Dual Program Completer Shares Passion for Fencing with Local Community - Kumon

Dual Program Completer Shares Passion for Fencing with Local Community

Headshot of young girl with jean jacket and nice smile

Ellen, 15-years-old, Math Program Completer & Reading Program Completer

When 15-year-old Ellen takes the floor to begin a fencing match, her head is held high with confidence as she focuses on each calculated move. When the director declares “En Garde!” to signal the fencers to begin, Ellen quickly identifies her opponent’s weakness and plans her attack.

For ten years, Ellen has worked to master the art of fencing through dedicated practice. Ellen credits much of her strength and success in fencing to her time in Kumon.

“Kumon has helped me excel in fencing, a sport I do competitively,” said Ellen. “I use Kumon’s self-learning philosophy to study my opponents’ weaknesses and quickly come up with a solution. By applying this in my matches, I’ve been able to win more bouts.”

Ellen’s passion for fencing goes beyond competing. In 2014, she founded the American Fencing Association for Children and Teens (AFACT). Ellen’s mission is to take a stand against bullying, raise mental health awareness, and introduce fencing to children in her local community. By giving children the opportunity to fence, she hopes to boost their confidence and self-esteem.

“I am proud of my accomplishments and the difference I’ve made in the community,” said Ellen. “I’ve raised money and donated fencing equipment for children. Through my efforts, I’ve grown the fencing program and continue to support kids in anti-bullying – ultimately making my community a better place to live in.”

Ellen was one of 56 students selected for Kumon’s 3rd Annual Student Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

“I was absolutely elated when I found out I was selected,” said Ellen. “I didn’t think I had a chance of being selected, so when I found out I was really shocked.”

Ellen and the rest of the attendees had the opportunity to learn from each other through educational activities designed to foster team building, group discussion, critical thinking and creativity.

“I really enjoyed being at the Student Conference,” said Ellen. “I met a lot of other students who had similar interests as me. I really loved the escape room activity!”

Ellen shares with us the secret to her motivation and advice for Kumon Students beginning their journey.

What’s the most beneficial thing you’ve learned in Kumon?

The Kumon Math Program has built a solid foundation for my math skills. I’m now learning college level calculus while only in high school. The Kumon Reading Program has expanded my vocabulary and introduced me to many great works of literature. 

How do you continue to stay motivated in Kumon?

Despite my busy schedule, I continue to stay motivated in Kumon. When the work becomes challenging, I take small breaks to refresh my mind. I also like to set goals and reward myself when I achieve a certain level or complete my work. I like to think of the long-term benefits that it will bring to me.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

My future goal is to become an actress and a writer.

Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?

Author Rick Riordan is my biggest inspiration. He is a wonderful writer and his books are for all ages. Unlike most authors, he incorporates a lot of diversity in his books that every reader can relate to. His books are also very funny and he’s able to teach readers mythology through his own marvelous plots.

What advice would you give to kids just starting Kumon?

It’s a long journey, so be patient with yourself. Stick with it because you’re more than capable of doing it. Enjoy the process because like all good journeys, it takes time.

If you could sum up your Kumon experience in one word, what would it be?

Enlightening.

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