Paul, 18: Instructor Cynthia Mackinnon
Paul, a successful 18-year-old small business owner, began Kumon in 2004 at the London-Northeast Kumon Center when he was a seventh grader.
His mother, Ella, recalled, “Paul told us about two students in his class who were not doing very well, but by the end of the year, they were at the top of the class because of Kumon. Paul was always eager to learn, and we wanted to give him a chance to excel and advance at his own pace.”
Paul attributes his excellent time-management skills as well as the confidence he needed to tackle challenging workloads and schedules – not just in school, but in life – to his working up to Kumon’s Math Level M (trigonometry and analytic geometry). Paul said that before Kumon, he struggled with math, and it was his least favorite subject. But right from the start, the Kumon program had an amazing impact on him, and now he even enjoys math. He added, “Kumon helped me immensely with getting accepted to the University of Western Ontario business program and preacceptance to the prestigious Richard Ivey School of Business.”
Paul has never shied away from an opportunity to test his skills and his limits. In 2005, Paul won a Deanne Shorten Dance Scholarship, established for young dancers in London who wished to continue their professional training. He auditioned and successfully gained entry into Canada’s National Ballet School, where he completed a one-year study term. Since then he has taken on various roles, even earning a place in the cast of “Anastasia,” performed last year in London by Ballet Jörgen. Paul is also a Canadian national champion in karate and a competitive downhill mountain biker.
Paul’s business, Panorama Landscaping, started as a result of a high school business plan competition hosted by the London Small Business Center. Although he did not win the top prize, he was named as a finalist. Persevering through Kumon’s vigorous Math Program helped to propel Paul from a boy on a bike trying to earn his neighbors’ business to a successful entrepreneur in his community.
Paul’s father, Derek, said, “Kumon is the best investment we ever made.”