Sky's far from the limit for Waimea's Sami

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 13:00 21/03/2014
Sami Jordan
ALDEN WILLIAMS/Fairfax NZ
FOCUSED: Waimea College student Sami Jordan is setting her sights high.

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Waimea College student Sami Jordan is reaping the rewards of doing the hard yards, in and out of the classroom.

Sami, 15, received 218 credits over seven NCEA subjects last year - 193 of those were at the excellence level. She is also an accomplished runner, with hopes of gaining a scholarship to a United States university.

Her father works in mining, travelling internationally, and her mother is a primary school teacher.

Sami spent her primary school years between Peru and Ghana at international private schools.

Her mother, Debbie Jordan, said her daughter was exposed to the importance of study at a young age.

"Her study habits are a result of what she saw early on, that if you do study you achieve."

While at school in Peru, Sami said she started doing mid-term exams at 10 years old and would have two hours of homework to do each night.

"It was full on, the school days were long, we started at 7.30 and finished just after three, then had extracurricular activities through till 5pm."

The family, originally from Australia, moved to New Zealand from Peru when Sami was 12.

She finds schools in New Zealand "more relaxed" and the teachers took more of an interest in the lives of the students.

Sami took seven subjects while in year 11 last year, including economics, accounting, physical education, science and level three Spanish.

"I find science most interesting and enjoyed PE as well."

This year she was accepted as a United Nations young ambassador and last year was invited to take part in the Sir Peter Blake Youth EnviroLeaders' Forum.

"My friends are happy for me, I like to do stuff with them and encourage them to do other stuff as well."

Other than her academic successes, she has also achieved high results in distance running.

She runs with the National Academy of Distance Running and has competed around New Zealand.

At the Waimea school athletics day earlier this month, she broke records for the 1500 and 3000 metre.

At last week's Tasman championships, Sami won 1500 and 3000 metre races.

Sami's older sister Caitlin is also a high achiever. She is at university in Auckland studying chemical engineering. Caitlin received four NCEA scholarships while in year 13 last year at Nelson College for Girls.

Mrs Jordan said both daughters were "competitive by nature".

"Sami is a very motivated young lady. It's never been expected that they have to get these results, it all comes from them," said Mrs Jordan.

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"She gets up and does school study before going to school, then after school she does her running training, then comes home and does homework. We like them to wind down at 8pm to get that head space cleared," said Mrs Jordan.

Sami plans on finishing year 13 next year then heading to university. She is looking into running scholarships at Yale and Stanford in the US.

She had her sights on a job with space agency Nasa, or perhaps as a marine biologist.

- The Nelson Mail

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