Diligence and Perseverance Keep This Kumon Student and Volunteer on The Fast Track to Success
Mai, 11-years-old, Math Level J, Reading Program Completer
12-year-old Mai is far from a typical –sixth grader. In addition to being trilingual, she is a competitive figure skater, capable of moves you’d see watching the Olympics. She is also an advanced piano player and enjoys participating in her school’s debate tournaments. Mai even received the top score in her entire school for in a math contest she participated in, proving that she is no stranger to perseverance and diligence.
On top of it all, although Mai is only in the sixth grade, she is studying high school level math and reading through Kumon’s Math and Reading Program. Her parents enrolled her in both subjects at just three years old, and since then, Mai has never looked back. She completed the reading program in the fifth grade and is currently mastering quadratic equations and inequalities in the in the math program. In fact, Mai’s expertise and enjoyment of the early Kumon levels led her to take up volunteering as an assistant at her local center.
“Kumon gives me the challenge and the fulfillment that I strive for when I advance to the next level,” said Mai. “I also enjoy volunteering and teaching at Kumon because it gives me the joy to give back to the community while re-learning and reviewing topics that I have mastered already.”
Although Mai enjoys helping at the local Kumon Center, when it comes to a career, she hopes to work in cancer research to save lives and better the world.
Because of her accomplishments both inside and outside of the classroom, Mai was one of 56 students from across North America that was selected to attend Kumon’s 3rd annual student conference. The conference, which took place in Chicago, Illinois on July 10, 2019, provided Mai with the opportunity to connect with like-minded and equally impressive peers from all across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. We had the chance to chat with Mai about her Kumon journey, her inspirations, and her hopes for the future.
How has Kumon helped you academically?
Kumon has enhanced my reading and math skills and helped me stay ahead of my school level. Kumon has also taught me how to persevere and be diligent, and that by working hard, anything is possible.
How has Kumon helped you outside of the classroom?
Kumon has helped me boost my confidence, encouraged me to work hard, and helped me to believe that anything is possible if you set a goal and work hard. Kumon has also greatly helped me manage my time and taught me how to self-learn.
What is the most beneficial thing you’ve learned in Kumon thus far?
I love the philosophy of Kumon and how it’s structured, and how important it is to master the fundamentals before moving on to new concepts.
What achievements are you most proud of?
Getting medals at my figure skating competitions, completing the Kumon Reading Program in the fifth grade, and to be chosen to attend the Kumon Conference in Chicago.
What advice would you give to kids just starting Kumon?
I would tell them that, no matter how hard it gets, no matter how challenging your worksheets are, even if they seem impossible at first glance – never give up and never stop trying.
What was your experience like at the Student Conference, and what was your favorite part?
It was an amazing, inspiring and a very memorable experience that I will never forget! My favorite parts were meeting new friends from all around North America, listening to the inspiring guest speakers’ speeches, solving hard puzzles in groups, taking pictures with the other Kumon Students, and meeting the Kumon North America President Mr. Tanabe.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My mom is my biggest inspiration because of her unconditional love and her sacrifices in raising me as a single mom since my Dad passed away when I was five years old. She is the fundamental reason for my values, and her enormous support and motivation helps me to go through difficulties in life. She will get mad and frustrated at me sometimes, but it’s because she wants the best for me, and I wouldn’t be here if she did not enroll me in Kumon. She believes not only in my potential, but also in my future.