In crowded classrooms, it's easy for the needs of individual children to be overlooked. Despite the best efforts on the parts of teachers and students alike, all children learn at different rates and in different ways. Sylvan Learning Center's nationwide network of tutors and resources seeks to fill in educational gaps and keep flagging students from elementary to high school up to speed.
Whether children struggle with reading, writing, or solving the complex logarithms necessary to get their jetpacks airborne, Sylvan's learning gurus help them chart a course through learning roadblocks. Initial skills assessments determine where students fit into the Sylvan tutoring regimen with a series of tests, diagnostic tools, and interviews. With a greater understanding of the needs of each student, tutors create custom approaches to keep students engaged and in command of the fundamentals.
Taylor Andrews Academy's beauticians-in-training brandish Pureology and Redken products and execute a menu of professional hair services. In a session of up to 90 minutes, clients can choose to soothe split ends with a deep-conditioning treatment ($8) before a complementary haircut relaxes the scalp with a calming shampoo and massage ($12). A coif crafter in training will then snip and style follicles into a fashionable 'do ready for your nightly slow-motion hair flips.
Benjamin Allen believes outdoor pursuits can positively influence those in need. This belief has led him all over the continent, building a ropes course for an orphanage in Mexico and setting up two courses for troubled youth at Provo Canyon School, a bit closer to home. Wanting to share his knowledge of nature with the public, he set up a course, CLAS Ropes Course, near Utah Lake nearly 20 years ago. Benjamin and his crew have since erected more than 50 ropes courses around the country, continuing to inspect ropes and train others how to run them.
CLAS Ropes Course continues to grow each year, creating obstacles such as a giant swing that releases passengers 40 feet in the air, a 400-foot zipline that whizzes through forest canopy, and a "leap of faith," where adventure seekers jump from a treetop platform to a trapeze. A log balance beam hung 30 feet above the ground and a 24-foot-tall rock-climbing tower test agility and endurance, and a fleet of 20 canoes lets paddlers navigate a mile and a half of river. Many of these structures play host to team-building activities focused on developing a group's creativity and tolerance for hearing one another sing. Staff members tailor their instruction to families, dating groups, or athletic teams. They often apply their approach to athletes, such as a professional golfer who traveled all the way from Texas hoping to conquer her fear of not qualifying for tournaments. She defeated the log balance beam, departed victorious, and qualified during her next tryout two weeks later.
As they sit before their computers in 50 states, students of Career Step’s online vocational courses commune in real time with professionals in the health-care, administrative, and technological fields. As pupils work toward their final exams over the course of 3- to 12-month programs, student-support advisers offer personal consultations, and technical-support advisers help sort out any computer issues that might interfere with learning. After they earn their touchscreen mortarboards, graduates gain the abundant ears of a team of graduate-support advisers, who help students prepare a resumé, develop their interview technique, and optimize their job search. The flexible pacing means that students don’t have to sacrifice attention to their current career, and ongoing support streamlines the transition to a new one.
A training facility for pamper proficients, Aveda Institute Provo educates future scissor-wielders and skin-coddlers, while providing professional services at discounted prices. Student stylists practice their craft as they cut ($10), color ($30–$35) and trade stock options with fearless follicles. The botanical hair and scalp treatment rewards heroic heads with an intensive conditioning treatment to repair strands, and massages deserving scalps, necks, and shoulders ($25). Following treatment, a simple style shows off the results, while a hand massage prepares paws for comb handling and thumbs-upping.
After eight years of being turned down by major retailers and spending thousands of dollars on marketing for his new invention, the Orabrush tongue cleaner, 75-year-old Dr. Bob Wagstaff was desperate. He knew he had a great product and something that the public would find useful, but he could not find a major buyer for it. In a last-ditch effort, he challenged a market-research class at the Marriott School of Management at BYU to see if they could come up with a way to sell the tongue cleaner on the Internet.
The class got to work crunching numbers and distributing surveys, but came back claiming that 92% of the viable market would not purchase Orabrush from an online site. That's when Jeffrey Harmon, a student not on the project but one who was intrigued by Orabrush, suggested that they at least attempt to market the product to the remaining 8%—which could potentially equal millions of customers—and see what happened. In exchange for Dr. Bob's motorcycle and several pats on the back, Jeffrey agreed to find a way to make Dr. Bob's product available to the public.
That's where passionate ranter Austin Craig comes in. Austin worked with Jeffrey at Jeffrey's full-time job and loved to rant throughout the day about politics and the factual inaccuracies in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella—things he was passionate about—to the delight of everyone who worked with him. When another coworker said he would pay money to watch Austin rant, Jeffrey got the idea to get Austin to do a promotional video ranting about bad breath. Austin agreed, and they filmed the low-budget production in a pool hall and posted it to YouTube.
Before they knew it, millions of viewers had seen the video, which of course attracted the attention of major retailers and distributors, vindicating the team's long hours of hard work and Dr. Bob's belief in his product. Now, everyone everywhere can reap the benefits of Dr. Bob's crafty tongue cleaner thanks to some optimistic thinking, creativity, and ingenuity.