I am a graduate of Jackson Memorial High school and recipient of the New Jersey Stars scholarship, which my mom (and I) appreciated covering most of the tuition costs of my secondary education. I attended H.C. Johnson Elementary School from September 1995 – June of 2000, C.W. Goetz Middle School from September 2000 – June 2004, and graduated Jackson Memorial High School, class of 2008. I will be graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration in January 2012 from Kean University. I am also a Certified Instructor and third degree Black Belt at United Tae Kwon Do Academy in Jackson. Nice story with a nice ending, keep reading to learn where this journey began...
My parents signed me up for Martial Arts in 1998 at the age of 8 to learn self-defense and build self-esteem. I began training at Bryan Klein’s Tae Kwon Do Academy in Jackson (Now United Tae Kwon Do Academy) under the chief instructor Mr. Dave Herskowitz and his awesome team of instructors, all of which I am still friends with today.
I earned my First-Degree Black Belt on June 29, 2002 at the age of 12, my Second Degree November of 2005, and my current rank of Third Degree Black Belt November of 2009. I began instructing in Jackson at the age of 13 and have not missed a beat since! In 2007 I earned my Instructor Certification and received the privilege to play a key role in the success of the students in this Academy. I recently have begun teaching Bully Busting seminars to any children’s organization that is interested.
As a child I was the victim of the Bullying epidemic that plagues our schools today. I was overweight, wore big glasses, and had a debilitating stutter. I spent my academic career, up to High School, never speaking a word in the classroom due to my stutter. My close friends understood, but most of the students in my classes did not. My “saving grace” was when I was given the opportunity to start teaching at the Academy. I was forced to speak and it worked. Since, I have gone on to perform on demonstration teams in front of thousands of people and to excel in public speaking. I even finished with the highest grade of 100% in my College Public Speaking class!
Martial Arts is and will always be my passion. I do not believe I would be where I am today, in all aspects of my life, without what I have learned over the years training. Having the ability to give to others what I have learned is an amazing feeling and it is an honor to do so in the community that I grew up in!