by Amy Lehrer | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Like many parents, Sam and Mojgan Amini chose where to live based on their dreams for their children. They researched schools before selecting Carmel Creek Elementary for its high quality facilities and great programs. They then purchased a home in Carmel Valley, a community that has everything they need – outstanding schools, parks, community centers, shopping, safe cul-de-sacs for playing, and friendly neighbors.

The Amini children have thrived. Shawdi enjoys drawing, reading, playing outside, swimming, traveling, and running. Once, because her daughter could not find her teammates for a 5K race, Mojgan reminisced, “I, a non runner who did not have proper running shoes, ran with Shawdi wearing a backpack the whole way.” Armon enjoys LEGO® toys, tennis, Minecraft, playing with friends and neighbors, collecting Hot Wheels cars, playing on a soccer team, and playing chess in his school chess program.

Both Sam and Mojgan worked hard. Sam opened a restaurant at age twenty-three while going to graduate school and received his Master of Arts in Architecture from Oklahoma State University. Later, while working at ISD Inc., he helped design the interior of the Michael D. Eisner Building, which was published in an architecture magazine. Currently, he owns, a full service web development company. Mojgan attended USC and Cal State Fullerton and received her Master of Science in Computer Science. Currently the IT director at UC San Diego, she received the UC Sautter Award three times and developed three U.S. patents relevant to consumer electronics. And, as Mojgan explains, this work ultimately brought them together. “We met at a work-related conference, but we got to know each other by e-mail before going out.”

And now, as parents, Sam and Mojgan contribute to their community. Sam created the Carmel Creek PTA website and developed and launched an auction website for Carmel Creek. Mojgan leads public speaking and leadership classes for kids and helps raise money to fund hands-on learning in art, science, P.E., and technology for the Solana Beach Foundation for Learning.

To stay focused, the Amini family creates a goals poster each year. Each person writes out goals and cuts out pictures from magazines to match each goal. For fun, they enjoy camping, going to the mountains, building, hiking at the Torrey Pines preserve, riding their bikes to the Highlands to people watch and get dessert, and meeting friends at the park every Friday evening to share a meal, socialize, and play.