Diven Patel Large
hometown: Millbrook, Alabama
career: Entrepreneur/Owner of Kumon of Montgomery
Graduated from LAMP (Lanier Academy Magnet Program) class of 2006; attended The University of Alabama at Birmingham on scholarship and graduated in 2010.
Diven’s parents came to America from India and found success here. Inspired by their hard work, he’s doing the same as owner of and instructor at Kumon Math & Reading Center of Montgomery, an afterschool enrichment program that helps students gain the skills required to become independent self-learners. He shared his thoughts on:
matters of motivation
When you have parents from the villages of India, you constantly hear stories of the slum life. Getting something as simple as a pair of sandals was like receiving an iPad. They weren’t educated on how to live and make it in America, but they learned how to cope and succeed with hard work and perseverance. This is cemented in my mind and is a reminder of what can be achieved.
My parents always told me the reason they came to America was to provide me with more opportunity. So, imagine how they felt when I failed the first grade. They weren’t in the position to really help me because they hadn’t mastered English yet. So they budgeted the time and money to find me the support I needed. I went from making straight F’s to making straight A’s. They succeeded in getting me back on track with school. In the end, I graduated high school with a scholarship to attend college. I returned their investment in me.
Childhood friends can make a difference in your life. My best friend, like myself, has a passion for business. It’s always great to have someone to talk business with at an early age and to share opinions with.
just getting started
One of the greatest joys of being an entrepreneur is there is no boundary to what I can do. My passion to help people led me to become a Kumon instructor. My passion to learn and challenge myself could lead to more like becoming mayor of Montgomery, creating my own cartoon series, opening an overseas medical company, revolutionizing the hotel industry or starting a sports agency.
advice to parents
When I was entering high school, I wanted to attend one school, and my parents wanted me to attend a different one. After discussing things, my father let me choose. When there is thought and planning behind your teen’s decision, encourage it! Let it be known that your trust has to be paid back with their hard work and results.