Sylvan Learning has welcomed 66 new franchisees into its system this school year – each with a unique background and story. Now, with 469 owners in the system, it’s clear that each franchisee is passionate about the students they serve, but their path to investing in the brand is different.
The franchisees that joined the Sylvan Learning system this year are a diverse group of individuals who come from a variety of industries and backgrounds, but they are all focused on making an impact in their communities.
For example, new franchisee Jason McLaughlin, signed on for two undeveloped territories in Alabama in March. He was born and raised in Birmingham, then worked on Broadway in Manhattan for nearly seven years in theatre management. After moving back to the South, McLaughlin decided to use his background in management to transition into marketing, and eventually IT. Fifteen years later, McLaughlin chose to transition out of his successful career in IT to begin looking into franchising.
“One of my buddies is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marines Corps. He’s traveled overseas and done a lot of work with children in third world countries, including taking them to robotics and other learning camps,” said McLaughlin. “When he started talking about how beneficial these programs were to the kids, I started researching STEM classes and Sylvan Learning kept drawing my attention. I decided that Alabama was really in need of more programs like Sylvan.”
McLaughlin’s first location opened in June of 2018 in Hoover, and he’s currently scoping out real estate for his second site in suburban Birmingham. He’s already seen consistent results for the kids at his first site, with one of the first students who was averaging a D in algebra climbing his way up to a 97 percent in the class - thanks to Sylvan Learning’s program.
Another new franchisee who purchased five existing locations in January is Brad Warn. His locations are located throughout Kansas City, Topeka and Manhattan. By education and trade, Warn in a mechanical engineer, having spent his career in the engineering and construction industry for nearly 23 years.
“I was about done with the corporate grind and began looking for a business ownership opportunity,” Warn said. “Through research, I came across Sylvan Learning and found that it had a very interesting business model, but more importantly, it gave me the opportunity to help make society better by allowing kids to advance their education through personalized learning programs.”
Warn’s locations were built roughly 15 years ago and are well established in the greater Kansas City marketplace. Since he was able to embrace an existing client base, he has enjoyed seeing many children come through his learning centers and watching them grow in their academic careers with Sylvan’s help.
A third franchisee who joined Sylvan this year is former history teacher Arlene Garcia (pictured above). She recently became the owner of an existing location in Brookfield, Connecticut after spending her entire career in the education sector. Working as a teacher’s assistant when she was just 15 years old, and then also spending a short time working as a tutor at Sylvan Learning while attending Manhattanville College, Garcia’s decision to join the Sylvan franchise system made perfect sense. The opportunity allows her to combine her passion for education with her desire to become a business owner.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own business and then saw the opportunity to purchase the Brookfield Sylvan location. As an educator, I enjoy working with young people and helping them. The support and training from Sylvan’s corporate team made the transition to business ownership easy, so it just made sense to go for it,” said Garcia.
Even though Garcia only recently held her grand opening, the Danbury-native is already hoping to expand across Connecticut after she establishes herself in the Brookfield community.
“Jason, Brad and Arlene were each drawn to this opportunity to become the Sylvan Learning franchisee in their own community because they wanted to make a difference in the students’ lives in their local area,” said Georgia Chasen, Sylvan Learning’s Vice President of Franchise Development. “Anyone who wants to go into business for themselves, but not by themselves, can be successful in our model. Our franchisees have a wide variety of backgrounds, as shown by these three new Sylvan owners – they bring their skillsets to the table, and Sylvan can provide the product, training and support infrastructure needed to help create a meaningful local business. It’s an emotionally and financially rewarding occupation that can be the right choice no matter whether our franchisees backgrounds are in business or education.”
To learn more about becoming a Sylvan franchisee, visit www.SylvanFranchise.com.