Aspiring Food Critic Hopes to Travel the World One Day - Kumon

Aspiring Food Critic Hopes to Travel the World One Day

Noki Cover Photo

Noki, 11-years-old, Math Level I

In just the fifth grade, Noki is already far above his peers. Thanks to the Kumon Math Program, he’s working on challenging algebraic concepts, such as factorization and quadratic functions. Having been enrolled in Kumon since he was six years old, Noki has overcome many challenging math concepts, and continues to keep pushing himself. He credits Kumon for molding him to be a more independent learner and helping him stay ahead academically.

Noki standing by a tree“I stay motivated to do Kumon by looking back and seeing how much I have improved in academics and just the basics of work in general,” said Noki. “I know that if I can keep it up, then Kumon can really help me take that next step to achieving my goals and to become a better person. Also, Kumon can teach me how to do daily work and be more independent.”

Noki hopes to one day become a food critic.

“I think it would be great to travel around the world, trying different foods, and sharing my thoughts on them with other food lovers,” said Noki.

While Noki maintains a well-rounded schedule, he’s able to balance his extracurricular activities and academics. This school year, Noki was elected as student body vice president. Basketball is his sport of choice, and he plays on two different teams. For the past two years, Noki has been playing for a club called Mentally Fit, a non-profit organization lead by current and former athletes with collegiate to professional experience. This organization prides itself on teaching young players valuable life lessons including teamwork, leadership, and sportsmanship, while still having fun in the game. Noki even credits Kumon for helping him develop the right amount of discipline, which he applies in his basketball practices.

“I use my mental training from Kumon to get through the repetition of practice in basketball,” said Noki.

Noki playing basketballNoki has also been a long-time member of an Asian American Basketball League, comprised of young male athletes across Southern Los Angeles. He has also taken his athletic abilities to the court with volleyball. This past year, Noki made the Manhattan Beach Surf Volleyball Club, a highly competitive and award-winning club in his local area.

Noki’s accomplishments don’t stop there. As a budding viola player, he passed through the audition process to become a musician for the Manhattan Beach Strings – Honor String Orchestra. The young musicians who make up the prestigious orchestra are the most advanced string students selected from each elementary school in the district. The musicians can take their years of lessons and school band experience, and apply that in an orchestra setting.

Noki’s hard work and discipline has not gone unnoticed, as he was one of 55 students selected to attend the 2018 Kumon Student Conference in Calgary, Canada. We had the opportunity to speak to Noki about his Kumon journey thus far.

How has Kumon helped you inside of the classroom?

Noki shakes hands with Kumon North America President Mino Tanabe

Noki shakes hands with Kumon North America President Mino Tanabe

The math concepts I am learning in school have been far easier for me because of Kumon. I can finish my math classwork and homework in class. This allows for more time after school to spend on basketball and volleyball.

What do you wish to accomplish in Kumon?

I want to reach Level J in the Kumon Math Program this year!

How has Kumon helped you beyond academics?

Kumon has helped me better understand that things can always get harder, and when things do, you must keep trying your hardest until you finally grasp the concept you’re working on. Another way it has helped me was by teaching me to remain calm and not get frustrated when the work became difficult. I feel that it has developed my brain to better understand how to solve a variety of problems which has aided me in almost everything, even in sports.

What did it mean to you attending the Student Conference?

I have never been chosen for anything as big as the Student Conference. The conference made me feel that my Kumon work is important, and that I too am important. That alone makes me want to work harder in Kumon.

What advice do you have for other Kumon Students?

Working hard at Kumon will pay off.

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