Franchisee Spotlight - Eye Level of Walnut Creek

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This month’s Key & News shares the story behind how getting involve in local community has enabled this top engineer/franchisee multiply her subject numbers in two years. 

Priya, a computer science and engineering graduate from University of Madras in Tamil Nadu, India, is a highly passionate and skilled professional with many years of experience in customer service and people management. Despite being deeply involve in both her professional career and personal vocation as a proud mother of 2 amazing children, Priya had past opportunities to volunteer in teaching English while based in Korea, and teaching Tamil language weekly while in her hometown in Pleasanton, CA.   In 2014, she was hooked and convinced to follow her second passion, and that is to engage in children’s learning.

Since then, Priya visited multiple educational franchises and was particularly attracted by the good mix of English and Critical Thinking program offered by Eye Level. When presented the opportunity to purchase an existing center back in September of 2015, with some validation and research, Priya decided to take the plunge.  In February 2016, Priya became the new owner of Eye Level of Walnut Creek, not fully realizing that the center’s location, it’s lack of visibility, as well as the city’s demographic landscape was going to be a challenge. 

The first year was tough for Priya.  Naturally, as the second owner, she lost several students who were loyal to the previous owner.  With much determination, she did not hesitate to seek assistance from the previous owner, and counsel from fellow franchisees.   Daily, weekly, Priya went through self-evaluation to make sure her actions were still aligned with her vision to establish a stronger brand awareness in the community of Walnut Creek. 

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To connect with the community, one of the most time and cost-effective marketing method, she came to realize, was through sponsoring Eye Level booth in book fairs.  Most of the attendees at these events are parents who are looking for great books for their very young kids. The very young kids who eventually joined Eye Level through these book fairs tend to achieve great success with the Eye Level program, and eventually referred more parents to join.  This was not to mention that they tended to stay with the program for a longer period of time.  With this correlation, Priya started placing more careful emphasis in thoughtfully promoting younger age groups of 3-4 years of age through the use of Key & Note to learn reading, writing and forming basic sentences in 5 months! She then presented “kinder ready certificates” for such students who, in turn, achieved great momentum and success with Eye Level. 

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 After getting over the learning curve, Priya has since went through great lengths to thoroughly train her staff and tenaciously track student’s effort and progress.  Today, with more experience and confidence, she found her groove.  In book fairs, not only does Priya share the Eye Level curriculum, she also shares actual Key & Note exercises that displays the great progress her students have made while learning at Eye Level.  She believes that real value attracts parents more than any discounts that she can offer.  She also came to a conclusion that with her burning passion for understanding how children learn combined with persistent hard work, the center will thrive no matter where the center is located.

While Eye Level, as a brand, was a tool that had the potential to impact children’s lives, it really took some soul-searching and deep understanding of purpose for Priya to bring out the best version of herself, in order to bring out the best in her students.