Featured Alumnus: Kenta Goto ’01
Although it was more than 20 years ago, Kenta Goto ’01 still remembers a message delivered to him and his classmates from a group of Avon Old Farms alumni. “They told us, ‘You may not appreciate what you have here at this moment, but 20 years later you will,’ and that is definitely the case for me.”
Goto first arrived at Avon as a sophomore partway through the 1998–99 school year. His family had briefly lived in Westchester, New York, but otherwise Goto had spent his whole childhood in his home country of Japan.
That short time spent in the U.S. was influential for him, and made him realize it was where he wanted the next step in his journey to be. “I felt the U.S. lifestyle was more fitting for me and my future. It was clear that going to a boarding school was the best move, and out of a few options, Avon felt like the perfect fit.”
While at Avon he tried his hand at various extracurricular activities including track and field and AV Club. He says one of his most memorable experiences, however, came through the many community service opportunities he was a part of. “I got to see more of the region outside of Avon and helped people in the process.”
After walking through Alumni Gate with the Class of 2001, Goto matriculated to Boston University where he studied finance, eventually leading to a career as a trader and investor.
Now, 20 years after Goto sat in the seats of the Adams Theater and absorbed the message from Avon alumni who came before him, it’s clear to him what aspect of the school they were referring to— the Brotherhood.
“The Brotherhood is a much tighter bond than anything else I’ve been a part of. There was nothing like it at university or back home,” Goto says.
Part of what he loves about the Brotherhood built at Avon is how it brings together people from a wide variety of backgrounds, demographics, and interests. “The great thing about Avon is the wide diversity of the students, and I don’t just mean ethnicity or other demographics. Some students love hockey, some love reading books. For most people, you have to wait until university to be exposed to other interests and cultures. Avon gives you the opportunity to interact with people with varying interests, which gives you more to explore yourself.”
He says he has also taken advantage of the networking aspect of the Brotherhood, especially through his job as a trader.
In October of 2020, Goto relocated to Medellín, Colombia, betting on his theory that the city is going to be the next international hub of Latin America, mostly due to the recent uptick in infrastructure investment and the rich biodiversity in the surrounding area which can be utilized by a wide variety of commercial exploits. “One of the first things I did when I got to Colombia was to reach out and find fellow local alumni. The days spent living at Avon end up being an asset in the future. I’d be delighted to connect with Avonian families, especially from Colombia.”
Although he lives more than 2,500 miles away, Goto says he would love the opportunity to return to Mrs. Riddle’s campus. “I know it’s beautiful there this time of year. I still talk with Mr. Detora, and he always takes time to send personal messages. I’d also like to see Mr. Mac (David McElheny) again. I’m sure he remembers that snobby kid in his math class from all those years ago.”
Goto concluded by offering a piece of advice for current Avonians, “Whatever you do, you want to take advantage of your personality and strengths and turn it into opportunity. In finance for example, anyone can crunch numbers, but where is your competitive edge? Avon gives you the opportunity to explore interests, so take full advantage of that as well.”