The Journey as a Tech Parent

Primary tabs

Carmel and Dave Vaden
Parents of Sarah Vaden, second-year aerospace engineering major

As our 9th grade daughter was contemplating higher education options, we knew she was destined to be an engineer. At the dinner table, we would have lively discussions regarding several institutions of higher learning, Georgia Tech being one of them. Living in a very rural area of Virginia, naturally her response was: “Atlanta is a big city…”

And so began the merry-go-round tour of campuses during our daughter’s sophomore year, setting foot on many campuses with no “ah-ha!” moments in sight. It was frustrating for everyone.

At the end of her junior year, she expressed an interest in visiting Georgia Tech.

We arrived in Atlanta and went on the customary Georgia Tech campus tour. We were delightfully surprised that the city did not feel overwhelming; in fact, on the second day, we decided to venture out on our own. Our daughter had heard about a combustion lab that she had hoped to visit. We walked and wandered, until an undergraduate guided us to the lab.

We remember the “ah-ha!” moment vividly as we watched our daughter confidently converse with students and teachers in the lab. Therein began our journey as a Georgia Tech parent.

We knew in our hearts that she was already making the transition from rural Virginia to Atlanta after our first visit. We began in earnest to study materials offered through the Parents Program and any additional information we could wrap our arms around. Throughout the transition period and our daughter’s freshman year, our questions were answered in a timely manner and our anxiety lessened. We cannot begin to say enough about the Georgia Tech staff, faculty, and administrative personnel. They have been awesome from day one.

During our journey, we have met wonderful friends, parents of other students, and Georgia Tech personnel with big smiles and big hearts. The support system here is second to none. Of all the campuses we visited, first with our son and then with our daughter, Georgia Tech stands shoulders above the rest. The Parents Program and the Institute have been very forthcoming in sharing information that is crucial to the success of our college bound daughter and have made us feel a vital part of the Georgia Tech community. We would highly encourage new prospective parents and students to seek networking opportunities with those who are attending or have attended Georgia Tech, making contact with them at the earliest opportunity.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Created: 11/01/2009
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

Target Audience