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.
Instructors at Mind Fuel School lead courses of two-hour sessions that meet once a week to familiarize adult tongues with the grammar and vocabulary of another language. English classes train the ear to recognize important words and speech patterns, alleviating the pressure to memorize the dictionary. Native speakers teach courses in Spanish, crafting lessons based around grammar and street slang. French and Portuguese courses focus on basic language and culture, exploring pronunciation and accent formation so pupils can showcase their prowess to classmates. All courses illuminate practical applications of the languages in learners’ day-to-day lives, with uses such as talking to clients, asking for directions, and decoding cryptic troll riddles.
Education is a highly personalized experience, with children learning at different speeds as they grow. Sometimes, a child needs a little extra attention or help to master a concept, or simply to be successful at completing their homework. Sylvan Learning Center is a personalized tutoring center that creates customized learning programs to help students reach their fullest educational potential, offering settings conducive to one-on-one teaching. Each student is evaluated on their academic abilities, then set on a specialized tutoring program that strives to improve their performance. In addition to assisting school-aged children with building a strong academic foundation, the Center offers a variety of college prep classes and programs.
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.
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.