Haley sits in a chair posing for a picture

Haley, 14-years-old, Math Level N, Reading Program Completer

Haley poses in a dress outside of her houseMichael Phelps, the most successful and decorated Olympian of all time, once said, “You can’t put a limit to anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.”

Just like Michael Phelps, Haley had an interest in swimming, but the sport didn’t necessarily come naturally to her. She wasn’t always the fastest swimmer—often having slower times compared to her teammates.

Instead of giving up, Haley compared the obstacles she was facing in swimming to her experience in Kumon. You see, Haley enrolled in Kumon when she was just six years old and now at 14, she can say she’s studying way above her peers. In fact, she completed the entire Kumon Reading Program, which ends in analyzing the work of Shakespeare, in the 6th grade and she’s currently studying advance algebraic expressions in the Kumon Math Program. It wasn’t always easy for Haley, but she recalled the grit, determination, focus, and goal setting that she used to advance through Kumon. —

“Beyond academics, Kumon has really helped me with swimming,” said Haley. “When I first started swimming, most of the kids were much faster than I was. Seeing positive results from the hard work I put in daily at Kumon, motivated me to work hard every day at my swim practices. Like Kumon, I then saw a huge improvement in my swimming. My speed increased and I was invited to swim at more competitive meets.”

Haley’s hard work and discipline has paid off both in the classroom and in her swimming. With her stroke of choice being breast stroke, she is proud to say she made the varsity swim team in her freshman year of high school. Haley has walked away as a medal winner from the Central California Junior Olympics, and swims for the Santa Barbara Swim Club in their senior group.Haley stands outside a car with her school backpack

When she’s not in the pool, Haley can be found singing in the school choir and playing the piano and guitar. She has even found a talent and enjoyment in composing her own music. In 2016, Haley achieved the Level 4 certificate of merit in voice and piano for The Music Teachers’ Association of California®. In 2017, she went on to achieve Level 5 in voice, and is currently training for Level 6 in voice. This program provides young musicians a curriculum to strive for excellence in areas such as performance, technique, sight-reading/singing, ear training, and music theory.

While Haley is still unsure on a future career path, she has a great passion and interest in skincare. She can see herself owning her own business that specializes in skincare.

Haley’s hard work and discipline didn’t go unnoticed, as she was one of 55 students selected to attend the 2018 Kumon Student Conference in Calgary, Canada. We had the opportunity to speak to Haley about her Kumon journey.

How has Kumon helped you academically?

Kumon has helped me go from being a kid in elementary school who sometimes struggled with math, but now in high school, I am in advanced math classes. The concepts being covered in school aren’t difficult to me anymore, since I’ve already worked through them in Kumon.

Haley and friends at the student conferenceIf you could sum up your Kumon experience in one word, what would it be?


How has Kumon helped you outside of the classroom?

Kumon has helped me with setting long-term goals for myself. If I ever find myself working on anything challenging, I break it up into smaller pieces – making it much easier to take on and complete.

What did it mean to you attending the Student Conference?

Attending the Student Conference was such a great experience! It was amazing meeting other students who have worked so hard and have had so many accomplishments.

What advice do you have for other Kumon Students?

My advice would be to take your time and be patient. It’s a lot of work, but if you stick with it and remain patient, you will see the benefits.

Discover even more student success stories.