Dual Program Completer Writes an Open Letter to Current and Future Kumon Students
Ritu, 14 years old, Kumon Math and Reading Program Completer
Ritu is a multi-talented person with several passions ranging from entrepreneurship, technology, music, writing, and public speaking. She credits Kumon for driving her growth and indoctrinating several core values such as self-sufficiency, diligence, critical thinking, grit, and time management, which have laid a strong platform for her character development.
She is part of the Future Problem Solving (FPS) Program International Club, where she has won many awards including being placed 10th in the world in the FPS International Scenario Writing Competition. She also routinely participates in entrepreneurial endeavors and recently won the first place in TiE Silicon Valley’s 2020 Youth Entrepreneurship Pitchfest.
Ritu started playing piano at the age of three and has composed over a dozen classical pieces that can be found on her YouTube channel. She also enjoys writing poetry and literature because it allows her to express inner feelings with the powerful imagery of a few evocative words. Her poems have been selected for publication by The Society of Young Inklings.
Since enrolling in Kumon at five years old, Ritu has been committed to striving for the best and to growing academically and personally.
“For the last eight years, I have had to complete Kumon Worksheets on a daily basis and simultaneously keep up with the other commitments in my life. From early on, I knew that to be successful, I had to be effective in balancing Kumon’s demands on my time, which has led me to develop critical time management skills,” says Ritu.
With much perseverance and time management, Ritu is now a Kumon Math and Reading Program Completer.
“From the roots of my early reading worksheets, Kumon helped me discover my passion for English at a young age,” says Ritu.
Ritu credits the Kumon Reading Program for molding and developing her talent for writing during her formative years.
With much tribute to her passion for writing and her Kumon journey, Ritu writes an open letter to current and future Kumon Students:
I first walked into my local Kumon Center when I was five years old for my initial placement test. At the time, even in my wildest dreams, I would never have imagined how much I was destined to develop and grow over the next eight years. Through the years, through the countless pages and problems, my knowledge and confidence have swelled considerably.
I learned not only my multiplication tables, but the art of being self-sufficient and becoming an independent learner. I mastered time management, exploiting how I could balance multiple streams of activity in the same twenty-four-hour day. While I learned academic material from my ABCs to Shakespeare, from addition to differential calculus, I also realized the importance of being responsible and diligent and working steadily every day and every year to accomplish my goals.
I attribute a large part of my personal growth and development to Kumon and am thankful that it has been a part of my life. Kumon provided me with a rock-solid foundation that transcended academic concepts and instilled strong work ethics and a forward-looking mindset. It boosted my character and sparked in me the confidence that I could solve anything I put my mind to.
Your journey with Kumon will be long and arduous, but it will be immensely rewarding. Keep in mind the following proverb: ‘Even a journey of a thousand miles starts with one single step’.
At times you may feel like quitting, but it is crucial that you keep going and never give up. Step by step, you will eventually accomplish your goals (yes, there is an end!) and reap the rewards of the intellectual growth and character development from your Kumon journey. Always remember—enjoy it while it lasts.”
Ritu, Kumon Math Reading Program Completer
Ritu was one of 155 students from Canada, USA and Mexico who attended the 2020 Virtual Kumon Student Conference. “The conference served as a great reaffirmation of the large community of students who have blossomed from the same Kumon journey,” says Ritu.
Ritu shares with us her future plans and reveals who her inspiration is.
What is your favorite book and why?
“Educated” by Tara Westover is an autobiography that offered insights into a lifestyle that was unfathomable to me and broadened my perspectives. Her novel narrates how she grew up with Mormon extremist parents and was forced to labor in her father’s junkyard – forbidden to attend school. She broke free from her suppressed lifestyle, attended college, and began a road that ended in her achieving her dream – receiving a Ph.D. from Cambridge. I admire Tara for overcoming her repressive environment and holding onto her vision. Despite her enormous disadvantages, she was focused, overcame hurdles, persisted with her dream, and eventually prevailed.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Having grown up in Silicon Valley, I have been fortunate to witness some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurial stories play out in my own backyard. The world faces many daunting challenges— I am particularly concerned about the environmental ones, and I aspire to start a technology-driven company to help make an impact in this area.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I have many role models and have learned different lessons from each, but one of them stands out amongst the others. While Amazon is now a household name, Jeff Bezos originally started the company out of his dusty garage. In its humble beginnings, Jeff and his wife strained their backs lifting books that had been ordered into boxes for their fledgling online bookstore that would soon seize the world like a flame to a match. I admire Jeff Bezos because of his leadership and vision, his audacity to take on some of the largest companies in the world his ability to create and transform massive markets, and his focus on long-term objectives.