Rockville Center

Owner Mary Koles on Her Gratitude

When I first started running learning centers in July of 2009, there was this refreshing complexity I’d never felt in my life. I went from a vortex of cyclical exhaustion—double-fisting coffee every morning and breaking up fights teaching high school English—to this HUGE range of ages, subjects, and personalities. What a sweet, beautiful thing it was—so nuanced, so bright, so LIGHT. I felt ALIVE. No more early mornings of grading papers at 4am. It was a 7-day-a-week thing, but it utterly FILLED me. Never had I felt so invested or inspired.

Kids keep it interesting; I remember writing in one of my first business posts on social media. And boy, did I mean that. Writing it out touched this deep part of me. I had pinpointed in that moment what I loved so much about working with all these kids: that they do, without even trying—today and always—just keep things interesting. Perhaps that’s what I love the most. Because of them, every single day is different. Every single day feels new.

Owning this company is just this fluid, quirky, never-a-dull-moment thing I wouldn’t trade for even the biggest salary in the world: laughing with the kids, thinking of every dimension of what can make them happy and keep them happy, and—of course—to translate that energy to my conversations with all of you parents—who miraculously happen to be fun, funny, and interesting just like your children!

How did I get so lucky? To know each one of you? Thank you for keeping me going even when I’m the most tired—for being YOU. There is always, at the end of each long day, the far-reaching joy of our lasting connections—year after year, whether we see each other in person or not. Know just what a difference you have made in my life. I started in July of 2009, and I have never looked back.

The kids, their words, their essence—have always been the sweetness.