Ventura Air Services' owner, Mike Tarascio, took his first private flight in 1981. It was nothing too glamorous, just a ride on a tiny four-seater plane that took him to an electronics conference in New Jersey. The experience ignited his passion for flying, though, and by 1982, he had purchased his first plane. That single plane snowballed into a small airline, then expanded further into Ventura Air Services.
Now, the company's pilots helm an extensive fleet, on charter flights or turn over the controls to aspiring aviators during airborne adventures. On one adventure, the client, overseen by an instructor, takes over the controls during the entire flight over New York City, while their guest passenger snaps photos and helps with Icarus-spotting. During another adventure, the Top Gun experience, the client can try his or her hand at the ultimate triathlon: piloting a plane, riding a motorcycle, and playing volleyball.
In 1998, School of Rock's first location was built in Philadelphia to strengthen kids' self-confidence, develop their musicianship, and most importantly, spark an insatiable enthusiasm to learn. Today, the School of Rock franchise has branched out to more than 65 locations throughout the United States and Mexico. During the school's music lessons, encouraging instructors well versed in methods of rocking and rolling—such as strumming guitars, tickling keyboards, and causing avalanches with yodels—demystify music theory for mini Mick Jaggers of all skill levels.
School of Rock's Rock 101 program acquaints beginners with the instrument of their choice using a curriculum of weekly private lessons and group band rehearsals. Virtuosos ready to hit the stage can participate in the performance program, which prepares students for live performances that pay homage to beloved rock icons such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, and Mount Rushmore.
Fully licensed by the New York State Department of Education, Allstar Bartenders Training educates students in the art and science of mixed-drink pouring and presentation. Apprentice mixologists get acquainted with the functions of different bar tools while learning which cocktails should be shaken, stirred, or whisked using a handful of uncooked angel-hair pasta. Allstar's seasoned tenders aid students in memorizing the recipes, garnishes, and matching glassware of the most popular concoctions. The school's classrooms resemble mock cocktail lounges with ample shot glasses and jukeboxes, giving students a realistic setting to practice drink vending. Allstar treats its graduates to complimentary lifetime job-placement assistance and refresher courses.
Flight is a magical word. It can conjure images of blue sky, sounds of rushing wind, and the feelings of a freedom only known by breaking gravity's bounds with a combination of lift, thrust, and fairy dust. Flight is a word so magical, in fact, that it can even make a word like "school" seem cool. Unlike traditional schools, Louis Fly Academy doesn't lock its students up inside a brick-and-mortar building filled with chalk dust and outdated science books. Instead, its instructors guide them through aerial tutorials inside a fleet of Cessnas and Piper aircraft. Such tours begin with discovery flights for both airplane and helicopter pilots to give aspiring pilots tastes of high altitudes, allowing them to take a set of the controls and to log their time toward potential certification. A series of instructional packages prepares students for such certifications, with curricula that range from courses for a private pilot's license to a multiengine rating.
Since 1951, Berger Bros Cameras' knowledgeable staff have been emphasizing customer satisfaction as they match shoppers with a range of DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras. With shelves lined with lenses, binoculars, and telescopes?along with cameras and accessories from quality brands such as Canon, Nikon, Leica, and Olympus?the shop can outfit photographers for any project. They also stock consumer- and professional-grade video cameras, as well as underwater equipment that makes it possible to document sea life or film a live-action Little Mermaid sequel.
The shop complements its wares with classes that teach customers to take full advantage of their complex cameras. Workshops and classes cover topics ranging from introductory photography to sports and wildlife photography, as well as the popular editing programs Photoshop or Lightroom.
In 1977, career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their mission to give every child the best education possible is still going strong. They use an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student?s particular needs. Due to their success in helping K?12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills, there are currently 260 Huntington franchises open nationwide.
The certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child?s skills, academic needs and potential for growth. Tutors note student response to different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child?s learning style. Teachers adhere to the company?s code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality, encouraging students to improve grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.