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Local Mother Signs to Bring Sylvan Learning to Roseville and Fulsom After Experiencing the Need Firsthand

Sara Qadir Yang realized her community was lacking resources as she worked to find academic support for her two daughters. Now, she has signed for two Sylvan locations with plans for additional growth.

As a mother and former employee of the U.S. Department of Education, Sara Qadir Yang understands the importance of a strong support system throughout a child’s K–12 experience. However, after the pandemic, she struggled to find inclusive tutoring for her own children and quickly found a substantial amount of her days committed to chauffeuring the girls from place to place as she worked to piece together well-rounded academic support.

She knew it would be much easier to have all of the resources available under one roof. When her own mother asked about a Sylvan center in the community, she realized that this was just what was missing and began to pursue ownership with the franchise.

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

Qadir Yang: I worked for the U.S. Department of Education for about a decade. I was in the Office of Postsecondary Education, and we did a lot of grants and funding for underdeveloped colleges to build and strengthen their institutions. One of the things I realized throughout my time there was just how important the K–12 years are for aspiring college students, and a lot of these communities where these colleges were pulling students from may not have had the most rigorous or supportive K–12 programs.

I got married in 2011. When I had my daughter the following year, I made the decision to resign from that position in order to devote more time to her. I became a full-time mom and had my second daughter a few years later, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. 

Now the girls are both school-aged, and I saw firsthand, especially after the pandemic, how many children have an academic gap. I’ve always had a tutor for academic support - even prior to the pandemic but no matter how many places I went, we still weren’t getting exactly what we really needed. I was spending so much time juggling academic support, not to mention their other extracurriculars. I found myself talking to my mom about how difficult this was, and she said, “Don’t you have a Sylvan?” We didn’t! The nearest one was at least an hour and a half away. That got me thinking about the model and how there really isn’t anything comparable to what Sylvan provides. 

I never saw myself as a franchisee, but I realized our community could really benefit from a Sylvan, and the rest is history.

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?

Qadir Yang: I didn’t really have any perceptions. I had always wanted to have my own business, preferably something that would help children and the community. 

What I want people to know is that it is possible. You can do it, and the support from the franchisor plays a crucial role in making it attainable.

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

Qadir Yang: I chose Sylvan because of what they provide. It’s everything you need, A–Z, under one roof. That’s hard to find. 

The more I learned about the brand, I saw them as tech-advanced, really catering to the needs of the students. My undergraduate degree is in computer science, so it’s exciting for everything to be so efficient. All of the children are using iPads in comparison to other concepts, where they are still using paper, pencil and a timer. I like that Sylvan is up-to-date and is catering to what we need. The model is advanced enough to provide that.

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

Qadir Yang: I hope to contribute to the community by providing access to these academic support services. My hope is to have not just two centers but hopefully more in the area so we can have that outreach for every community. There’s nothing comparable in our area, and there’s so much need. I hold a masters degree in Higher Education Administration and also in Clinical Nutrition. Thus, education and science have always been my passion. I hope to bring more STEM options to the area, as well as a variety academic support options - not just to Roseville and Folsom but in the surrounding areas as well.

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

Qadir Yang: What makes me unique is my experience as a mother. That has allowed me to really understand what the students are going through and where the need is.

We have tried many times to sit down with our kids and help them with schoolwork. We certainly have enough know-how for a second and fifth grader, but at the end of the day, most kids do better in a different environment than home. They need to be in an environment that allows them to really focus and provides a sense of excitement.

Between my personal experience as a mom, educational background and work experience, I feel like I understand the issue from all sides. It just felt like the right fit for me.

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

Qadir Yang: They should explore what being a franchisee is really about. With Sylvan, it feels more like a family than just a business or franchisor-franchisee relationship. They’re very welcoming. 

You have to find the right fit for you. Find something that inspires and motivates you, and you’ll start to feel like you’re part of that family or team. That’s what makes it the right franchise for you.

ABOUT SYLVAN LEARNING:

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 www.SylvanLearning.com.

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

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