A true family business, Ella Bella Rozio's Institute of Fashion combines the talents of founder and 25-year fashion-industry veteran Rocio Sanchez with her daughter Gabriella Tello's fresh take on trends and her son Fernando Tello's marketing savvy. While Fernando handles business matters, the mother-daughter duo helm the school and its workshops, leading fledgling designers through courses in fashion history, window display, and wardrobe planning.
Students find inspiration for their own creations in the custom-made gowns of Rozio Couture. Though the designers focus much of their energy on bridal and red-carpet wear, they also nod to the needs of everyday fashion with creations such as the ella 1 dress, a simple black tube that attaches to swooping skirts, dramatic ruffles, or elegant flotation devices.
The Miami branch of the Società Dante Alighieri was founded in 1997, more than a century after the society was founded in Rome. Its aim is to celebrate Italian culture and serve as a social hub for Italians. Working in tandem with its principle partner, the Consulate General of Italy in Miami, the society hosts language courses—including Italian, Portuguese, and Latin—and doles out PLIDA Italian proficiency exams and certificates. In addition, they offer cooking and wine classes that teach students how to concoct regional Italian specialties and appreciate the differences between Italian wine and tomato sauce served in wineglasses.
At a professional studio flooded with natural light, professional photographers Marilyn Scavo and Carlos Osorio teach budding shutterbugs how to advance their picture-snapping skills during private lessons and beginner workshops. From composing compelling daytime shots to clearly capturing your boss screaming into a pillow, Photo Workshops Studios' instructors use their backgrounds in wedding, boudoir, and family photography to assist students in achieving portfolio-ready images.
Named Miami’s best dive shop in 2012 by the Miami New Times, the PADI shop doubles as a PADI 5 Star Instructor Training Center, and hosts an array of scuba classes on arts from basic open water diving to capturing submerged ecosystems on film. Their multi-lingual staff can lead courses in English or Spanish, or guide clients of all nationalities through the shop’s gear, from makers such as O’Neill, Aqualung, Oceanic and Pinnacle. Visitors can also shop underwater photo and video equipment from Sealife, Light & Motion, and Aquatica, to avoid the hassle of borrowing cameras from fish.
PREPWORKS sees education like GPS. Each student is at a different, highly specific location along the path to knowledge. Rather than applying a blanket lesson plan to all students, PREPWORKS —the 2013 Best Educational Software Award winner for "best adaptive test preparation website worldwide" —gives unique directions to each individual that will guide them from their current location to their destination. This is accomplished using hundreds of data points culled from students' responses on quizzes. The software evaluates where an individual's strengths and weaknesses lie, then tailors lessons to the relevant information that will help the student reach the next level.
We spoke with Jack Macaluso—Regional Social Media and Web Coordinator at Beauty Schools of America—about how the academies prepare students for careers in the real world and why it's important for the schools to give back to their communities.
On the schools' mission
Above all else, Jack says that the schools "try to focus and harness the students' creativity," while giving them all of the experience and practical skills they need not simply to be prepared to enter the work force, but to succeed and thrive. The relatively lengthy training programs ensure that aspiring stylists, cosmetologists, makeup artists, barbers, and massage therapists fully understand the intricacies of their chosen specialty, as well as what they need to do to continue advancing their future career according to Jack.
On the role of the instructors
With a roster of instructors that includes industry professionals with international spa and salon experience, Beauty Schools of America strives to give attendees a broad view of the numerous options open to them. Jack is also clear that the teachers' guidance isn't limited to classroom environments. When the advanced-level students are allowed hone their talents by performing treatments for actual clients, "an instructor or two will always be there to assist and answer questions," he says.
On the products that the students use during treatments
Students use brand name products like Moroccanoil, Sojourn, Nioxin, and others. Working alongside their instructors at modern service stations, these stylists use these products to craft en vogue cuts, color, styling and therapeutic practices.
On the schools' charitable involvement
Beauty Schools of America embraces opportunities to give back to its communities while providing real-world experience for students at the same time. Jack goes on to describe events where the schools' aspiring barbers and cosmetologists performed complimentary services for underprivileged residents, and he mentions one specific occasion when massage students provided free treatments for community members who participated in a bike ride dedicated to raising awareness about multiple sclerosis.