This is a heart warming article from about how one girl is so grateful for her father’s involvement and interest in her education as it really made a difference.

Here’s a sweet Fathers Day piece by Santa Clara University student Nicole Pal about how her father, Allan Pal, influenced her education. She grew up in San Jose, California, and will graduate in 2014 with a degree in web design and computer engineering. This summer she is building a solar-powered home “Radiant House” for the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition.

Here are some key points I pulled from the article and advise our Gideon parents to do.

Believe in your children!  Even when they struggle, be patient and assume they can overcome it.

The most precious gifts I received as a child were a white board and a book about bridges. I never questioned whether I could succeed as an engineer, and as I head into my final year of engineering school at Santa Clara University, I realize my dad played a huge role.


While some young girls might give up on a math question if they didn’t know the answer, my father was patient enough to walk through a problem with me- not just walk me through it. He let me re-work problems until the dry-erase marker was whittled to a stub. I was never tempted to smile, nod and simply pretend I understood. I always keep the whiteboard in mind when tutoring younger girls in algebra.

I can still remember something my father said to me once after graduating college.  We had a new employee still in high school who was very self assured and capable.  He said, “She reminds me of you.  She can do anything she wants.” While I knew my parents thought I was smart and wouldn’t allow me to give up during difficult projects when I felt like quitting, this statement has stayed with me and given me confidence on days I needed it.  Parents, your words have a impact.  Make them inspiring!

Involve them in the household repairs, projects, and everyday calculations like cooking.

My father, who is an engineer with a microprocessing company,  encouraged me to be hands on in whatever project he was working on. I remember learning how to use a saw and gleefully shouting “timber” as 2x4s hit the floor. … I’m passionate about engineering now because it helps me make sense of the world. By letting me problem-solve and get hands on with projects as a young child, I’ve learned how to make the world compute.

This helps the child see the real world application of all the things he is learning.  It’s one thing to do a word problem about a recipe and another to cook it correctly yourself.

Develop a strong work ethic within their character.

One of the biggest ways my father nurtured my advancement in engineering was helping me find my passion and encouraging me to put in the hard work.

A strong work ethic will carry them through the times when things aren’t easy and fun.  While doing another supplemental math program, I would whine and complain that none of my friends had to do this.  I would try any way possible to get out of doing it most days.   He would simply ignore my frustration and tell me to try again.

Even while doing their dream job, there will be times they have to do tasks or deal with problems they would rather not.  Learning to deal with hard work early helps them keep going later in life.  Grit can make a big difference in the path to success.

Read the entire article HERE.




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