Former Mathnasium Student Becomes Learning Center Owner at Age 22
As a kid, math was tough for Anup. It’s not that he didn’t understand the concepts, but, he admits, he was a bit of a “lazy kid.” He just didn’t see how math was important, and homework wasn’t something he felt inclined to do. Facing the prospect of being held back a year in school, he agreed to let his mom take him to the local Mathnasium Learning Center in John’s Creek, GA, which had just opened its doors.
Anup was among the first ten customers. “He was super sharp,” remembers Center owner Chris Lee. “He just needed that extra attention, and he really blossomed.”
Anup attended off and on for almost two years. At the time, he had no idea how his life would circle back around. Today, at age 22, he co-owns the Center in West Marietta, GA with his mother, Indi Nandhra.
What did Mathnasium do for you when you were young?
It built my confidence in math.
You’re only 22 now. What did you do after high school?
I spent two years at university studying geology in Nova Scotia, but I was spending a lot of money at an institution where I wasn’t gaining personal gratification or a means to a meaningful career path. So, I came back to Roswell and became a certified welder. I worked in a structural steel shop.
We used to cut these huge I-beams on a miter–a 90-degree angle, and there was a really tight margin of error. I got that error down very low, because instead of using ironworker tricks, I wrote out the actual trigonometry problems. It helped me get noticed, because I was using this math tool to better the company.
Why did you leave?
Welding and slinging steel for 10 hours a day takes a toll. I saw what it was doing to people. And I always had an itch to be an entrepreneur.
How did you end up at Mathnasium?
I had developed from someone who was apathetic toward math to really using it in the workplace. I was listening to our local NPR station when they did a piece on a math education trend. I looked into it, and the results looked really good, but I would never want to put my kid through what looked like a system of really stern math teachers drilling things into you. I knew math could be explained in a caring, nice, fun way. So, I thought of Mathnasium. My mom and I looked into it, and it was a no-brainer.
What do you take the most pride in?
My mom always says–and even the parents and kids say–it feels like a happy place. And that, I think, is one of our biggest successes, but also our challenge for the future: Keeping it an effective learning center while keeping it inviting.
What would you tell someone who is unfamiliar with Mathnasium?
A lot of children out there need our services but don’t know it yet. Or they know it, but they don’t know about Mathnasium. Trust Mathnasium; what [cofounder and Chief Instructional Officer] Larry and the team developed works. I had doubts too, but I tucked my head down and trusted in what I was trained to do. And now, only four months in, I’m staring at A+s on the “brag board,” where the kids post their math tests from school.
Anup’s mother, Indi, still does the accounting, but he runs everything else. It’s a long way from the day he reluctantly entered his first Center. In ways both small and large, Mathnasium has transformed the course of Anup’s life. He says that, now, he’d “love to help make a difference for other students.”