Kathy Chattoraj and I first met in 5th grade and we’ve been friends ever since. In 1984, Kathy joined my family when we went to Russia on a family trip.  Over the years, each of us pursued our dreams and built successful careers with international elements.   Kathy studied in Italy and taught art to children in Africa. A successful artist and Mom of two daughters, Kathy launched Future Picassos as an After School Art Program in Greenwich, CT six years ago. Future Picassos is inspiring young students to appreciate art in more than 25 schools in Connecticut and New York.  Kathy attributes her global point of view to her many travel experiences.

I started studying Mandarin at Phillips Exeter Academy as a teenager and immediately fell in love with the language.

After several trips to China in high school, I majored in Chinese and East Asian Studies in college and went to Beijing for graduate school.  I am proud of my successful career in public relations working in Mainland China for Fortune 100s like Intel, Dell, Microsoft and Ford.  I attribute my success and adventurous spirit to my Mother who took us to more than 70 countries and encouraged us to study languages. As Carole would say, “to really explore a place, you need to speak the language.”

In these unprecedented times, parents are being challenged to find ways to keep their kids engaged and learning while schools and traditional summer camps are closed. After dealing with this first hand trying to keep her two teenage daughters engaged without camps, sports and public pools, Kathy started thinking. What could she do to expand the current curriculum of her own online art classes to help parents of older kids in the same situation.  She immediately asked me if I could teach a course that would expose teenagers to something new and help them expand their horizons while stuck at home.  Of course I said YES!

China is an economic powerhouse that will have significant influence as the world’s top market for many industries over the next 20-30 years.  Whether they sell to China or buy from China, future careers will be wrapped up in the Middle Kingdom.  If you want to future-proof your kid’s career success, they should study Mandarin. During the course that will take place the week of June 15th, I will break down the value of studying Chinese, the benefit of having travel experiences and what programs are the best to empower and engage your children.

This class is ideal for junior high and high school students.   To sign up for Why Chinese and other Future Picassos programs click here.