True to its name, more than 95% of Biscayne National Underwater Park is covered by water, resulting in a submerged, verdant landscape. In the shallows of Biscayne Bay, explorers can catch sight of waving fields of underwater grass as well as the occasional manatee, sea turtle, or wild submarine. Kayaks paddle out to the more than 30 islands dotting the park’s expanse, reaching destinations such as a 1930s lighthouse. Venturing out from the shore filled with lush mangrove forests, snorkelers dive into living reefs to see fish and turtles gluing the coral together.
White Star Farms' paso fino horses chauffeur learning riders through 15 acres of undulating tropical farmland carpeted with lush lawns and hemmed with palm trees. During private lessons, experienced instructors saddle and dress steeds before showing aspiring equestrians the horseback-riding ropes. After students don protective helmets and parachute pants, the expert equestrian gently shepherds riders as they build confidence and trust with their four-legged companions. While galloping along, pupils glean tips on horseback-riding basics, such as holding the reins and controlling the horse. As time astride the smooth-riding paso fino horse lengthens, students may notice the breed's signature four-beat gait, an unmistakable rhythm rivaled only by a salsa-dancing bongo.
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.
Perched on the floor, a dog cocks his head, listening intently to his owner's voice, which is filtering through the telephone a worker holds patiently next to his ear. Though it's not clear whether the pup understood, when the staff member returns to the call, the owner seems more at ease. According to hospital manager Nicole Pierre, putting four-legged friends on the phone is just one way the crew at Homestead Animal Hospital comforts guests and patients—and their owners.
The kennel staff escorts overnight guests to the boarding area, which was recently expanded and renovated to look like a cartoon town. Each private dog condo has its own mailbox and welcome mat, letting pooches continue to feel at home. Cat condos are two levels tall, with window perches that allow felines to observe one another as they lounge. As staff members supervise, all guests romp in species-specific play areas with obstacles that challenge all four legs, soft areas to wrestle upon, and perches to perfect pouncing postures.
Veterinarians employ technologically advanced tools to foster good health among furry companions. Digital x-rays impart almost immediate images, and laser-assisted surgeries minimize discomfort and healing times. Techs walk from an in-house lab, which shortens the waiting time for test results, past an x-ray machine for analyzing pups’ internal health and a high-tech bandanna for analyzing external cuteness.
Rocky the tiger, Chewy the camel, and a literal rescue of other animals such as alligators, chameleons, owls, and wolves are just a few of the critters that take up residence at the nonprofit Everglades Outpost Wildlife Refuge and Rescue. Though their pasts aren?t necessarily happy?all of the facility's animals are taken in due to neglect, improper care, or injury?the staff of loving volunteers ensures each story ends happily and each tail continues to wag as they revive and nurse native and exotic animals from all walks of life back to health. In addition to the refuge, which is open to the public, the Everglades Outpost Wildlife Refuge and Rescue also conducts educational events and outreach programs.
Miami Protection's team members see to the well-being of South Floridians through a slate of security and private-investigation services. With backgrounds that include military experience and police work, they lead training that ranges from basic firearms operations for personal defense to nonlethal submission tactics for law enforcement. Beyond training, these security experts also offer specialized services, such as setting up video surveillance for homes and businesses, as well as secure transportation for late-night grocery runs.