Kumon Student Shines As A Supermodel and DEI Advocate - Student Resources

Kumon Student Shines As A Supermodel and DEI Advocate

Meet Isabella. Isabella is not your typical teenager. In fact, she’s a supermodel, DEI advocate, world traveler, inspirational speaker, tennis player, soccer player, musician, and you guessed it—a Kumon student!

We had the wonderful opportunity to sit down and meet Isabella and her mother. Here is what she shared:

Isabella Hass

What do you love to do?

I like lots of things! Modeling is the first major love. It is a chance to showcase my own finesse and unique beauty to the world. I also love opera. I have even represented California in a beauty pageant. It was a great moment to showcase my own style and express my courage and bravery in front of 1000+ people. I also LOVE Queen music. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is my favorite! I also love to do my Kumon work. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.

In what ways has Kumon helped you in other parts of your life?

Kumon study has helped me build a stronger academic sense and confidence that raises my overall self-esteem in anything else that I commit to, whether that is sports, public events, or on my advocacy work. Kumon has taught me that I AM smart.

What is your own personal devotion in your life? What are you passionate about?

My passion is to change the way the world views people with Down syndrome. I had the chance to visit Capitol Hill, Washington DC, and advocate for people with Down syndrome. I met with house representatives and senators to discuss The Charlotte Woodward Organ Transplant Discrimination Prevention Act, the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act, increase funding for the Include Project, and the Congressional Task Force on Down Syndrome.

How do you handle negativity?

As a young person, I do understand segregation. I understand separation. And it hurts. Though with my actions I get to teach the world that we are all more alike than different. I love everyone and accept people as they are.

What would you like people to know about young people who have Down syndrome?

We are just like you. We love life, have goals, and work hard to achieve them.

Can you share with us what diversity and inclusion mean to you?

Isabella showcased in Times Square

To me, diversity means that we are all beautiful and have the same value. Inclusion means to me that we are given the same opportunities to live a fulfilling life as everyone else.

What was your experience like being in PEOPLE magazine and being showcased in Times Square?

I am proud to have been featured in PEOPLE magazine. I hope my article will encourage people from all walks of life to go after their dreams and know they can achieve great things. By showcasing this to others who may not know how to act around someone with Down syndrome, I take the first step to make that person feel comfortable and open a dialogue to show them that they are more alike than different. It was very exciting to see myself in Times Square, and this was a proud moment to celebrate diversity.

Next up for Isabella? Throughout the summer of 2023, Isabella will be traveling to Copenhagen, Denmark, and Paris, France, on an advocacy mission to show support to people with Down syndrome there. She wants to let them know that they are not alone. They are supported, they are celebrated, they are loved, and they are encouraged to go forth in life and reach for their goals, even if they are scared. You can find Isabella here, on Instagram: @isabellajhass.