Alfonso Ayala, who's been snapping photos for more than a decade and has professional graphic-design experience, loves to capture life's happiest moments, which is why he specializes in wedding and family photography. He also loves the technical aspect of photography and spends his free time experimenting with lights, equipment, and accessories, such as lens toupees, to figure out what steps he needs to take to capture the best image. Artful close-ups, classic portraits, and candid kisses pepper his portfolio, which represents a range of wedding vignettes.
Sandra Cardenas didn't gain her knowledge of computer software from a manual. For more than a decade, she worked as an accountant with various firms, learning the necessary programs on the job in order to automate work processes. Now, she and her staff invite students into their training lab for workshops that cover such business-essential tools as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and QuickBooks. One-day courses offer basic and continuing training in these programs, and one-hour mini courses focus on specific skills without taxing students' increasingly fragile attention spans. Sandra also believes in helping students reach their full potential, and works with students from preschool to the collegiate level during after school math tutoring.
A certified middle-school, high-school, and college math teacher of more than 15 years, Olga has sent more than 1,000 math-savvy students off into the world. At Say Yes To Success In Math, she's on track to help her next thousand, but this time via private math tutoring. Whether the focus is on pre-algebra, geometry, college-level algebra, or SAT or ACT prep, Olga emphasizes the importance of critical thinking—a skill that her students can take with them to class or to their weekend job as actuary for their friend's startup.
Manhattan Elite Prep's staff of teachers and consultants carries firsthand experience navigating the complicated labyrinth of school admissions. Some were students whose high test scores and poignant essays got them into top PhD and Ivy League MBA programs. Some consultants served on admissions committees of coveted schools and know what experience, qualities, and acrobatic feats make student applications stand out. Now, this team of insiders at a firm with more than 10 years of experience pools its knowledge to help students who are serious about acing tests and placing in their top schools. They emphasize efficiency, packing as much information as they can into the time allotted, and exceeding beyond minimum requirements. Courses covering entrance tests teach students to work smarter, ruling out wrong answers and budgeting their time wisely, and essay consultants pare down applications to deliver rich content in a limited word count. Customers may complete classes online or interact in-person with their instructors as well as fellow students.
Operating under a new owner since January 2012, Spencer School of Real Estate helps aspiring and current real-estate agents and mortgage professionals develop their craft with online coursework and classroom coursework at an array of campuses. In addition to a background in real-estate brokerage, owner Bobby Bryant brings his two masters degrees in education to the school. Instructors aim to cap class sizes at 12 students so they can soak up lots of one-on-one attention, letting them get details specific to their intended career concentration and finally get an answer about the difference between a foyer and an entryway.