Gordon Franks and Pat Worley are more than black belts. They’re ninth-degree black belts who share their chosen martial art with youngsters and adults alike through USA Karate, the school they cofounded. The school - which opened in 1973 and has been operating for more than 40 years - was featured on the local CBS station and teaches self-defense techniques that help students graduate to higher-level belts and translate into increased agility, coordination, and self-confidence.
The technicians at Element Computer Repair keep Windows and Macintosh computers, tablets, and smartphones performing optimally with repairs and upgrades. They service Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, and other platforms, removing viruses and updating software, and they can also fix broken smartphone screens. Tune-ups, virus removal, and re-imaging sessions include complimentary hardware cleaning and system updates.
In an era when back-to-basics workouts have rapidly reemerged, Evolution Group Fitness looks to the time of the caveman for inspiration. During its signature Caveman Training class, instructors create routines that blend strength and cardio for a powerful, challenging workout. No two classes unfold the same way, which means muscles never settle into a comfortable homeostasis. The fitness center also offers personal training, sports-specific workouts, and seminars such as self-defense and workplace safety.
Speaking Spanish is second nature to Lima, Peru, native Doris Griep. She not only spoke it every day in her homeland until relocating to Minnesota in the late '90s, but she also earned a master's degree in Spanish education from Bethel University a few years after moving. After teaching Spanish to private-school students for more than a decade, she decided to revive El Gato con Botas Learning Center, a preschool and kindergarten care center inspired by one she successfully ran in Peru.
But it's not a typical daycare—caretakers mostly converse with kids in Spanish (about 90% of the time). And by incorporating the foreign language into art projects, singing, dancing, and educational cultural activities, they foster an understanding of it in their students, preparing them for speaking it later in life.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
The chefs at Hot Wok Delivery stir-fry Chinese and Cambodian dishes before whisking them to diners' tables or homes. During lunch and dinner rushes, they man flaming stovetops, sautéing chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, and vegetables to thread into noodle entrees and combination plates. Before meals fly from the kitchen, the chefs finish them with a quick splash of sauce, adding either sweet or savory notes or imbuing them with a fiery sauce spicier than a jalapeño's memoirs.
Although the red-walled dining room includes three booths at which customers can sit, the staff also delivers orders, shuttling food to family dinners or lengthy daguerreotype posing sessions.