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.
More than just a creative outlet, art teaches students how to solve problems, set goals, communicate, and challenge themselves. The art instructors at Priscilla & Tiffany’s Art Corp. incorporate these lessons into each activity, whether students are using charcoal to sketch a winter scene or constructing a collage representing the report card they'd like to receive. As kids and adults work at easels or across large tables, the spacious studios are filled with carefully designed lighting and soft classical music.
There are plenty of ways to learn—reading a book, listening to an audio tape, or watching an instructional video, to name a few. Effective as those methods are for some, for others, they are too impersonal. That's where Face to Face Cooking Club comes in. Here, teachers lead enriching cooking classes, sharing with budding chefs the skills needed to cook the cuisine of many international cultures. The club also offers intensive Spanish programs that cover all four language-related skills—writing, speaking, reading, and listening—but focus especially on speaking, which enables students to communicate quickly instead of etching hieroglyphics into the wall.
At Jewelry Creations Workshop, carrying a torch for someone doesn't mean you have a crush on them—it means you're actually holding a torch for them while they tie their hair back and prepare to solder pieces of hand-made jewelry together. Named Best Jewelry Maker by the Miami New Times in 2013, the workshop team teaches wide-ranging techniques, from the aforementioned soldering to fold forming and enameling. Owner Steven Brownlee, who leads many of the sessions, has more than a decade of experience in the craft and uses it to teach cutting-edge techniques as well as the basics. In his introductory workshop, students get more than three hours to practice the fundamentals and craft a simple silver ring ideal for spontaneously proposing to a classmate.
The Sylvester family had bartending in its blood. Whether it was Uncle Mickey holding court with 40 years' worth of regulars or Tony Sr. mixing one of his signature Skip and Go Nakeds, they exemplified the easy grace and no-nonsense craftsmanship found in a true barman's barman. That dedication to well-poured drinks carried over to Tony Jr., who has spent the last 35 years training mixologists nationwide through the curriculum of his ABC Bartending Schools. Taught behind fully functional bars, his courses educate students in topics ranging from drink recipes and equipment setup to flair moves and alcohol awareness. His schools also emphasize employment; after graduation, students can take advantage of a nationwide job placement service to land gigs in Miami nightclubs, Las Vegas casinos, or the bar cars of Chicago's El trains.
Within the stone walls of Rock Creek Spine and Rehabilitation Center, Doctors of Chiropractic Ryan and Melissa Groelz work to root out the fundamental causes of back pain, headaches, and other ailments. The chiropractic duo uses advanced computer systems to analyze each patient's nervous system and posture, then uses those findings to guide spinal adjustments, soft-tissue manipulation, and other treatments.