MelroseMAC Supports Exceptional Minds

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MelroseMAC helps Exceptional Minds, a non-profit vocational school, in their mission to prepare young adults with autism spectrum disorders for careers in the digital arts.

When Exceptional Minds, a non-profit vocational school preparing young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) for careers in the digital arts, needed help procuring a classroom full of equipment, MelroseMAC promptly answered the call. As a leading specialist in providing technical solutions for the broadcast and entertainment industry, MelroseMAC was uniquely suited to help the non-profit meet its goal of filling its classroom with the latest technology. As a result, 34 iMacs are being used to instruct Exceptional Minds’ students on Adobe software, including Adobe Flash, Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator and Dreamweaver.

Exceptional Minds is the first non-profit vocational center and animation studio in the nation with a three-year vocational program that prepares individuals living with ASD for meaningful careers in computer animation, visual effects, post-production and multimedia. During Exceptional Minds’ first two successful years and more recently as the vocational school expanded its classrooms in a new facility, Vice Chairperson Susan Zwerman has looked to MelroseMAC for the latest technology. All in all, MelroseMAC has provided the academy with 23 27-inch iMacs and 11 21.5-inch iMacs…all at cost. With MelroseMAC’s help, the digital arts academy is able to provide the latest technology in order to adequately train its students with autism, who are pursuing careers in film post-production, animation and visual effects.

“We are proud to be a part of a program that gives young people living with ASD the specific skills and tools to live independently while tapping into their own remarkable talents,” says Martin Vann, CEO at MelroseMAC. “It is especially satisfying to utilize our specialized expertise in Adobe software to help Exceptional Minds in their mission.”

Susan Zwerman, a respected visual effects producer and founding board member of Exceptional Minds, says her number-one goal is to fully prepare Exceptional Minds students to work as professionals in their chosen fields. MelroseMAC, she adds, is an important partner in that goal. “MelroseMAC has graciously responded to our school computer needs with the state-of-the-art equipment needed to effectively train our students for demanding and competitive careers in the digital arts,” she says.

In addition to procuring the best equipment from MelroseMAC, she works with Adobe, which is a sponsor of the school, and has established the school as a testing center for the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification program.

Exceptional Minds has made huge strides in its first two years with a 99% pass rate for industry accreditation and finding work for students on major projects, such as the motion picture Lawless. The school will announce its first graduating class of young professionals in June of 2014.

About MelroseMAC (                                        
MelroseMAC is a Southern California based, WBENC-certified (woman-owned) technology sales, service and solutions business. Through its retail locations in Hollywood, Burbank and Culver City, the company provides sales and repair as an Apple Specialist for Mac, iPad, iPhone, workstations and additional peripheral equipment. The dedicated service department is also available to train customers on a variety of hardware and software tools, and is staffed by Apple-certified technicians. MelroseMAC stores are AT&T authorized, a distinction among computer retailers, enabling individual customers and businesses to access mobile sales, service and activation in one place.

MelroseTEC provides complex IT, expert workflow and media solutions for broadcasters, government, entertainment and enterprise customers as well as consulting services and specialized products from companies including Avid, Apple, Adobe, Quantum, DataDirect Networks, HP and Cisco. MelroseTEC also provides training, facility design and cabling, workflow development, system implementation and ongoing support and maintenance programs.

About Exceptional Minds (
Exceptional Minds is a non-profit vocational center and working production studio for young adults on the autism spectrum. It was chartered in 2011 to provide the training necessary for creatively-gifted individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who may not otherwise be able to make the transition from high school to careers. Exceptional Minds offers technical proficiency and work readiness training that prepares students for careers in graphic arts, animation, web design, visual effects and rotoscoping. Located in Sherman Oaks, California, Exceptional Minds is both an instructional learning facility and a working studio with hands-on student involvement in production projects, many for the film industry.

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Jason Grimley
Spelling Communications
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