ROSSANA Ladaga-Llenado, founder of AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center, is in high spirits these days because her organization is turning 25 next year. In 1995 the former student leader from the University of the Philippines started AHEAD at the age of 26. She introduced it as a full-fledged enterprise—not a home-based sideline—giving birth to a new industry
Right now, she is happy with the achievements of AHEAD stressing that the motivation comes from her desire to see every student succeed in getting into top universities.
Although AHEAD is a business that needs to gain financial success, Llenado believes she and her team have the drive and the passion to help employ people and equip students with tools that will help them achieve their full potential and a bright future. As a result, this enables AHEAD to continue and attest to giving only the best education as far as tutorials and reviews are concerned.
“Education is the best investment parents can make for their children. If you love your children and want them to be successful in life, this is the right investment. If you are the kind of parent with foresight, then you would want your children to get ahead in life,” she told the BusinessMirror in a recent email interview.
Llenado believes AHEAD is on top its game. It pioneered the “Top colleges” entrance exams review programs. It was first to offer test-based reviews for the country’s most competitive admission exams, namely the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT), the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET), and the De La Salle University College Admission Test (DCAT), and set the model for supplementary education in the Philippines.
Moreover, AHEAD made it sure that all review programs were patterned after the actual tests of UP, Ateneo and De La Salle University. It ensured all materials are well-researched and updated every year and students are placed under the guidance and supervision of a team of lecturers who are all honor graduates of the top three universities. Tutors were also made available to students from all educational levels.
“I can honestly say that the success of AHEAD speaks for itself as seen in the number of graduates who are now noted professionals in various fields of endeavor. Many of AHEAD’s graduates are now doctors, lawyers, engineers and entrepreneurs, one of whom is even a Forbes 40 under 40 awardee. We also have trained politicians and show business personalities who are unable to attend a regular school. We do welcome all who are willing to learn,” Llenado says.
She recalled AHEAD experienced rough sailing a few years back ranging from personal setbacks like her health, to family life, not to mention the K to 12 program transition.
“There were no graduates going to college for several years, therefore, no college entrance exams. There were also those students who took summer classes in their schools because of the ‘bridging’ the private school administrators required.The summer tutorial numbers dwindled together with the diminished college admissions test reviewers,” she said.
Everything seemed to have gone against Llenado and AHEAD that made her thought they were on their way out. Nevertheless, she remained an optimist and decided to streamline everything through a downsizing process like closing some of the company-owned branches and shifted their efforts and funds toward rebuilding, renewing and fortifying business that has benefitted many people.
“I knew that I had to go on and move further ahead [No pun intended]! We’ve slowly picked up the pieces from that low point and now armed with determination, I am confident that we are well on our way up again,” she points out.
Although AHEAD has hurdled that bleak period in its corporate life, Llenado said the center keeps on facing several challenges as it strive even harder to keep up with track record of having the best teachers and the best quality review and tutorial services. To maintain its lofty stature, Llenado says AHEAD continues to hire and train teachers and tutors.
“We have also kept up with the times and have incorporated the latest innovation on learning methods. We have extended our reach full scale from face-to-face, digital to virtual media, and we are now once again opening our doors and welcoming new alliances and partnerships in the form of franchises or business development collaborations. And this is to further our goal of helping secure the children’s future. Not just locally, nationwide—but globally,” she pointed out.
Llenado says AHEAD will embark on an expansion program by opening more branches and franchises. Marching into the future, she pointed out that the new AHEAD is more open-minded, innovative, smarter and more dedicated to serve the market.
“I am happy to be back in the swing of things. Rest assured that AHEAD is back stronger than ever, and will continue to affect and improve many more students and our co-Filipinos’ lives.”