"I want to fly. Will you teach me?"

Jan 2016
Amelia Earhart

On this day (11 January) in 1935, celebrated aviator Amelia Earhart set yet another world record - for in the first flight of its kind; she departed Honolulu, Hawaii on a solo flight to North America. After traveling 2,400 miles in 18 hours, she safely landed at Oakland Airport, California.

An inspirational woman, Amelia was a real testament to hard-work, perseverance and determination. She challenged society's views, refusing to be pigeon-holed into the women's domestic sphere.

Instead she sought education, and looked to establish a career for herself in a predominantly masculine field. A true pioneer, she paved the way for female pilots, and for men and woman alike to follow their dreams.

Let's take a look at how Amelia came to make history:

Aged 23, Earhart visited an airfield where she experienced a ride that would change her life forever. Afterwards she recalled: "As soon as I left the ground, I knew I myself had to fly."

Amelia worked a variety of jobs, including as a truck driver and a photographer, in order to save the $1,000 she needed for flying lessons. She then immersed herself in learning to fly. She read everything she could find on flying, and spent much of her time at the airfield. Her commitment required her to accept the hard work and rudimentary conditions that accompanied aviation training.

All her hard-work paid off, and in 1928 she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic as a passenger on a trans-Atlantic flight. Though she received international fame, Earhart did not think she deserved it: "I was just baggage, like a sack of potatoes," she remarked.

This spurred Amelia on to complete the feat for herself and on 20 May,1932, she took off from Newfoundland, USA, and landed in Ireland nearly 15 hours later, becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She fought off many problems throughout the flight; mechanical failures, a leaky fuel tank, fatigue, thick cloud and icy temperatures. Without assistance, she relied on her own ability as a pilot, and her own skill in the extremely difficult navigation which the Atlantic demanded.

It was her drive and ambition which encouraged Amelia to succeed where others had failed. She had set herself a goal, confident in her own ability to achieve it, and she did. Her potential really was sky-high.

It is this same potential we strive to uncover within our Kumon students. We aim to instil passion and drive, like Amelia's, so our students become self-assured in their own ability, and have the confidence to go on to reach their own goals. The time and commitment required to work towards a goal, whilst challenging, will ultimately be worth its weight in gratification and pride upon completion.

With so many inspirational figures to look to as role models, let's all continue striving for our own goals. And for those of you currently studying with Kumon, figures like Amelia, and our past student successes, are great examples to help drive your own momentum through the programmes.

Keep up the good work!