Catching Up with TGPM Alumni: Maxi Fujiwara

We would like to introduce you to a special TGPM alumna: Maxi Fujiwara! Maxi attended our program from 2003-2007, before moving out of state with her family.

“My name is Maxi Fujiwara and I’m a nineteen year old college student pursuing an English major at Arizona State University.”

What did going to The Growing Place Montessori feel like?

“Attending TGPM was a new learning experience every day that aggrandized my pursuit for knowledge.”

What did you enjoy about coming to school?

Coming to school wasn’t a chore, it was a fun-filled experience from morning to afternoon. I loved how caring all my teachers and peers were.”

In what ways do you consider yourself to be a well-rounded individual?

“High school and college academics force you to be a punctual and hardworking individual, and without the foundation of TGPM I would not have those traits. I have respect for myself as a student to always try my best and give my best effort. Growing in an environment that fostered my interest for learning prepared me greatly for life.”

What is your opinion of Montessori now that you’ve had experience in other learning environments?

“I truly believe that because I attended TGPM I was far better prepared for life and higher academics than my peers. Going from Montessori to a more rigid learning style that involved sitting in desks for 6+ hours, I can say TGPM fostered my learning far superior than other elementary schools.”

Catching Up with TGPM Alumni : Alexandria Hunter

My name is Alexandria Hunter and I’m a twenty year old college student studying Theatre Arts and Business Management at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.

How did you feel about hands on learning?

Montessori education was my foundation, I didn’t know anything else until I was in 7th grade. Hands on learning was my norm, and it wasn’t until I entered a public school halfway through middle school that I realized how effective hands-on learning had been for me. Using materials like golden beads in the Montessori classroom assisted me in building my math skills, especially because I have a hard time visualizing numbers in my head. I needed to see evidence in front of me in order to make connections. I’m also aware that this method doesn’t work for everyone, but I think as a foundation for young minds, it’s helpful in making those connections between what’s in your head and what’s in your hands, especially since what’s in our hands is our main focus when we’re younger.

What is your opinion of Montessori now that you’ve had experience in other learning environments since?

“I’ve attended multiple schools, all with different learning styles: Public, Montessori, Project-Based, and Homeschool. I was exposed to many different approaches to education. I think all of these styles hold their own strengths, but none of them can supply a child with as strong of a foundation as Montessori. Montessori solidifies the essential skills and habits that young minds need in order to grow and fall in love with learning.”