April 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

Elijah, 5th grade. In elementary school, students are graded on a number system where a 2 is equivalent to a C/B-, a 3 is equivalent to a B/A- and a 4 is about the same as getting an A+. When we received Elijah’s first report card, we were met with a row of two scores in each subject. With the help of his sister, friends, tutors, and his self-motivation, Elijah proudly shared his latest report card which showed a row of almost all scored at 4!!! In addition to bringing up every grade, Elijah also stays after school twice a week for additional reading help before joining his tutor at the Skid Row Learning Center. On Thursdays, Elijah has been accepted to join our CityStage class where he helps direct and perform in viral videos for Instagram. Elijah started as a nervous and somewhat bossy kid that had a hard time focusing. Now he is a strong and polite academically driven gentleman!

Allison Maldonado, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor


Region 1 – Los Angeles

Nevia, 6th Grade. “Nevia is a wonderful student. She always tries her best when presented with a challenge, and shows great patience when passing that knowledge on to her younger siblings. She is a very quick learner when it comes to spelling, and is always eager to learn something new. I have no doubt that she will be successful at whatever the future holds for her.” Here is a photo of Neiva’s beautiful handwriting.

Way to go, Nevia!

Tamara Chacon, Tutor


Region 2 – South Los Angeles

Meeha, Kindergarten. Meeha is a great student. She is in kindergarten, but she is working on a first grade level. She always comes to tutoring sessions prepared to learn and excited. Meeha has a positive attitude and is very friendly to peers and tutors. She enjoys doing worksheets and reading sight word books. Meeha enjoys playing with blocks and doing one to one with a tutor.

Alisa Gonzalez, Tutor Coordinator


Region 3 – Westside

Dylan, 6th Grade. Dylan is a joy to work with and has developed a true desire to learn. In particular, he has made tremendous academic strides over the past 6 to 9 months. Not only is he learning and expanding his knowledge in math and spelling, but he is also improving as a role model student in the classroom. Dylan’s afterschool instructor at the Boys and Girls Club Santa Monica has been praising him on a weekly basis and noted that he has developed an excellent attitude towards learning. Not only has Dylan been asking more questions and helping her with classroom activities, but he also has started helping his fellow peers with their homework. A few weeks ago, Dylan was in the middle of showing another student how to do a math problem when I arrived to start our tutoring session. Dylan’s favorite pastime is playing with Legos and, as a reward for being Student of the Month, I will get him a new Lego set.

Tyler Birch, Tutor


Region 4 – Long Beach, San Pedro

Ethan, 4th Grade. It has been an honor to tutor such an awesome student as Ethan. He is a sponge for learning, loves to read and excels in math. Ethan is also a star basketball player for his team and an excellent paper airplane designer. Ethan’s best asset is his compassion for others. Being the eldest of four, Ethan has been the strong big brother for his younger siblings. The patience that he has with the younger kids is quite impressive. But most of all, Ethan is a blast to be around and funny. I see great things in Ethans future path, all well deserved.

Neil Laffaye, Tutor


Region 7 – San Fernando Valley

Carlitos, 1st Grade. Carlitos is six years old and is a very bright boy. He learns fast! My biggest challenge is to come up with fun, educational projects to work on with him. He was very shy when I first met him seven months ago. After a couple of fun tutoring sessions he became more open. Now he is excited to meet with me and tell me stories about his day. His favorite activity is drawing. Carlitos loves his mom very much and is a very thoughtful child. When we make fun projects like dog faces out of origami, he remembers to make an extra one for his mom and sister. We do these activities to make learning more fun. Carlitos is a wonderful child; I enjoy working with him very much. I get a lot of satisfaction when I see him involved and interested in the work that we are doing.

Margaret Schwarz, Tutor


Region 8 – Ventura County

Chris, 6th Grade. Tutoring Chris has been a complete joy. He’s always positive and engaged when we meet, and works hard at learning and overcoming any obstacles. He has a very sharp mind for math, has made great progress in his reading comprehension, and keeps everyone entertained with his hilarious sense of humor and spontaneous musical performances. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to know and work with him, and am just incredibly proud of him.

Janet Chacon, Tutor


Region 9 – Santa Barbara

Abel, 11th Grade. I have had the pleasure of working with Abel for almost 6 months now. A star running back, Abel’s work ethic and discipline on and off the field inspire me. Drafted by a premier private school, Abel has made full use of the opportunity by challenging himself academically. Together we have made physics calculations using the laws of thermodynamics, conducted polynomial long division, and brainstormed essay ideas for a paper on the major themes in The Great Gatsby. Abel’s positive energy and infectious smile propel even the most difficult Algebra 2 homework sessions. These attributes make me confident that Abel will accomplish any goal he can conceive.

Nicholas Peterson, Tutor


Region 11 – Inland Empire

Kameron, 8th Grade. As a student with School on Wheels , Kameron is a resilient thirteen year old young lady who is overcoming daily challenges to be a normal 8th grader. She loves fashion, poetry and music. She’s also a singer. Sometimes she breaks out in song, and I have the pleasure to hear her beautiful voice. Kameron hopes to one day visit Australia. Specifically , she wants to visit Kangaroo Island where she can explore and see all of the wonderful things she’s read about. Every week we spend a few minutes catching up on other things besides school work . This has helped strengthen our student/tutor relationship. I’m so proud of Kameron and her accomplishments. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next few months bring as she finishes another year of school.

Lisa Winn, Tutor


Region 12 – South LA Learning Center, Crenshaw District, Mid-City

Angel, 5th Grade. Angel is such a great student who loves to laugh and be active outdoors. He is very motivated in his education. This keeps me, as his mentor, always on my toes. He is constantly rising above and beyond any challenge I give him. He has high goals for himself and is a positive role model for other students. He loves being able to help his younger siblings with their homework, which only shows his leadership abilities and unselfishness. Angel wants to be an FBI agent . With his demonstration of commitment, determination, resiliency, and the need to make other people happy, I really believe that he can do anything he sets his mind to.

Renelle White Buffalo, Tutor