August 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

Addon, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Addon, 2nd Grade. Being a kid is an adventure. Being a homeless child is a confusing time. Being a homeless child with Autism is an emotional and mental challenge. For Addon, being a homeless child with Autism is an inspiration! Addon enters the center each day with a smile on his face and hug and kiss goodbye for his mom and little sisters. His polite demeanor and thirst for knowledge grows daily along with the garden he helped plant! After his assignments, Addon spends time outside watering the garden and pulling away the weeds and debri. He marvels at the growth of his bell peppers and basil. Addon has honored us by sharing his love of life, learning, gardening and smiling!

Allison Maldonado, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor


Region 1 – Los Angeles

Alex, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Alex, 7th Grade. Alex’s mom had been worried that Alex was behind in math. So ever since I met Alex, we have worked hard to help him catch up in the most important fundamentals of math. Since Alex was quickly learning the math fundamentals, this month I felt he was ready to begin the basics of Algebra. I was happy to report to his mother that, after one of our tutoring sessions, we began making progress. Alex will be more than ready for middle school math next year. On our first lesson of algebraic expressions, Alex learned to use variables and the basic rules of combining like terms. He did a great job focusing, and he felt good every time I told him how proud of him I was. Alex is a very smart boy who learns very quickly; and I enjoy learning about his favorite toys, Legos.>/p>

Way to go, Alex!

William Nuñez, Tutor


Region 2 – South Los Angeles

Natalie, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Natalie, 3rd Grade. Although I have only worked with Natalie for a short time, her tenacious quest for learning is a rare quality. It is because of her thirst for learning that I would like to recommend Natalie as Student of the Month.

Natalie is ten years old. She knows she is behind in both math and reading. On her first tutoring day she said to me, “Can I tell you something?” I stopped and looked into her big brown eyes and she said, “I’ve never passed a math test. I’m not smart.” We spent the next fifteen minutes talking about the difference between “not being smart” and “not learning concepts”. I told her the only reason she hasn’t passed her tests as of yet, is because she hasn’t learned the concept yet.

Natalie comes to me each week with an infectious smile and lots of hugs. She also comes to me with a book that her teacher gave her for Christmas last year. She loves the book, but has trouble with both words and comprehension. It happens that I have that same book in my library. So each week I bring my copy and Natalie reads a chapter and we talk about it. She is determined to read the entire 100 pages. This is her goal and I intend to help her succeed.

Karen McCarthy, Tutor


Region 3 – Westside

Samantha, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Samantha, 11th Grade. I have the privilege to tutor Samantha, a bright and delightful 11th grader,who always shows up for tutoring on time with a desire to learn. For a while, our tutoring session focused just on geometry, as it was a subject that Samantha was struggling with. No matter how difficult a problem was or how tired she was after a whole day at school, Samantha would always give 110% of herself; and her understanding of the material grew. Soon there were days when she would correct me! However, Samantha would still be quick to tell you that math isn’t her cup of tea. Her passion lies in writing, something that became evident to me when she showed me a beautiful poem she wrote during her leisure. In addition to being bright, Samantha is very hardworking. On every occasion when I have been able to meet with her for additional tutoring, she has eagerly agreed. I couldn’t be more appreciative and proud to tutor a student like Samantha.

Amy Burns, Tutor


Region 4 – Long Beach, San Pedro

Gabriel, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Gabriel, 4th grade . I think young Gabe will surprise some teachers this fall when school starts and he goes into 5th grade. He has gone through a review of the basic math skills and is working diligently on mastering common fractions, an area where many adults are challenged. There is new vocabulary to learn, like “improper fraction” and “cancelling”. The images of values are different, like 3 17/50 and 43/9. But he’s going at it with a will, and his mom Amanda is his tireless cheerleader. Both of them are great examples of the positive change possible when opportunity is made available at the right time.

John Fortier, Tutor


Region 6 – West Covina, Rowland Heights, La Puente, Pomona, Ontario, Upland, Chino

Anthony, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Anthony, 1st grade. It has been such a pleasure getting to know Anthony and his family these past six months. He has made good progress in reading and writing. I am proud of how hard he works. Each week I look forward to seeing his smile and watching his improvement in reading!

Claire Hillis, Tutor


Region 7 – San Fernando Valley

Belle, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Belle, 10th Grade. Belle is a 15 year old student going into tenth grade. She enjoys learning about new topics and spending time with her friends. Belle recently finished the classic novel, Wuthering Heights. One of her newest hobbies is making clothes.

Like other high school students, Belle says that she changes her dream job every month. For now Belle is exploring different professions such as becoming a veterinarian, psychiatrist or lawyer. She envisions herself in one of these jobs in ten years.

Belle has enjoyed working with Theresa on homework, essay writing and learning new study techniques. She hopes she will get the opportunity to take American Sign Language when school starts in the fall.

Theresa Fiddler, Tutor


Region 8 – Ventura County

Talitha, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Talitha, 9th Grade. Talitha is such a confident, driven, and dedicated student. The first time I met her, she told me her goal was to become a doctor and that she needed great grades to get into a good college. Then she explained that her Algebra class is a condensed course and she covers a lot of material in a short time. In order to keep up, she needed to be diligent and focus on her work so she would not get behind. She is so dedicated to succeeding that I follow her direction on pace when we meet. We work more than 2 hours at a time going through her homework and practice exams because she wants to excel on her exams. She chose to put in the extra time until she understands the concepts before each session ended. This is called diligence and it paid off on her last exam; she got a 96%! I am so proud of her commitment to her studies and it is a privilege to tutor her.

Ladan Sheikholeslam, Tutor


Region 10 – Orange County

Xavier, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Xavier, 3rd grade. Xavier has shown an incredible amount of progress since he arrived at the shelter. Initially, he seemed hesitant about tutoring and didn’t respond to many of his new tutor’s questions. We realized that he was embarrassed that he couldn’t read yet. His tutor sat with him as they tried to sound out each individual letter together. She patiently waited until Xavier was ready to move on to the next word. He kept pausing and looking for his mom, or looking around the room for a toy. He didn’t even want to finish the first page of the book they were trying to read. I saw Xavier again 2 months later, and I peeked in the room where he was tutoring. I was so happy to see that he was slowly reading his own book… and he was smiling! It was such a positive change from what I had seen a couple months before. I knew that both Xavier and his tutor had worked really hard. Great job, Xavier!

Lilian Pahn, Regional Coordinator


Region 11 – Inland Empire

Boys Group Home, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Boys Group Home in the Inland Empire. First, I want to thank School on Wheels, Inc. for choosing us as the Students and Tutor of the month. The students at the group home deserve to be the Students of the Month because they are very hard working, good spirited kids who have clear goals and work towards them. I enjoy working with them because each one of them brings a different talent to the tutor session. They are very smart and talented people and I feel very privileged to work with them.

Jesse Morales, Tutor


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

Marcos, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Marcos, 9th grade. Marcos is a very enthusiastic learner and has never missed a group tutoring session. Every day he arrives promptly and is ready to learn new material. Marcos likes to explore new methods of approaching subjects which he encounters in the classroom during the school day. Because of his interest in learning, Marcos serves as a wonderful role model for his younger siblings and other students who come to tutoring. He has a wonderful sense of humor and is willing to work hard. He is engaged in his education and strives to be the best he can possibly be. It’s been a joy to work with him. From my teaching experience, Marcos stands out as one of the most rewarding students I’ve had the privilege to teach.

Gwen Roberts, Tutor