I wanted to support this initiative because I felt it is for those just like myself. Classes at school were always boring and my parents were often called to school because of me—I would ask math questions that the teachers could not answer and we would argue nonstop. I began to hate school itself, stopped listening and just slept in class all the time.
Due to this experience, I wanted to become a teacher to save students like myself so I majored in education at university. Unfortunately, I was quickly disappointed by the reality of the Japanese education system once again and I ended up working in finance instead. There, I began to study completely new fields (economic theory, macroeconomics, microeconomics, bond mathematics, etc.) on my own, and I enjoyed it immensely. Before I knew it, I found myself working as an Fixed Income Option Trader at the NY headquarters.
Knowing these characteristics of myself, I enrolled my children in international schools and they are currently attending UWC in Singapore. In my child-rearing experience up to this point, I have felt that the most important thing is to find out together with the child what he or she likes and to develop it to the fullest. Unfortunately, there is a limit to the environment in which we can thoroughly develop these "likes” (i.e. passion) in Japan. I would be very happy if I could support these “young geniuses” to challenge their own limits and develop their passions to the fullest, so that in the future, they will be able to utilize their talents to lead the world.
石黒不二代 | Fujiyo Ishiguro
I want talented children to be able to develop their passions freely and flourish. I feel that Japanese education is rigid and standardized, as a result it ruins the potential of these children. Just like each individual has his or her own unique appearance, everyone also has different talents. I hope we can help children develop their talents to the fullest and I would love to see their sparkling and enthusiastic eyes!
小林繁肇 | Shigetoshi Kobayashi
Our family's involvement with CTY began with our son attending the CTY summer camp in the US. My son has been a big science fanatic since age 3 or 4—for example he loved drawing the internal structure of the Kamioka Nucleon Decay Experiment and reading about the Periodic Table. Perhaps partially due to the fact that he was allowed to do any science experiment he wanted at home at an early age, my son had a hard time when he started elementary school—frequently clashing with teachers and classmates. In contrast, he thoroughly enjoyed the CTY summer camp in the US and still wanted to go back again even after returning to Japan.
According to my wife, unlike other short-term camps, in order to attend CTY in the US the procedures for visa application and enrollment were quite complicated. My hope is that by supporting this initiative, more Japanese will be able to experience this differentiated education program without the aforementioned procedural or language barriers. Finally, it would be great if this initiative could become the catalyst for the Japanese education system to look and learn from the outside world!
野田浩一 | Ken Noda
Born in Fukuoka Prefecture, Ken graduated from Tokyo University with an Economics major and received an MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS). He had a 39-year career with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Group (General Manager of Americas Division, Senior Managing Director, Senior Advisor, etc.), including 9 years in the US (NYC, Pebble Beach, etc.) He is currently growing the management consulting firm that he founded. At HBS, he was impressed by the quality of classmates who were among the best globally in their respective fields and the intense competition during the program. While working in New York, Ken served as the Chairman of the Japanese Education Council for New York/New Jersey and learned firsthand the virtue of combining the best qualities of local and Japanese schools—one of the main reasons he became interested in the Education Beyond initiative. Ken believes it is crucial for Japan to nurture as many children who can compete globally in their specialized fields as possible.
岡島悦子 | Etsuko Okajima
As someone with small children, I strongly support this initiative in acknowledging the Advanced Learners’ individuality and the anxiety in daily lives in order to help them expand their possibilities in the future. I also would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to Ms. Rin Kobayashi and everyone who is contributing to this activity. I hope to work with you to make this initiative a reality and become a movement so even more people can help create a better world in the future.
NPO法人 パブリックマインド | Public Mind
We Public Mind selected Education Beyond as one of the organizations we provide a grant from our social investment fund - “Public Mind Foundation”. In addition to financial grant, we are planning to provide continuous support with EB in terms of business development of curriculum for Advanced Leaners.
We deeply admire EB’s advocacy activities toward Advanced Learners – which has not been raised as a social issue among Japanese society – trying to enable every single child including Advanced Learners to expand their potentials and possibilities. It is a great honor for us to get involved with EB’s exciting project as a funding partner. We are hoping that EB will change the society, providing various types of education opportunities, linking key stakeholders (school, government, etc.) together to improve Japanese education system in the near future.