Young Medical Technology Researcher is Committed to Positively Impacting Lives
Keva, 14-years-old, Math Level N, Reading Level I
From her extracurricular activities to volunteering, Keva has a passion for positively impacting other people’s lives. The 14-year-old can be found helping the youth in her community as an assistant at her local Kumon Center, assisting at a taekwondo studio 4-5 hours a week, and volunteering with an organization that allows her to be a mentor to younger kids. Despite her busy schedule, Keva continues to seek more opportunities to learn, especially about medical technologies.
“The most beneficial thing I’ve learned throughout my Kumon journey is to follow through and keep learning about things that I have a passion for. I have also taken this attitude elsewhere, as I have a strong passion for AI and genetic engineering. I aspire to use these technologies in the future to possibly improve our lives and help in finding a solution to today’s incurable diseases,” said Keva.
Keva looks for ways to expand her knowledge and is constantly keeping up with recent breakthroughs in these technologies. “I am currently exploring polygenic scores and how it will transform research regarding the causes/consequences of intelligence. I am also working on articles for using CRISPR 2.0 to cure GvHD from CAR T-Cell transplants,” said Keva.
In addition to that, Keva is helping with research being done at John Hopkins University regarding the circuit mechanisms of anxiety. Using in vivo calcium imaging technologies in mice, the research aims to find the neural signatures underlying anxiety.
Her determination to make an impact on others’ lives can be seen in her drive to continuously deepen her knowledge for these technologies. She has found that being self-disciplined allows her to motivate herself and stay on track to accomplish goals she has set.
During the summer, Keva founded the startup, Steerclear, which helps small businesses bring in more customers while simultaneously helping them make safer shopping decisions. It works as a platform and is a customer counter tool that communicates an establishment’s capacity while keeping a live count of the number of people within the location. This platform has been tested in her local Kumon Center and is beginning to be used by other businesses in the community.
Keva’s goals can also be seen in other areas of her life. She has taken it upon herself to continue learning various new languages. She can speak fluent French, Hindi and Mandarin, and is now learning Latin and Spanish. Keva also has a love for the arts in which she plays the piano, violin and sings at various events in and outside of school.
“Whenever I find new information or material to be challenging, I am self-motivated to overcome the difficulties I face. Ultimately, I now find it to be a greater satisfaction to overcome barriers with a huge sense of accomplishment,” says Keva.
Get to know a bit more about Keva and her advice to Kumon Students.
How has Kumon helped you outside of the classroom?
Kumon has allowed me to develop a mindset of figuring things out for myself. This is where I’ve learned to be persistent to accomplish the goals I have put in place. Because of Kumon, I have been able to apply this mindset elsewhere, including taekwondo which I have done since the age of 6, and I now have received my blackbelt. I also finished grade 9 piano and am part of the senior strings orchestra at my school for violin. In grade 7 and 8, I had the opportunity to compete in the Let’s Talk Science competition in Toronto, where I placed third and first consecutively.
What is your favorite book and why?
Since I was little, a book that I’ve always loved is Winnie the Pooh! As a kid, I didn’t fully appreciate it, but I now realize many of the life lessons. I still remember the very first story in which Pooh attempts to get honey from a honeycomb on the top of a tall tree. Bees get suspicious of him and he comes up with the idea to fly up in a blue balloon to blend in with the sky and roll in mud to disguise himself as a black cloud. Thus, the first lesson I learned is to always think creatively and outside the box. It has also taught me empathy, thinking positively, being confident in who you are, and most definitely, friendship. As Pooh says, “A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My biggest inspiration and best friend is my mom. My mom’s the type of person who will repeat a story that she finds funny about a billion times. I’ll hear her story on the phone, in person, again with other people and it kind of drives me crazy. Recently, I found out that I’ve also started telling people things from the past that are embedded in their memories forever. That’s when the “you’re going to be exactly like me” line really hit. But honestly, as much as I wouldn’t personally admit to her, my mom has been the one to help shape my consciences, and I’d love to be everything she is today.
What advice would you give to kids just starting Kumon?
I’d say to keep going with it and try and follow through on your goals, even when it can sometimes get tough! Accomplishing the goals you set, which might possibly be completing the Kumon Program, can give you the confidence to tackle so much more in or out of school. Kumon will show you that it’s possible to always learn more and improve compared to the day before.