Heidi Klum has voiced her admiration for her daughter Leni Olumi’s ability to “juggle” her modeling job while attending college.
The former Victoria’s Secret Angel, 49, told PEOPLE at Saturday’s 36th Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles that she’s “very proud” of her 18-year-old daughter Leni Olumi, who’s studying interior design in college while pursuing her modeling career.
“I’m very proud of my daughter and her modeling,” said Klum. “And she’s studying at the same time, she’s juggling already.”
Leni made her debut on the cover of German Vogue in 2021 posing alongside her mother, she told PEOPLE: ” I’ve always gone to work with my mom and thought, ‘This looks so fun. She looks so happy while she’s working, I’d jump in sometimes, and I’d play around with the makeup that her makeup artist would bring.”
She added of their mother-daughter cover: “That’s, like, insane that I did that as my first job and my mom was with me, which made it so much fun. It was just such a good day. I wasn’t nervous at all. I was just so excited. I was like, ‘I’m finally modeling, and it’s Vogue.’ It was just so many things to be excited about.”
Heidi praised her daughter on Instagram for not being a “mini-me” and forging her own path.
She wrote: “I’m so proud of you. And it’s not because you’ve chosen your own path. I know, that no matter which path you were to go down, you would be your own woman.
“You always know exactly what you want and what you don’t want. You ain’t no mini-me and I’m happy for you that you can now show who YOU are.”
She added: “This Vogue [cover] is the best first step [in] the career you dream of. And even when it’s a little hard for me to let you go off into the world, I will always do everything for you to be happy and fulfil your dreams.”
Leni told PEOPLE last October, that she started texting her mom more often after learning that she was having a hard time sending her off to college.
“After I saw her being interviewed saying that she freaks out that I’m gone, I’ve been texting her more,” Leni says. “I didn’t think she’d be that worried, since there’s three other kids that she’s looking after [Leni’s siblings Henry, 17, Johan, 16, and Lou, 13]. I feel I’m all grown up now, and I can live on my own. I’m not technically on my own because I have a roommate, but I get that it’s hard for her.”