As long as Ma. Arselene Aquino could remember, math was her favorite subject. It’s no wonder that she was excited for her Kumon journey back in October 2002. She and her mother found out about Kumon through her classmate’s grandfather. After attending the Parent Orientation, her mother was amazed with how Kumon works and immediately registered her for the Free Trial available at that time.
By being enrolled in both the Math and Reading Programs, Arselene was able to notice a significant improvement in two aspects of her work. First, she was able to improve on her carelessness and her tendency to commit errors in solving math problems; and second, she was able to develop her comprehension skills and a love for reading. Through the years, Kumon continued to play a big part in propelling her to success in school and in her chosen career. In fact, she was awarded as one of the Top Employees of BDO in 2014.
the pull to continue
Just like any other student, there were times that Arselene really wanted to give up. She can still remember the extra hours she spent in the Center with her Kumon Instructor just to finish my Math and Reading worksheets. There were times when she felt that she already knew how to solve a difficult problem in math, but the next problems got even more difficult. There were also times when she still could not understand a passage even after reading it a number of times.
“I was blessed enough to have two supportive mothers, my mom and my Kumon Instructor, Teacher Nelia. Both of them have always encouraged me to continue and finish Kumon. They would always tell me that once I finish, I will be able to see the benefits of all my hard work and effort. In fact, my mom would always remind me that there is always happiness and fulfillment after all the sacrifices.”
The push to complete
What really pushed Arselene to complete the program were three things: first, she was driven by her mantra of having to finish what she started. “I realized that if I just quit, I might develop the habit of starting things and not completing them.”
Second, she was inspired by how people saw her as a role model. “Relatives and family friends wanted their own children to be just like me – excelling in school and sharing the knowledge with friends. This made me realize that what I was doing then was a blessing to me and the people around me.“
Last, she developed perseverance and patience to work hard. When faced with the challenge of solving difficult topics in the worksheets, she learned to do her best. “All my efforts would be put to waste if I did not achieve the ultimate goal of completion. What really helped me get through it all was the support of everyone, especially my parents and Kumon teachers.”
the pull to be better
There are four things Arselene is most thankful for in her Kumon journey. One is her love for reading. She was not a reader back then; but through reading passages and borrowing books from the mini library every Center day, she eventually became a reader who reads and buys books whenever she visit the bookstore. “I even have a mini library at home filled with books from all genres. Throughout my journey, I have developed my reading comprehension ability and widened my vocabulary.”
Two is her preparedness for her academic life. Kumon helped Arselene be better prepared for entrance exams and for other academic responsibilities. She was an advanced student so she learned topics ahead of time – and these were the topics that came out in the entrance exams. She also developed mental calculation ability which helped me solve math problems faster.
Third is her value for patience and time management. “For patience, I learned that all things can be achieved in good time and with a lot of hard work. For time management, I learned that I must always keep my deadline in mind so that I avoid postponing my tasks to the next day and eventually end up with a long list of things to do.”
the push to do her best
In her career, Arselene has been able to apply certain practices that she used to do when I was in Kumon. She has been with BDO for six years, where she started as an Accounting Assistant in the Tordesillas Branch in Makati City. This position involved making sure that each and every transaction that the teller makes is correct and that the cash flow is balanced. If there are discrepancies, she has to go through and check all the transactions and documents to spot the mistake.
“In order to ensure that the transactions are balanced, patience and perseverance are needed when I work through the calculations– similar to how I answered and corrected difficult topics in Kumon.”
Recently, the area head got Arselene as her Administrative Assistant. Compared to her previous position, her current position calls for her to consolidate month end reports, requests, and requirements that the 27 branches under a certain area would need. “I make use of my time management skills to be able to cater to all the requests and to all other tasks that need to be done.”
Also, Arselene was lucky to be included as one of the Top Employees of BDO in 2014 (Smart Frontliners). In order to qualify for this award, one would need to have a high performance rating and be an awardee for 12 consecutive months. There is an awarding ceremony where all awardees are recognized on stage with the bosses, heads of departments, and other awardees in the audience.
push and pull for other students
What advice can Arselene give to students who are aspiring to complete the program?
“No matter how difficult the worksheets may seem, always remember that you can do it! Don’t give up and never quit – it is not an option. You may think that your parents are unfair for making you do Kumon; but in the long run, you will be able to appreciate how Kumon has changed you, and you will be able to proudly say, “I am a Kumon Completer!” Keep in mind that Kumon is not only for the improvement of your academic skills, but it also molds your character and helps you develop life skills to eventually lead a successful life.”