At 16 years old, Sam Goldstein’s accomplishments have proved that success and ambition is no respecter of age. He is a junior at Oviedo High School, and as the top ranked student in his class for the last three years, he has excelled in vigorous academic competitions including the Sunshine State Scholar and the Seminole County Public Schools Regional Science Fair.
In February, Sam was awarded second place in the SCPS Regional Science fair for his project on the correlation between the performance on an intelligence test and the resulting stress levels. For his project at the fair, he was also awarded the 2015 Regionally Affiliated International Science and Engineering Fair award sponsored by Arizona State University — Walton Sustainability Solutions Awards.
Sam attributes his natural work ethic to the diligence of his parents, Simone and David.͞ “My parents are smart and hard working so they influence me to be more hard working. They teach me, ‘It’s not what you have it͛s what you do with it’,” Sam says.
As a college professor and former lawyer, Simone instilled into both her son and daughter the benefits of education from an early age. ͞”I am not as naturally smart as Sam and Elana, but I had a very high level of self-discipline, motivation, and love for education that I developed in elementary school. I think this is what makes Sam and my daughter so successful. We modeled these qualities since they were babies,” Simone says.
Not only have Sam’s parents nurtured his love for education but they have also supported his growth as a Boy Scout. Sam was recently promoted to an Eagle Scout in his Boy Scout troop. In order to receive the highest rank in the organization, he embarked on a community service project where he organized and led his Boys Scout troop to help clean and refurbish the parking lot of Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry. As a Boy Scout, he enjoys outdoor activities such as white-water rafting, and camping, Sam says.
Outside of his commitment to the Boy Scout, Sam has contributed over 100 hours of community service at the Arden Courts Alzheimer͛s Assisted Living Center. ͞”As one of my career choices is neuroscience, neurological disorders have always interested me. I enjoyed interacting with the Arden Courts residents to make their lives more exciting, as well as, observe how the Alzheimer’s disease progress,” says Sam.
Although, Sam has been recognized and awarded for his academic achievements, in the past, education almost became his adversary. His older sister, Elana, says that in elementary school, he was almost held back a grade because of his difficulties in reading comprehension. ͞”Unlike many 16-year-olds, he tackles challenges head-on, rather than avoiding them,” she says of his ability to overcome his challenges.
Teenagers can push themselves further if they allocate their time to other activities such as exercising and studying, advises Sam. For now, he pushes himself to his greatest capacity by living according to his family’s motto: ͞”It’s not what you have, it’s what you do with it.”