Guest Speaker

Students from the Kumon Kokusai International Student Committee recently had the singular honour of welcoming Morgan Henry, a data scientist with Instagram to an extended panel discussion. Morgan’s invitation sprang from a glittering background which is as academically precocious as it is occupationally prestigious. From her early roles as a child actress, Morgan’s progress has been an honour roll of accolades and acclaim: graduating Harvard magna cum laude in neurobiology at only 20 years of age, she moved through further academia to career success at the cutting edge of technology, starting at Foursquare before moving on to Facebook and her present position exploring tab algorithms at Instagram.

Yet it was the special role that Kumon played in Morgan’s development that piqued our students’ curiosity. A dual completer of Kumon in Maths and Reading, Morgan maintains that the long hours spent over her prints as a child have helped make her what she is today. During her opening address, Morgan spoke about how her determination to finish Kumon motivated her through difficult days of mathematical blind alleys, reluctant repetition and the simple childhood urge of having better things to do. She confessed how finishing Kumon was one of her most satisfying achievements and how it fostered an inner resolve to complement her undoubted natural mental dexterity.


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Kumon Student Translating Q and A Session

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Both Students and Teachers Attended

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Kumon Student Translating Talk Session

Questions in the following Q & A sessions touched on a variety of issues and Morgan answered with frankness and encouragement. There were questions about study momentum, time management and pressure to which Morgan urged students to just keep going, “even if it’s only two prints a day”. There were questions about Kumon’s paper approach in the age of technology; about students and smartphone screen time; about the job market in the technology industry; about advice on creating a successful hashtag. Morgans answers were consistently thoughtful and persuasive.

The two hours passed very quickly for the many students and teachers who attended and a good number were eager to meet the speaker as the event was winding down. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Morgan for her time, her kindness and her courteous consideration in leading this successful activity for the International Committee.