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After Two Years with the Company, Jessica Agopian Became a Sylvan Business Owner

Agopian worked as a Center Director for two years before she was presented with an opportunity to expand her impact, investing in an existing Sylvan Learning Center.

When Jessica Agopian interviewed with Sylvan Learning for a Center Director position, she made it clear that she may be interested in expansion with the brand if she enjoyed her new role. After navigating through the pandemic and remote learning at the Glendale, California location, she began to think of how she could expand support.

In January of 2023, after just two years with the company, Agopian was presented with an opportunity to purchase the Sylvan location in West Covina. Because of the success she had experienced as a Center Director, Agopian says she felt confident she had the tools to succeed as a new owner.

1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Jessica Agopian: I started with Sylvan as a Center Director in 2020… amidst the pandemic. I started at the Glendale, California location, and we were primarily online at the time. I completed all of my training, and we finally opened up in September of 2020. From there, we had no in-center students, and I grew the center from the ground up. We ended up delivering 10,000 sessions in the first year. 

The center was very successful, and I loved what I did. I loved supporting the students and the community — it was truly amazing. After two years as a Center Director, I was presented with an opportunity to buy the West Covina center, and I was really excited to get into a new community.

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Agopian: Before I was a franchisee, I thought that it must be a piece of cake. Once I started, I realized there was more to it than I thought. Learning all of the ins and outs of Sylvan made me realize how amazing Sylvan is and the extent of the support they offer.

What I want people to know is that it’s not easy, but it is possible. Follow your dreams, it’s really not impossible to get there.

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Agopian: Our tutoring programs and learning plans are so different from any other learning center out there. I really don’t think that anyone compares. Between our brand recognition and the personalization we offer in the learning programs, we’re able to differentiate ourselves from other centers. Watching the students learn and grow proves that Sylvan works.

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Agopian: I hope to connect with the community and become more involved with the schools. I know there are so many students out there that really need our support right now. By getting in with the schools and providing after-school and summer programs, we can change the environment and perception that a lot of students have about learning. With that, we can increase the students’ confidence — that’s a major issue right now.

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

Agopian: I feel that I’m pretty young to be in this position. Growing up, I was always very motivated, but I never thought I’d be here. After just two years, I wanted to make a bigger impact and start my journey as an entrepreneur. This is one of my biggest accomplishments, and I hope it inspires other people.

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Agopian: Do your research, then just do it. Just start, and everything else will fall into place. The hardest part is taking the first step. 

I would also advise others to remember the impact your new potential business will have in the community. You’re providing a safe space for students to learn, and even more importantly, learn how to love learning! Being a part of every Sylvan student’s academic journey is invaluable, certain to make you smile, and will always keep you motivated as a new business owner!


With more than 40 years of experience and more than 710 points of presence, Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of personal learning for students in grades K-12. Sylvan is transforming how students learn, inspiring them to succeed in school and in life. Sylvan’s proven tutoring approach blends amazing teachers with SylvanSync™ technology on the iPad® for an engaging learning experience. Sylvan also leads the way with Sylvan EDGE — STEM and accelerated courses and Sylvan Prep — college and test prep courses. Sylvan supports families through every stage of the academic journey. Sylvan is a wholly owned subsidiary of Franchise Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRG).  For more information, visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.