In the driver’s seat

Madeleine Sampson

Doors are opening in all directions for Madeleine (Maddi) Sampson, who graduated from Sentinel in 2013 with a cohort of friends who have been with her every step of the way. Two years later, Maddi’s in the driver’s seat, eagerly taking on new academic and professional opportunities with a level of confidence and determination that would make any parent proud.

Maddi entered Ecole Pauline Johnson’s French Immersion program in Kindergarten, and says it was a natural transition to continue the program through to Grade 12, where she graduated with top honours and a fully bilingual diploma.

“The calibre of teachers, focused course plan and close relationships I developed early on really made it an easy decision,” says Maddi, who knew she would continue in French Immersion by Grade 3.

We spoke to Maddi in the summer of 2015 during her trip home to West Vancouver from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, where she is completing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration on a scholarship. At the time, she was completing a summer internship in the co-investment department for Grosvenor in downtown Vancouver, a 200 year-old global commercial real estate investment company.

“It’s a great opportunity and I’m learning so much this summer, working with a team of people on commercial lending for real estate developers, mainly in the Vancouver area, but the office is involved on projects all along the west coast of North America.”

The core values that drew her and her family to the French Immersion program made her post-secondary choice relatively easy. She took the time to do the SAT preparations and applications for US institutions, and the work certainly paid off.

“Queen’s and USC both offered me a place in their program – but I wanted to have a little bit of a different experience, and I value the close-knit community as part of the ‘Trojan’ family – the networking and school experience is amazing.”

Maddi earned many awards at convocation, including the French Immersion scholarship from Sentinel, the Governor General’s Award for the top student in the school, the Principal’s list (for a 4.0 GPA), a Dean’s scholarship covering 25% of her tuition at USC and the AP 12 French Book Award.

Maddi and her younger sister, who also did her education in the French Immersion program, used their language skills on a family trip through small towns in France where no one spoke English, and she has plans to use it again when she applies for a study abroad program this fall.

“I recommend this program 100%, not only for the academic advantages, like the teachers, the challenging course material and the way it develops your cognitive skills, but because it opens up a ton of opportunities. The program creates a very tight knit community – much like the one I’m enjoying now at USC. People are always willing to help you along the way.”