Student Shares More Than Just A Name with Her Biggest Inspiration

Student Shares More Than Just A Name with Her Biggest Inspiration

Tatum, 13 years old, Kumon Math Level J

Tatum’s middle name is very special to her: Beryl. She shares this name with her biggest inspiration, Beryl Markham, the first female bush pilot in Kenya. Markham also happens to be the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean East to West – a huge accomplishment.

“She was smart, courageous, and a talented pilot with a knack for writing. She valued her mind and pushed boundaries not only for women, but also for the entire aviation community,” says Tatum about Beryl Markham. Like her role model, Tatum also aims to push boundaries and inspire those around her.

For Tatum, it all started with education and knowledge. From an early age she learned that these would be the key to her success. After enrolling in Kumon at six years old, she discovered a love for learning and continued grasping on to new lessons.

“Having this passion for learning instilled in me at a young age has helped me succeed in all of my classes and prepared me for anything I plan to accomplish in life,” says Tatum. She has hopes to one day become an engineer, author, or a podcast host – or maybe even all three! Tatum is eager to put to work her math, reading and writing skills that she was able to strengthen during her time in Kumon.

One of Tatum’s biggest, but most rewarding, challenge was learning to ride a unicycle. “Learning new things like the unicycle is very difficult and begin with a lot of failure and only a few small victories,” says Tatum. “Kumon has taught me to appreciate the little victories and value the failures as they are part of the road to success.”

As a rising trailblazer like her role model, Tatum is making remarkable strides towards reaching all her goals. She was recognized for her efforts and was selected as one of 155 students from Canada, USA, and Mexico to attend the 2020 Virtual Kumon Student Conference.

“I enjoyed hearing about the alumni’s experiences with Kumon and how it helped them get jobs and be accepted to prestigious colleges. It showed how much sticking with it can help, and how people will appreciate all the hard work you put into the program,” says Tatum.

Learn more about Tatum and how her experiences in Kumon have shaped her into the leader she is becoming.

What do you enjoy most about Kumon?

I enjoy the challenge and the accomplishment I feel when I am finally able to understand something or when I reach a goal. It is exhilarating and makes me feel like I’m using my time for good. One of my goals was to reach J by 6th grade, something that I accomplished, and I was so proud of myself for this.

What are some activities you enjoy doing outside of school and Kumon?

I love to play soccer and lacrosse in the warmer seasons, though my favorite is alpine ski racing in the winter. I also love to play the alto saxophone in our school band and play piano. In third grade I learned how to ride the unicycle, and this has evolved into one of my favorite pass times. Finally, I am working towards receiving my HAM radio technicians license soon and hope to get on the airwaves soon.


What achievements are you most proud of?

I am proud of making it to state for Oregon Battle of The Books. It is a competition where teams of four students read 16 books and are later quizzed on their content. The questions are very detailed, so everyone on my team read each book numerous times. I am also very proud of being in all advance classes and studying two years above grade level in math at my school.

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


What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. I have grown up reading it and love the logical thinking characters and the quirky style of writing. I am particularly fond of classic books.