Led by linguistic anthropologist Dr. Jill Bishop, Multilingual Connections’ international staff of instructors immerses students in one of more than a dozen foreign languages, including French, Arabic, Spanish, and Mandarin. The immersive classes are intended to incorporate fun as well as language, with activities ranging from role-playing exercises to music. Before class, students can sip on coffee, tea, or wine while browsing WiFi in the center's cafe.
The instructors at Multilingual Connections delve even further into each language’s respective culture by always making time to converse about specific foods, holidays, and folk traditions. The woman-owned business works to connect pupils—which have included children, athletes, and politicians—to the rest of the world with classes as well as translation and interpretation services in 75 languages.
At TakeLessons, there's no limit to what you can learn. Always wanted to buff up your singing skills? Or become a math whiz? No problem. TakeLessons can match you with professional, vetted instructors in your area or that offer online courses, to help you meet your goal no matter what your interests or where you live.
On a trip to Chicago from his native Italy, young Mario Tricoci changed his life forever. The fledgling hairdresser stopped in at a prestigious salon, where he impressed the owner with his impeccable display of skill and landed himself a job. The next six decades brought strings of industry awards and the opening of his very own salon, which soon exploded into 26 locations in four states. With his styling prowess proven both to the industry and to the clients he encountered each day, the coiffeur decided to share his gift with others. In 2004, he established Tricoci University to foster a new generation of cosmetologists and spa technicians trained to thrive in the luxury-spa industry.
Throughout the Midwest, Tricoci protégés study a rigorous curriculum in high-end salon and spa surroundings to learn how to create beautiful hairdos, choose skin-flattering cosmetics, and beautify nails and skin. A team of experienced industry professionals readies pupils for the beauty world with in-depth classes, and outside education arrives via video demonstrations and guest-artist lectures on Vidal Sassoon's Wedge-Bob Postulate. More advanced students get a preview of their career to come by beautifying real people during instructor-supervised treatments, which lend the stylist essential experience as the client enjoys a pampering session at a discounted rate.
Red Apple founder Tammy Bennecke started her career in the classroom, helping 6- and 7-year-olds tap into the wonders of the written word. ?What I loved the most was watching that little light bulb go off in a first grader?s head,? she wrote in her blog in 2012, but she couldn?t help noticing a disturbing pattern as she began moving to older classrooms. It was clear that children who fell a few steps behind in earlier years were discouragingly unlikely to catch up and might even be at greater risk of dropping out by the time they reached high school.
Undaunted, Bennecke left institutional education to combat adolescent illiteracy through Red Apple Reading, an online program of easily-digestible reading concepts that encourages interactivity and comes with trackable progress reports for parents and teachers. The system is designed to keep kids engaged and entertained: goofy animals and skateboarding kids parade across screens and flashcards, and reward points and bonus games provide a sense of accomplishment normally reserved for the one in 10,000 children who can successfully work the claw machine at the arcade.
When they founded their business in 2009, MyGuru's founders were all still graduate students at Northwestern University. The trials and tribulations of preparing for the SAT, ACT, GMAT, and LSAT tests fresh in their minds, they saw a need, and an opportunity, for customized one-on-one tutoring for aspiring students. Having all cut their teeth working for prominent test-prep and tutoring companies themselves, the founders set out to create a company with a different focus from the rest. MyGuru got rolling slowly, focusing on acquiring the services of stellar tutors, rather than in catering to the maximum number of students. After three years steadily growing its influence in the Chicagoland area, MyGuru began expanding to other urban areas where tutors could thrive: big cities including New York, college towns such as Champagne, IL, and scholarly bastions like the secret NASA Moonbase Only for Smart People. Today, MyGuru's experienced staff can be found around the country, helping students master test materials whether they're on the road to an undergraduate degree or their Master of Mastery.
A person to question, someone to give them attention, a role model and supporter—these are the many hats City Year Chicago corps members wear for their wards. These upright tutors help transform schools and communities across Chicago through their work with students most at risk for dropping out. From focusing on behavior during a student’s lunch break to providing one-on-one homework help after school, corps members shape students' lives and guide them toward graduation by serving as a positive example. They provide healthy outlets for their students' free time in school and the larger community and inspire improvement in attendance, behavior, and grades. Because corps members serve where the need is the greatest—in schools across Chicago’s South and West Sides—the work is often challenging, but the reward comes when their work enables a child to graduate beyond a high-school education.
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