to work.

We spoke with Grayson recently over Zoom about his time at Saint Patrick and what motivated him to start a business at age 17.

Grayson joined PreK at Saint Patrick in 2008. Saint Patrick prepared him well for high school at Norfolk Academy. He says he felt better prepared than many of his classmates entering high school, especially socially. He was able to communicate well with his teachers and classmates thanks to the emphasis on public speaking and the values he learned during his ten years at Saint Patrick. One of the main lessons he carried with him from Saint Patrick was “treat everyone like you want be treated.” 

Grayson started his business in March when COVID hit. A massive tree fell in his mom’s yard and he got to work. He was able to cut it and dispose of it since the city was not picking up yard waste. He thought he might be able to help other people in the neighborhood. He hired a couple of employees and took on bigger jobs that included yard work and handyman work like building fences and decks, and doing general repair work.

During the summer his team worked 12 – 14 hour days. They are still putting in 40 hours of work even though they are attending school in-person. Grayson said that school days are the days that he actually gets to “sleep in.” He shared, "I consider myself a self-starter and I like that I don’t have a boss." 
He continued, "I had a tool in my hand as soon as I could physically hold one, and I have every tool I might need at my disposal. We work at a very fast pace which is why I named the business High Speed Handyman. We charge by the job – a flat fee versus an hourly charge."

We contacted one of Grayson’s clients, Scott Kern, who is a Wolfhound parent. The Kerns moved to new house in Algonquin and needed help with a number of projects. Grayson helped with landscaping, rebuilt a floating dock, helped build a raised vegetable garden, and even fixed the fence without being asked. Mr. Kern had nothing but rave reviews for Grayson stating, “Grayson has a tremendous work ethic and is far more responsible than most boys his age. I am constantly impressed with his carpentry skills. I don’t have a son and Grayson has become like an adopted son.”

Reviews really don’t get any better than that. 


During the little down time he has these days, he is working on his college applications. James Madison University is his number one choice. He is also applying to Virginia Tech. He plans to be a Business major.  

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