Woodbridge family opens first Sylvan Learning Center in Edison

PHOTO BY KATHY CHANG/STAFF
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PHOTO BY KATHY CHANG/STAFF

EDISON – It’s a family venture that seems like just the right fit for Rick Hernandez and his daughters, Rachel and Nadia.

In October, the trio opened the first Sylvan Learning Center, a 750-plus-unit supplemental education brand, in Edison.

Rick comes from the corporate world of product management and data analytics.

Rachel comes from the hospitality sector of sales and customer service.

And Nadia, with a master’s degree in education, has worked in the education industry for 10 years, focusing on children who have developmental and learning disabilities.

It’s a combination of business skills and education that John McAuliffe, chief executive officer of Sylvan Learning Center, which is based in Maryland, said the business strives for in its mission of building academic confidence, igniting intellectual curiosity and inspiring a love for learning.

“Rick, Rachel and Nadia bring a great combination,” he said.

Rick said when he and his daughters were vetting different education services, they were drawn to the robust model of Sylvan Learning. It is the second Sylvan Learning Center in central and northern New Jersey.

McAuliffe and the trio said they have seen a tremendous need for their services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have seen a lot of learning lost,” Rick said, noting they will work with families on plans that will fit their children’s needs.

The family, residents of Woodbridge, is not new to giving back to the community. For 16 years, they have run a youth athletic nonprofit they founded in Edison, Elite Youth Sports Academy, which serves residents of communities in central and northern New Jersey.

Sylvan Learning Center in Edison is at 1110 Route 1 North, next to Chuck E. Cheese. Rick said he and his daughters worked with Atlantic Realty to find an ideal location.

“It’s an up-and-coming area,” he said, noting the development of Edison Towne Square across Route 1. “It’s a prime spot with plenty of parking and (Atlantic Realty said they) have plans to make the plaza family oriented. It’s a win-win.”

Interested tutors are being sought. For more information, call 732-734-8061.