November 2014 Star Students

Every month we ask our regional staff to nominate a star student. Our students receive a special certificate for being nominated. It is a great privilege to work with these amazing students.

Star Students Archive

Skid Row Learning Center

Christopher, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Christopher, 4th Grade. As the older of two boys, Chris had a tough time understanding his role as a big brother and no longer being an only child. He started at the center in the 3rd grade; for first few weeks at the center he was resistant and reverted to behaviors he would mimic from his younger brother who was in kindergarten. If you were to meet Chris today, you would see a completely different student! Chris is an amazing role model to all the students. When offered free time, he prefers to do extra work so he can (in his own words) “learn more stuff to teach others”. He reads at a middle school level and helps classmates with math homework. Chris is a shining example of what can happen when a group of like minded individuals work to help a child grow and succeed. I look forward to seeing Chris continue to grow and help others.

Allison Maldonado, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor


Region 1 – Los Angeles

Robert, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Robert, 8th Grade. Currently I am working one on one with Robert, a student that I initially met during group tutoring. Robert has definitely come a long way from when we first began working together. We usually work on math which he felt was his weakest subject, but after 8 months together I can honestly say that I am confident that soon math will be one of his strongest subjects. It was hard breaking him out of his shell at first, but now I think we have an honest relationship in which he feels more at ease to ask questions and be honest when he still doesn’t understand a math concept. I know I haven’t always had the right answers to problems right away, but it has been wonderful working together to find the solutions. Working with Robert has made me revisit the tough math questions I avoided all of my life. I’m happy to see that it has become a fun challenge, and I can’t wait to see what else I learn along the way!

Way to go, Robert!

Lorena Fausto, Tutor


Region 2 – South Los Angeles (Compton, Lynwood, Inglewood, Watts, Gardena)

Emmanuel, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Emmanuel, 2nd Grade. I’ve tutored Emmanuel for a little more than year. He is always in a great mood, and his happy-go-lucky attitude totally radiates out. When he doesn’t have homework, we’ll read or do some math puzzles. What blows me away is how close he and his brother are; they’re true compadres. Never have I heard them say nasty things to each other. Emmanuel’s attitude and their bond are something incredibly special which will hopefully stick with them for the rest of their lives.

Allen Vernik, Tutor Coordinator


Region 3 – Westside

Janay, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Janay, 10th Grade. Janay is a determined young lady that has done above and beyond my expectations. We have gone from the first few sessions last year, where I used to correct my shy student’s silly mistakes, to our sessions nowadays, where she is the one correcting me and keeping me on my toes. Her grades in Biology and Math have significantly improved, and we even raced on some math problems this past week! Janay enjoys interactive learning, and she has become more involved with her teachers and peers for homework questions. For me and the people around her, Janay is an inspiration for hard work and determination. On top of that, she never fails to make me laugh any week of the year.

Khodayar Goshtasbi, Tutor


Region 4 – Long Beach, San Pedro

Lizeth, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Lizeth, 4th grade . Lizeth is a 4th grader whose favorite subject is science because she is most happy when she’s learning something new about the way things work. She is an artist and loves drawing rainbows. Lizeth is so kind and polite that she recently won a certificate for good citizenship in her classroom at school. Way to go, Lizeth!

Kendra Nicholson, Tutor


Region 5 – Echo Park, Hollywood, Highland Park, Silverlake, Mid-City

Angelo, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Angelo, 11th grade. School on Wheels did a wonderful job of pairing me with Angelo, a young man struggling with geometry. I did my best to shape a difficult subject into lessons where Angelo could apply his strengths. Ugh! The pride I felt when Angelo finally grasped the first concept he had been struggling with… It was the most incredible feeling. I wanted to chase that.

Angelo recently left School on Wheels. I was saddened to lose my place in Angelo’s life, but wish him incredible luck and success. Stick with it, Angelo. You can do it!

Moving forward, I have begun to tutor at a new site. I have only logged one session, but already I can see inspiring potential in the children there and heartfelt empathy in the staff. I look forward to making my own mark on the program.

James Nitze, Tutor


Region 7 – San Fernando Valley

Omarr, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Omarr, 1st Grade. I’ve been working with Omarr since January 2014. He is a bright, happy kid who genuinely looks forward to our sessions. Each week he greets me with a big smile and an enthusiastic hug! His reading has improved greatly, as has his problem solving in math. He loves computer games, art, and playing with his friends on the playground. He usually finishes his homework in about 30 minutes; so we spend the rest of our time working on his reading and art. Omarr has been a joy to work with; there is nothing better than seeing his proud smile when he has successfully tackled a difficult math problem or challenging spelling word.

Steve Kehela, Tutor


Region 8 – Ventura County

Perla and Areanna, School on Wheels Students of the MonthBrenda, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Perla and Areanna, 4th Grade. About Perla and Areanna, Norma says, “What an exciting opportunity to sing these girls praises! First off, I would like to say how motivating it is to me to see how enthusiastically they punctually show up each session. We haven’t worked together long, but I can already see that Perla has made strides in her efforts to improve her regrouping skills in math. This past week, I was impressed with seeing how well Areanna used underlining skills to assist herself with recognizing answers to comprehension questions. All in all, they are both doing their very best in the hour we have together.”

Norma Perez, Tutor


Region 10 – Orange County

Christian and Andrew, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Christian and Andrew, 1st grade. Joshua is a joy to tutor. He is interested in school and wants to make the most of our time together each week. He gives me his full attention and wants to get through as much work as possible but while he is very attentive I have to slow him down sometimes because he has a tendency to rush rather than take the time to write out problems or think critically. Joshua enjoys school but started school late and was behind in all of his classes. His favorite subjects are science and English but his least favorite subject is math. Hopefully by the end of our time together he’ll appreciate math as well as he appreciates the rest of his classes.My two students are brothers who have two totally different personalities and respond to two different learning methods. Christian is energetic and fun loving. His strength is reading. In math, he likes to use the counting blocks to help arrive at answers. He is always willing to take on a challenge. Andrew is serious and loves to win at games. His strength is math. He has made good progress in reading by using the phonics flash cards. Both boys enjoy art projects.

Linda Gottlieb, Tutor