Federico’s next RIC Star, Jesus


It’s that time again to announce the RIC Star for the month of December! I had the pleasure of interviewing Jesus Mendoza Cardenas, and if you ask Maria in the café, she will try her hardest to (jokingly) make you afraid of him. But Jesus is, in fact, one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet!  He’s been with us since way back in 2004 and definitely shows respect, inspiration and creativity on a daily basis.  Jesus is the Chef in our Café here at Federico where he’s cooking everything from breakfast tacos to burgers, wraps and soup.


Jesus in the kitchen


DR: Were you excited to hear that you’d been chosen as December’s RIC Star? How did it make you feel?
JMC: Yes I was excited, I had no idea I was nominated.

DR: What do you love the most about working here?
JMC: They let me do whatever I want in the kitchen. This is my kitchen!

DR: What’s something we don’t know about you?
JMC: It makes me really excited when I hear the students tell other people how much they love my food.

DR: What’s the toughest thing about your job?
JMC: Making sure the alarm is off before I clock in. Sometimes I’m about to clock in and the alarm is about to go off so I have to run and turn it off.

DR: Do you eat at the café every day?
JMC: Hell yeah!

DR: What’s your favorite item on the menu?
JMC: Soups. All of them! The way I cook at home is the way I cook here so I want everyone to feel like they are eating at home.

DR: If there was anything else you could do as a career, what would it be?
JMC: I’d still be in the kitchen but I would change it so that I can make different types of food.


Rottweiler in a chef's hat


When I asked Jesus if I could take a photo of him in his kitchen, he told me that he’d prefer that I use a photo of a Rottweiller in a chef’s hat instead. I told him that I’d try my hardest to find one so you can imagine my excitement when I actually came across one (just in case you were wondering why you’re looking at a picture of a puppy in a costume.)

I think it’s pretty evident that Jesus loves his job. I don’t know about you, but it makes me extremely happy that our Chef at Federico is so passionate about the food he cooks. The next time you order lunch from the café, do yourself a favor, try a bowl of soup and make sure you give compliments to the chef!

Congratulations Jesus!

Have you met Da’Reen?


My name is Da’Reen (Duh-Reen), I’m a free spirited mommy, I believe in fairies and rainbow hair makes my world go round.  I got my Certificate in Fashion Illustration from American River College in 2011 after realizing I love fashion but hate to sew. I’m in the process of launching a line of T-shirts for quirky daughters everywhere.


When I was 18, I had this dream of becoming a super model. I auditioned for America’s Next Top Model, got a call back, went to LA, then was cut in the first round. That ended that dream but it’s still one of the most memorable moments of my life. I now do some hair modeling on the side which is awesome (I say awesome a lot) because, hello, free hair coloring.


I became a mommy at the age of 20 and my daughter is my biggest inspiration. Brezlynn is 7 years old but thinks she’s 13. Looking at her is like looking in a little mirror; she’s dramatic, goofy, and marches to the beat of her own drum.  She’s obsessed with Ironman and it was a huge coincidence that my boyfriend happens to be obsessed with Ironman as well. Marvel is huge in our home! I have that happy, corny little Hallmark family, if you’re ever wondering why I’m always smiling.


I’m pretty much always cold so when indoors, I wear lots of layers daily, no matter the weather. You’d probably be surprised that underneath all of these layers are a pretty significant amount of awesome tattoos. 14 of them to be exact. My favorite piece would probably be my tribute to my favorite song “If It’s Love” by Train which covers my entire right thigh.


I have a passion for all things crafty and beauty related and I am extremely excited to be the new Student Services Coordinator at Federico. If you need me, you can most likely find me in the admin office. I’ll be the one with the blue hair… for now.

Trick or Treating at Federico

Mustard Seed

Halloween at Federico is always fun. This year we decided to host a trick or treating day for the kids of Mustard Seed. We asked students and staff to donate new or lightly used costumes for the kids to pick from. The generosity of our students and staff blew us away. During the three-week collection period, we received over 50 costumes for the kids to choose from, not to mention an unlimited amount of props to complete their looks.

Mustard Seed visits Federico

Our students and staff transformed their classrooms and offices from ordinary rooms into spooky swamps, haunted mansions, and even a bat cave. The students went all out decorating their classrooms which included hand painted props, smoke machines, cauldrons of dry ice, strobe lights and custom made zombie heads that hung from the ceiling.

Mustard Seed visits Federico Mustard Seed visits Federico

On the 27th, the kids arrived eager and ready to receive Halloween makeovers. All of our students came together to help the kids pick out the coolest costumes and give them makeovers to match. Once finished, our ambassador team escorted the children room to room to trick or treat. Our students handed out candy, pencils, toothbrushes and even Halloween-themed stuffed animals.

Mustard Seed visits FedericoMustard Seed visits Federico

Afterward, the kids were treated to a free lunch at Café FED to refuel before heading back to school. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to make this such a memorable day for the Mustard Seed kids. We hope to do this again next year and make it even bigger and better.

Mustard Seed visits Federico

GoodDay Visits Federico

Last Wednesday we opened our doors at 5:30am and welcomed the GoodDay Sacramento crew for behind the scenes look at how we achieve some of this year’s hottest Halloween looks. Our students worked the morning away transforming fellow students into the popular Harley Quinn, The Joker, and a zombie bride. We even had a pretty princess because who doesn’t love a little glitter? News reporter, Cambi Brown, even got in on the fun and the students transformed her into the iconic, Lucille Ball.

Ambassador Chance E. documented the entire morning, capturing photos from start to finish. The final looks absolutely floored us. Our students worked so hard perfecting these looks and it really showed. If you are interested in getting your Halloween makeup done by one of our talented students, you can book an appointment by calling 916.929.4242.

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Check out the videos below to see the full transformation;

Federico Halloween Pt1Federico Halloween Pt2Federico Halloween Pt3 and Federico Halloween Pt4

Federico recognizes Alex G. as RIC Star

Recently at Federico, we decided to start a new program that recognizes some of our amazing staff members who we like to call RIC star. It came as no surprise that admin staff member Alejandro G. won the title as our first RIC star.

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For those that know Alex, he embodies all that is RIC. He is so respectful to his peers and students. He is constantly inspiring us to be as optimistic as he is and if you have attended any of his graduation ceremonies, then you know the man can create like no other. Alex actually started at Federico in January of 2014 as a cafe staff member but by May of 2015 Alex joined the admin staff as our Alumni Services Coordinator. We had the chance to sit down with Alex this week and learn more about the man behind the luscious hair and unique sense of style.

ric star

JD: What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

AG: I cannot live without the sense of peace, whether at work, my house or with foes.

JD: What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

AG: I am a really methodical guy, with that said, learning English was THE greatest challenge. English is really tricky…pronunciation, grammar and sometimes it doesn’t make sense at all. I am still working on my language skills.

JD: What is your favorite thing to do?

AG: Learn, I love to learn whatever I possibly can, small or large.

ric star


JD: Where is the most interesting place you’ve traveled to and why?

AG: Imagination land. That place is amazing, it gives you the opportunity to be whoever you want, also the sets are unbelievable.  In there you can practice daily issues of the day and always you can come up with a solution. So besides being a great place to travel, it is also a lab in which you can apply your knowledge directly into real life.

JD: What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

AG: Being a cook, I do not like to cook.

JD: What is your favorite thing to do?

AG: Learn, I love to learn whatever I possibly can, small or large.

JD: What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

AG: Probably a great singer but nature denies me the sweet, strong voice to do so. Or a forensic medic, those patients don’t complain!

ric star


JD: What are your three most overused words/phrases?

AG: “At your orders”, “Thank you very much”, and “Oh hell no.”

JD: Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

AG: I learned Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Latin and English but unfortunately lack of practice made me lose all that knowledge.  Also, I know how to dance the samba!
ric star

When asked what three traits define him as a person, he explained he is hard working, has a love for life, and follows what he believes even if it is different than others or against what he may feel at the time. His personal philosophy is to be proactive, cordial and love life. Never stop learning or believing in yourself. One of his favorite sayings is “Life is like a light bulb, you never know when it will stop working so shine your light until the end.” We are so proud to have Alex as a part of our Federico family and even more proud of him for winning the RIC star title. Congratulations Alex!


Federico Symposium


This week we held our 16th annual Federico Symposium. This is an event our students and alumni look forward to all year. The students got the chance to meet with local salons, shops and spas to network, check out career opportunities and also get product knowledge from our suppliers.

Federico symposium
Dave’s Barbershop in Elk Grove teamed up with AJ’s Elixirs

We kicked the day off with an exclusive homeroom panel for our current students. Our panelist included Federico Creative Director Adam Federico, Nuts and Bolts Business Director Colin Wilson, barbering alumni, Salon Manager and barber Jeffrey Pledger, esthetics alumni and Freelance Makeup Artist April Lopes (@pipsqueek) and Andis International Educator Dave Diggs. We discussed social media do’s and don’ts, how to build your brand and professionalism in and out of the workplace.


After taking a quick break, the students were invited back into our ballroom to find that we had completely transformed it. With 27 different booths to visit, the students kept busy by networking and watching product demos. They even had the opportunity to see live hair cutting by the AJF academy, coloring demos by Schwarzkopf and a live botox/lip and cheek filler demo from Destination Aesthetics.

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At the end of the day, the students left with lots of new knowledge on products, and techniques that they were excited to try out for themselves. Special thank you to all our booth attendees! We are excited to start planning our symposium for next year!