From shy to confident: Reading Completer discovers her full potential in Kumon

*This was Jasmine Hope Viloria’s speech during the 2019 Advanced Students’ Forum on November 10, 2019 at the Manila Mariott Hotel, Pasay.

I was around five years old when I enrolled in Kumon. When I took the Diagnostic Test, it wasn’t very difficult for me. So, I thought that everything else after that would be a breeze for me. In the first few months, I was right. I went through it quite easily as English is my first language.

Later on, challenges started to rise when I had to juggle Kumon, school work, and other extracurricular activities. There were so many things to do that I couldn’t have the luxury of finding time to do all of them. Because of this challenge, I learned time and task management skills, which helped me think on my feet and solve problems quickly.

Developing my skills & abilities

Kumon has helped me in so many ways. My Reading teacher, Teacher Cherry, is one of the best teachers I’ve ever met. She helped me a lot by not giving me the answers directly but by guiding and giving me clues on how to solve a problem in my worksheets. She allowed me to find the answers myself.

The saying that goes, “Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime,” is reflected in the example of Teacher Cherry. She has greatly impacted my life by showing me that it is better to teach people how to do something themselves than just simply doing things for them. Thanks to her, I could already understand college-level novels when I was 10, among other things.

Before Kumon, I was known to be very shy. Public speaking was something I never knew I could be good at. Kumon helped me improve my grammar and vocabulary, and it built my confidence in speaking. Because of Kumon’s training, I transformed from being a shy girl to a confident, award-winning speaker.

I also have to thank my teachers in life: my parents, Dad and Mom. I have reached what I have achieved today because of their constant support and encouragement. I can’t count on my fingers how many times I wanted to stop because I was so tired from doing everything—from school work to extracurricular activities. I felt like the world was on my shoulders, but my parents instilled in me the importance of resilience and the principle of finishing what I start. And because of this, I persevered and became a Reading Completer.

Realizing my true potential

Kumon has had an enormous contribution to my everyday performance in school. I can confidently say I’ve had an edge in school because I have a wider range of vocabulary, and I’ve been training in public speaking. This made me stand out from my peers and also helped me express myself openly. I also started winning in Spelling Bees as I already knew most of the words because of Kumon.

In my eight years with Kumon, they have truly given me the academic advantage and confidence to compete in today’s world. I received higher marks on my tests, and I felt more mentally strong to overcome whatever challenges that I may face. I know that everything I’ve learned from Kumon will equip me with the right tools and skillset to turn my dreams into reality, whatever they may be.

Looking forward, after Kumon, I would like to focus more on debate and writing. I also love the arts, especially the field of design. I love to create beautiful things. While I may not have something very specific in mind yet, I want to be an entrepreneur who will create and innovate, and hopefully, make a difference in people’s lives when I grow up. With Kumon, I know I’m on the right track.

Sharing the dream

To all aspiring Completers and dreamers, I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you what has worked for me and what continues to inspire me to strive for the best.

It’s been instilled in me that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. No matter how talented you are, if you don’t apply yourself and have the right work ethic and attitude, then you won’t be able to exercise your full potential.

Never quit until your task is done. May it be small or big, I do my best in everything that I do to fulfill myself, make my parents happy, and glorify God. I hope you all do the same.

JASMINE HOPE VILORIA
Kumon Reading Program Completer
Banilad (Cebu) Center

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Kumon is the world's leading after-school enrichment program. We offer two subjects: Math and Reading in more than 280 Kumon Centers nationwide.

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