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.
Alexander, 4th Grade. When Alex entered the center for the first time, he was with his mom and three little sisters. He was small and quiet and followed every direction. They had been living in a motel and mom mentioned they had no other people to rely on but each other. She and the kids were anxious for some socializing. Alex walked into the center bright eyed yet shy. He did not talk to anyone until he saw a group of students playing an online game about superheroes. Alex had finally found his connection! He proceeded to tell all the boys about his favorite heroes and comics. He then used this same enthusiasm and passion as the framework for his Summer Story! Alex entered the center whispering and left with a video presentation in his own voice.
Allison Maldonado, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor
Valerie, 3rd Grade. This will be my second school year working with Valerie. It has been a wonderful opportunity to see her grow. She is a very bright girl. One activity which we do every week without fail is a 10 minute writing activity. In the beginning I could sense that Valerie did not particularly enjoy it; however, now she completes the writing prompts with much ease. I might even go so far as to say that she enjoys them now. I have seen a great improvement in her writing in the past year.
Today we created an art project. I drew inspiration from a teacher who did this project with her students. I liked the project because helped Valerie feel empowered. We made an art piece with different positive adjectives that she chose to describe her.
Way to go, Valerie!
Sarah Gonzalez, Tutor
Taj, 2nd Grade. I have been Taj’s tutor since March 2013. He is a bright, talkative, and imaginative third grader. During our sessions, we typically work on Taj’s school work and read books. He likes grammar and vocabulary homework and is interested in books about skateboarding and animals. Since I started tutoring Taj, I’ve seen his confidence grow and his reading improve. He has also become great at spelling and math logic.
Alice Chang, Tutor
Jason, 6th grade. Jason is one of the brightest children I’ve met in a very long time. His innate affinity for learning is consistently evident each time we meet. He is engaged, asks questions, and shows a constant enthusiasm for figuring out how to find answers, rather than passively accepting them. I strive at each meeting to develop and encourage his inquisitive nature and to keep him thinking critically. Jason takes a genuine and deeply personal interest in his educational development; his successes generate bright and proud smiles, and his occasional shortcomings inspire constant improvement. He is a happy and energetic kid. His heart is warm and his mind is open. I couldn’t ask for a better student.
Christopher Ehling, Tutor
Group Home Girls. “There is something about the girls at the group home which is beautiful and brave; it smiles through and if I am lucky I catch a bit of it during my time with them and get to keep it for the rest of the day.” -Tess Langan, Occidental College Class of 2015
“The week has many hours, but there is no hour that can compare to the one hour I spend at the house. It is a time to give the girls hope through academic support and to receive a life lesson from them.” -Tere Mojarro, Occidental College Class of 2015
“Working with the girls at the group home has taught me the value of just one person believing in someone else, and how mutually rewarding that relationship can be.” – Christina Crittenden, Occidental College Class of 2015
“When people think of the act of tutoring, they usually think about it in terms of one person learning, but at the group home I always learn something new and try to reciprocate the same for the girls. No matter what societal expectations are imposed on them, when they eventually open up, the girls are not afraid to be themselves and to dream. Specifically, tutoring my student has been really enjoyable. She is not afraid to be herself and express her opinions, and I find that really empowering.” – Karen Romero, Occidental College Class of 2016
Tutors: Tess Langan, Tere Mojarro,Christina Crittenden, Karen Romero, Eleni Duret
David, 12th grade. David is a great student. He is a leader in many ways, encouraging other boys at the shelter to participate with School on Wheels and modeling positive citizenship for other students. Since the very start of School on Wheels’ tutoring at the shelter, David has been enthusiastic and helpful. David is motivated to graduate from high school and return to his native Arizona, where he plans to attend a junior college next summer.
Loreena Garcia, Regional Coordinator
Anecysia, 7th Grade. I love working with Anecysia! She is an intelligent and talented almost-12-year old girl with a bright future ahead of her. Anecysia loves to sing and dance. I attended a concert that Anecysia was a part of and I was blown away by her beautiful voice. She also loves fashion. She hopes to one day attend a college for performing arts and pursue a career in singing. Anecysia always has a positive attitude and gives everything we do together her best possible effort. She inspires me every time we work together. It has been a pleasure watching her grow and succeed.
Kelsey Lemmon, Tutor
Brenda, 8th Grade. Even after a full day of school, Brenda walks into our sessions bouncing and chattering about a wonderful mixture of everything and nothing at the same time. Maybe she bottles it up at school all day but I kind of doubt it. She seems to exude energy and hilarity from her core. It’s as if she doesn’t know how to be anyone but herself, and it is one of the more refreshing interactions of my entire week. Her work ethic, high expectations and stellar grades are all comment worthy but for me it is her exuberant presence that is most notable. At first meet she was a little subdued but it wasn’t long before I got the full experience of Brenda. This is what I wasn’t expecting from my volunteer experience of School on Wheels, and this is what I have come to love most…the familiarity that builds between student and tutor over time and consistency that lends to a more natural, free and truly fun learning environment for both parties involved.
Mary Schuberg, Tutor
Joshua, 8th 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.
Eric Adams, Tutor