"I am now a fully qualified vet, something I would never have been without Kumon."
Rhian Hobrough attended the Kumon Penarth Study Centre as a child and spent eight years studying on the Kumon Maths Programme.
Now a qualified vet who runs four veterinary practices, Rhian reveals how Kumon helped her go on to achieve her dream job.
She said: "I had a real confidence problem with maths. I was always in the top sets at school, and would do really well in most of my other classes, but maths seemed to be my Achilles heel.
"Oddly, I would seem to be able to understand questions and problems, but my confidence in actually giving an answer was lacking.
"I used to dread exams and tests, and was really worried because I had always wanted to be a vet, and knew this had a big maths involvement. My issues with maths were beginning to affect my progress in physics too.
"During my first year at secondary school, my mum enrolled me onto the Kumon Maths Programme.
"The best thing about the programme was that I could clearly see my progression. Although I started on a very, very, easy level, this made me realise I could do the basics and I wasn't as awful at maths as I truly believed I was.
"After about a year, our school took part in a maths challenge competition. I would never have dreamt of getting involved in this before Kumon, but I decided to have a go and achieved a certificate and a massive confidence boost! I finally felt like I was moving forward with maths just from those daily minutes of Kumon.
"The most defining moment came when I achieved 100% on a pure maths A-level paper. A lot of the questions were similar to ones I had studied in Kumon; I particularly remember opening the paper and seeing a y=mx+c line graph and breathing a big sigh of relief as I'd done them millions of times at Kumon.
"You cannot possibly be a vet without being good at maths, and so the actual numeracy skills Kumon taught me have been invaluable. There have been life or death situations where drug doses have had to be calculated quickly and I can confidently do this without reaching for a calculator, meaning that I've saved lives sheerly on time. I now also run four vet practices, and the skills learnt at Kumon have made me much more confident in assessing financial information and business plans.
"Kumon taught me much more than just maths. It taught me discipline, and the importance of hard work. The veterinary degree is a difficult one, and without discipline and dedication to study you simply cannot pass. It also made me a much more confident person in general, and I'm sure it's been one of the reasons that I've gone on to form excellent professional relationships and contacts.
"From working directly with some of the other students at the centre, I learnt how to explain things to people of all different abilities and ages, which is something I do every single day in the consultation room.
"Looking back, I can honestly say that the problems I suffered with maths stemmed right from junior school; I was never confident in the maths basics, so then the more complex problems knocked my confidence even further. Breaking down this confidence barrier meant not only could I become a massive maths fan, but it shaped me into the person I am today.
"Now I'm a fully qualified vet, something I would never have been without Kumon."
We thank Rhian very much for sharing her story with us. Her success is extremely encouraging to all of our students currently studying the programmes, and reinforces exactly how the time and effort they are putting in now will go on to benefit them in the future.