West Chicago, Illinois: July 27, 2012 - Last month the ribbon was cut on a new business at 946 N. Neltnor Blvd. in the Tower Station shopping center. Kumon of West Chicago brings after-school math and reading enrichment programs to students from preschool through the 12th grade. The new learning center in West Chicago is a comfortable setting in which children progress at their own academic level through a program which aims to develop the confidence, concentration skills and study habits found in lifelong independent learners.
Kumon of West Chicago owner and director Yasmeen Syed has a passion for education that was instilled in her by her parents. Born in Iran, the family moved to India when she was 5 years old. At age 11, she arrived in the U.S., settling in California and speaking three languages. "Education was a high priority in my family," said Syed, who has an undergraduate degree from University of California at Riverside and an MBA from Roosevelt University.
After working at a several corporate jobs, followed by 6½ years at home raising her children, Syed discovered a self-truth. Her volunteer work with her children's sports teams and in the classroom as a reading mom was infinitely more gratifying. "I was discovering that sincere satisfaction that comes with doing personally meaningful work. For me, it's the satisfaction that comes with helping children succeed."
At around this time, Syed had discovered a Kumon center as an enrichment program for her own two children. The results were life-changing for her entire family. Her 3½- year-old son is now reading, and her 6-year-old daughter handles multiplication and division problems without second thoughts or difficulty, skills which Syed feels will certainly help them in the future with standardized tests.
"My children are developing a relentless curiosity and the skills of independent learners," she admits. Excited by these results, and encouraged by a friend who suggested she look at opening a franchise, Syed went through testing and the required training program with Kumon.
Locating her business in West Chicago is a natural extension for Syed, not only as she resides in the community, but also as she says, "…because of the rich cultural diversity that exists here." She believes her work at Kumon of West Chicago will contribute to building community through educational enrichment, which leads to greater career opportunities and a higher quality of life.
City leaders are pleased with her decision as well. "We welcome Kumon of West Chicago to our business community, and wish Yasmeen and her staff great success. The addition of this destination for educational enrichment will be a wonderful asset for West Chicago," said Acting Mayor Ruben Pineda who attended the recent ribbon-cutting.
While actively trying to grow her business through networking events and community partnerships which aim to gain exposure for the services she provides, Syed is generously offering the opportunity of a limited number of need-based scholarships in two subject areas, math and reading, to deserving students in West Chicago.
" 'Give a man a fish and he eats for a day -- teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime'. That is what I hope to accomplish with the scholarship. Give as many children as possible the skills they need to advance during their lifetime. Kumon is not just about a better education but a momentum for life," she said.
More information about Kumon of West Chicago, including details of the scholarship, may be found on the company's website, www.kumon.com/west-chicago. "If everyone did their part in this world, it would be a better place."