I’m sure it won’t be for the last time but I am totally in awe of my two talented teens.

Zach is now finishing his first year at McGill University in Montréal and has had such an incredible year (he currently has a 3.7 GPA.) following his triumphant final year at High School. Seemingly going from strength to strength in his studies and being asked by his professors to attend a couple of the Masters level program courses next semester. In addition, he’s already secured himself a summer job and an apartment for next year all before he begins his final exams this coming week.

Then there is my gorgeous daughter, as you may recall Sam was selected to play for Canada U18 women’s soccer team in Israel at the Maccabiah Games last year where she and her team won the bronze medal.  Watching her score a goal in the semi final against South Africa was my proudest moment as her dad and unabashedly brought a tear to my eye.  What could be better you ask?

Both Zach and Sam are, in their own ways driven by passion…and with each passing year seem to build on and expand their accomplishments to which I’m in complete awe!

As you know from my recent stories Sam went on a service trip to Ecuador and the Amazon Basin with a small group from her school over March break.  After picking her up from the airport she said that she was going to apply for  Architecture program at Columbia University (New York City) as a summer course, however wasn’t feeling very confident that she’d be accepted as its a highly converted program with a small enrolment.  Clearly she was tempering her enthusiasm so as not to be too disappointed if she didn’t get in.

She said that she’d likely hear in three to four weeks if she got in…she applied the day after getting back from her trip and was confirmed that they had in fact received her enrolment application including current marks.  Now it would be a waiting game…that was Friday.

Monday morning rolls around and I get a text from Zach to say that Sam had been accepted (yes, they have an incredibly close relationship as she texted him first – love that!) into her summer architecture program at Columbia.

So I immediately called her, and as you can imagine she was over the moon!  Wow!!!

As you may recall Sam told me that she was going to pursue Architecture during our trip over Christmas to China, and given that she is an academically gifted student (90+ average) in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) that she wanted to pursue her love of art, design and engineering all rolled into one.  Of course…following her dreams of becoming an architect made all the sense in the world given her background.

It was strange, three years ago she won Athlete of the Year at her school, as it was announced at the Chapel assembly the first thing she did after being announced turned to me and before I could congratulate her said “gee dad I wish it was for my academic achievement”…and she was serious!

I think for Sam it’s been very difficult to constantly live in Zach academic shadow, just as it is for him to live in her athletic shadow.

She, like Zach pours everything into following her dreams – which I totally support!  I suppose in retrospect the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree on that score.  🙂

Now the upshot of all this is that I get to do a roadtrip with Sam when I drive her down to drop her off for school in New York City.  We’ll likely head out on the Thursday or Friday morning early so that we can be in NYC for lunch, spend a couple of days exploring before I drop her on Sunday morning at Columbia.

As you ay recall I did a similar thing with Zach when he was accepted for the Summer program at Georgetown University in Washington DC a couple of years ago when he went to study Foreign Policy.  We had such an awesome road trip down and from that summer came his pronouncement that he knew what he wanted to do with his life…he’d found his calling!

Yes, a incredibly powerful watershed moment if there was ever one!

Sam has been so excited since she got the news.  Even as a small child she always said that she was going to live and work in New York City, and although I laughed at the very notion when she was 9 or 10  I’m seeing her work her path towards doing exactly that.  Just incredible!

I realize that this is only summer school and that in September she’ll in her final year of High school but the very idea of having a clear idea of what you want to do (at least initially) is huge!

No, I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself…and whether she goes on to do an architecture degree at McGill or engineering at Queens as her undergrad it’s irrelevant, I’m happy that she’s excited about school and the opportunities and her life ahead.

There is something about having positive and engaged kids, that as a parent brings me great joy and happiness, especially knowing that they are well positioned to make their dreams come true no matter what they are today, but more importantly tomorrow.

Yep, I’m totally bursting with pride!  🙂