When Lenny Rakers was a first grader, he struggled with reading and started to fall behind in class. That’s when his mom enrolled him in Sylvan Learning, driving him a half hour in each direction, three times every week to the local center to get help. Fast forward decades later, and Lenny and his sister, Misty Menossi, now own two Sylvan Learning locations in Illinois and bring in their own children to get tutoring help.
“When Lenny was a child, Sylvan drastically improved his reading skills and helped him gain the fundamentals he needed to be successful in his future education,” said Menossi. “Now that I have four children of my own and I’m a busy mom, Sylvan isn’t just a business, but it’s a resource for my family.”
Before becoming Sylvan franchisees, Rakers and Menossi sent their children to the brand’s nearby center in Edwardsville. The brother-sister team own other business ventures in town, and when they found out that the location happened to be for sale, they saw a unique opportunity and felt like it was the perfect time to use their entrepreneurial experience to help kids in the community be more confident in school. Now, just a year later, Menossi and Rakers are celebrating the opening of their second center in Litchfield, which is focused on tutoring, STEM classes, college and test prep courses and summer programs. The pair are also working to develop a tuition assistance program to help parents who can’t afford tutoring for their children.
“My son was falling behind in reading, so he took a starting assessment and we were able to quickly pinpoint that he was having trouble with the phonetics of certain words,” said Menossi. “Sylvan offers an all-encompassing curriculum by creating a personalized lesson plan based on the needs of the child. By starting out with a detailed assessment, we’re able to uncover all of the skills that the child is missing and the weaknesses that are present, allowing us to set up a customized tutoring plan that lays the foundation for success.”
Sylvan gives students access to certified teachers that understand that learning isn’t one-dimensional–it’s a multi-faceted approach. In addition to tutoring, Sylvan offers a wide variety of programs targeted toward propelling students forward on their education journey. These programs include several courses centered on building STEM skills with Sylvan EDGE, including courses in coding and robotics.
“As a parent, Sylvan helped my children improve and flourish in school. Now, as a Sylvan franchisee, I get to help other parents find the same peace of mind,” said Menossi. “Sylvan helps kids find their confidence again and I’m so happy to run a business that’s a helpful resource in the community.”
The Menossi and Raker siblings aren’t the first parents-turned-franchisee success stories in the brand’s system. Sylvan has seen multiple examples of franchisees that were first involved with Sylvan as parents.
“The fact that many of our wonderful franchisees began as parents isn’t a trend that goes unnoticed,” said Georgia Chasen, Senior Director of Franchise Development at Sylvan Learning. “We aim to provide families with a rewarding experience that helps students gain confidence while improving their grades or getting ahead, and that’s an approach that resonates with parents because they love being able to provide their children with the gift of education. What better way to extend that gift than by having the ability to have a positive effect on many children within a community as a franchisee?”
Find out more about franchising opportunities with Sylvan Learning here: https://sylvanfranchise.com/