Like most new business owners in the whirlwind first few months of operations, Hannah Turpin has had to juggle unforeseen tasks, skills and responsibilities. But unlike most new business owners, Hannah Turpin is 23 years old.
The recent University of Minnesota graduate owns the Kumon Math and Reading Center of Maple Grove—Arbor Lakes, an after-school math and reading program where she oversees a staff of 23 employees and the learning activities of approximately 250 students of all ages.
Not only is Turpin a franchisee dedicated to Kumon and its goals, she has a long personal history with the Maple Grove location. Turpin enrolled in the Kumon program in sixth grade, beginning with basic addition and subtraction, and quickly progressing to more challenging curriculum. By high school, she was two years ahead of the rest of her classmates. Soon she was enrolled in classes at the University of Minnesota.
“I have ADHD and dyslexia, so Kumon really helped me focus in my advanced courses,” she says.
Even as a student with a heavy course load and a range of extracurricular activities, Turpin began working at the Kumon center in 2007. Starting as an assistant grader in ninth grade, she helped students studying materials at a higher level than she had yet encountered in the program.
In college, Turpin transitioned from an assistant to chief assistant, overseeing everything while the main instructor was gone. She majored in biology, but wasn’t sure where she wanted to take her career. So, when the instructor asked if she was interested in purchasing the business, the then-22-year-old Turpin discussed the logistics with her parents, and jumped, taking over last February.
“Transitioning from chief assistant to instructor was a big leap. Because I’ve been here so long, I’ve learned how to work with students,” she says. “I currently have around 250 students and I know all of their names and where they are in the program.”
Part of Turpin’s everyday activities involves planning assignments, hiring staff and meeting with families of new students.
In addition to working with students, Turpin has learned to flex her business muscles by managing marketing, accounting and facilities at the center. Her family has become very involved in the business, helping out with anything from building repairs to accounting to IT support.
Turpin’s unique and impressive journey with Kumon has not gone unnoticed. In February, she was selected to share her inspirational success story and speak at the Kumon North America 2015 Instructor Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. As a speaker, she delivered a 20-minute speech on her story to an audience of more than 1,200 Kumon instructors. The conference even produced a video on her Kumon journey, sending a production crew to Maple Grove to create the piece.
“It’s all been kind of surreal, from taking over a business to being in a promotional video, but it’s been really great,” she says. “My goal is to be the best Kumon instructor I can be, and to impact as many lives as I can.”
What I hope will be true in 2025...
“I hope to own a house in Maple Grove and be a successful business owner; nothing too outrageous.” —Hannah Turpin