C2 Education CEO David Kim – Composer of Dreams

The first C2 Education center was founded in Baltimore in 2000. Now it is the fastest growing K-12 tutoring and test preparation provider in the country and has locations from Coast to Coast, as well as in British Columbia, Canada and in South Korea. Of its 104 centers across North America, there are 5 in Washington State. It was at the C2 Education center in Issaquah that CEO David Kim described the dream and ideal behind C2 that is now an ever-growing reality.

The first C2 Education center was founded in Baltimore in 2000. Now it is the fastest growing K-12 tutoring and test preparation provider in the country and has locations from Coast to Coast, as well as in British Columbia, Canada and in South Korea. Of its 104 centers across North America, there are 5 in Washington State. It was at the C2 Education center in Issaquah that CEO David Kim described the dream and ideal behind C2 that is now an ever-growing reality.

In 1997, Kim was studying in Harvard. While he was there, he home tutored many children, many of whom are children of his professors. During those years, he realized in order to motivate the children; he had to help them answer “why study? Why exactly is it important?” From there, helping children understand their future and the road toward it had since become a life-long goal for him. Kim believes that 85% of students have potential, and their achievement start with understanding their aspirations and their needs.

According to Kim, here are the factors that will make a student successful in the future: the student’s confidence and self-esteem, the parents having correct information on the reality of college admission (the requirements are often understated), understanding college admission is only the beginning of life’s journey and the student’s life doesn’t end upon getting into a college of high reputation (an apparent common misconception among Asians), overcoming the challenges of public school system, and having counsels on matters other than academic ones.

   

At this point, the young CEO recited the importance of education. Since everyone participate in the governing of a democracy, it is vital that everyone is educated in order to have a successful society. He further cited the belief of the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, “to place education on a pedestal is to improve society.” Furthermore, Kim believes that educated people are better informed and are more capable of fixing existing problems. On that note, he revealed that Texas has large influences over textbook contents as they are the largest purchaser of new textbooks – an insight on how unrestricted capitalism can affect the thinking and knowledge of entire generations.

At C2 Education, they believe that C2’s method is a mean to rectify the current deficiency in the current American education system. Compared to other tutoring centers, C2 offers a holistic package that is beyond the scope of a single test or a single subject. Their goal is to equip the students with all the knowledge and experiences to realize their dreams, as supposed to just getting a good standardized test score. Before enrolling in C2, the student takes a diagnostic test and goes through a 1-on-1 interview as part of the initial consulting to find career interest. As part of the program, they also make suggestions about part-time job, volunteer work, and internships for the student to explore their compatibility with their future profession. Although not guaranteed, many former students of C2 had testified the satisfaction of a fulfilling life thanks to C2.

   

Kim wishes nothing less than to “create value, a legacy to be proud of.” Through C2, he believes social changes can be achieved. Although indirect, C2 provides an example of a different education structure that is more than just grades. Among other emerging trends, it is making more parents aware of their own involvement in their children’s education and future; and having more detailed assessment of students to pinpoint the challenges they face.

Behind this detailed and personalized method of education, C2’s ideal really boils down to a simple yet immeasurable service for all school children. It helps them answer, “Why do I need to study so hard?” David Kim’s success in helping all the students – who would otherwise have their head crushed under mountains of books to no ends – is a testament that the American Dream didn’t fade with the passing of the 20th Century.

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