Inspired by a Kumon Program Completer, This Student Became One Himself
Sebastian Estrada, 11-years-old, Reading Program Completer, Level J Math
11-year-old Sebastian has already done a lot for a student his age. He is a member of his school’s Battle of the Books Club, has earned Principal Honor Roll every year, is a competitive tennis player, and has won first place in his local Math Bowl Competition as both an individual and as part of his school’s team. Recently, he added the title of Kumon Reading Program Completer to his long list of accomplishments.
Even high-achieving students like Sebastian need some motivation at times, however. As a fourth grader, Sebastian was selected to attend a local Kumon Student Forum and was inspired by Kumon Program Completer Kiran Shay. He was so motivated by Kiran’s speech that he decided to increase his Kumon workload so that he could complete the Reading Program more quickly. This experience also encouraged Sebastian to apply to attend the 2018 Kumon Student Conference. He wanted to meet other inspiring Kumon Students, in hopes of learning more about how they benefited from the program and to share his own experiences with other students from all over North America.
Thanks to his impressive resume and zeal for learning, Sebastian was chosen to join 55 other Kumon Students from the United States, Canada, and Mexico at the Student Conference, held in Calgary last July. Sebastian, who is currently studying advanced algebra in the Kumon Math Program, shared more about how he’s seen such success in the program.
How has Kumon helped you beyond academics?
Kumon has helped me develop a strong sense of discipline and determination. Over the years, I have definitely become more conscious of focusing on what is important to me and what will help me become more successful later in life. It has taught me to balance my time between Kumon, school and my extracurricular activities. Additionally, it has taught me to prioritize everyday tasks and to know that nothing comes without hard work.
Describe an “a-ha” moment at Kumon when you didn’t understand something and then you finally got it.
This “a-ha” moment has happened to me several times, especially after I started Level G in math. When I was simplifying polynomials at the end of Level H, I was having a hard time getting the concept. But just like my Instructor says, I did not give up and kept trying to look at the examples provided until finally, I got it! Once I got to the center for my class, I checked the solution book and I had actually done it right! Even though some concepts are very hard to get at first, I have realized that the repetitions in Kumon will let me eventually understand it and master it.
What keeps you motivated in Kumon?
What keeps me motivated in Kumon is my love for learning and that I always want to know more and more. It is exciting for me every time that I see a new concept. Moreover, I enjoy that I can do my school work with ease, and that my classmates recognize me as an “expert” in math and often come to me to get help. Finally, I want to get accepted into one of the top colleges, and I know that the discipline and dedication that Kumon requires will help me get there.