Category: In The News

Nov 6

Mayor Garcetti visits Skid Row Learning Center

School on Wheels students who attend our after-school learning center were treated to a surprise visit from Mayor Garcetti yesterday

Mayor Eric Garcetti visited School on Wheels’ Skid Row Learning Center (600 E 7th Street, Los Angeles) to find out more about the center.  The children knew that someone from the city was visiting and had prepared questions in advance but did not know that it was their mayor who would be the VIP visitor!

Questions from students to the mayor… How do we stop trash going into the ocean? Where do people that are on the street go when there is an earthquake?  What are sidewalks so [sic] rumboled? How can we stop graffiti? Why do people have guns? And why do people live on the streets?

When asked by a student “Why are shelters used instead of homes,” the mayor said,
“We want shelters to be a place where people go in an emergency, not where you grow up.”

Sadly for the students at School on Wheels, many are growing up in shelters. The mayor offered hope by saying that they were building extra housing and that homelessness was his priority, but he noted these things take time.

The mayor also talked to the children about libraries, parks, water and the 2028 Olympic games. He told the students that all sports for kids would be free in the city and that they could be the next Olympians.

After a tour of the center, the mayor was interviewed by local media and was then whisked away for his next appointment.

“The kids, staff and volunteers at the center were thrilled to have met the mayor, “ said Catherine Meek, Executive Director. “Our students are really smart and they kept him honest with the questions they asked him!”

View PDF Press Release

 

 

Oct 27

Good Shepherd Champion Award

On Sunday, October 22, 2017, School on Wheels was honored at The Good Shepherd Shelter’s 40th Anniversary Gala with their Champion Award. Catherine Meek, Executive Director of School on Wheels, was presented with the award. You can watch her acceptance speech here.

School on Wheels has been providing tutoring services to The Good Shepherd Shelter for over 10 years and recently opened a digital learning room at the site. This is what they had to say about our partnership:

“As you can imagine, with the turmoil of a violent household, many of our children who enter our shelter program are below grade level and often have emotional, behavioral, and learning disabilities. We wouldn’t be able to address the unique learning needs of our students so effectively without the ongoing support from School on Wheels tutors who offer after-school support to our students including a homework club and other enrichment activities. In addition to receiving tutoring support, which helps them significantly improve their grades, our students also create a meaningful relationship with the volunteers they work with daily and build a great deal of trust towards them. It is our pleasure to honor School on Wheels with the Good Shepherd Shelter Champion Award for all the tireless and much-needed work they do for our students.” 

Sep 21

Upworthy – How Former Student, Angela, Defied the Odds Through Magic

It was just before Thanksgiving when then-high school junior Angela Sanchez and her father lost their home in Glendale, California.

A perfect storm of financial and family problems left her architect father unemployed, and the hardships soon led to eviction.

They slept in a car for the first few months, keeping up appearances of normalcy as best they could. Eventually, they found their way to a cold-weather shelter, then a family shelter.

But these were little more than places to sleep, and while it certainly helped to have a roof over their heads, it wasn’t enough to stop the stress of poverty and homelessness.

Despite it all, Sanchez did what she could to keep her grades — and her attendance — up. Her father had always taught her that education was incredibly important, and she had just started a new after-school club at the beginning of the year.

The theme of that club? Magic.

“A magician, by profession, is someone who is withholding knowledge,” she explains.

And Sanchez’s desire for hidden knowledge — to move beyond the hand that life had dealt her to experience something more — pushed her to succeed.

But just like magic, it would take a little know-how to get her there. That didn’t stop her from trying, though.

From a young age, Sanchez was drawn to the history of magic and magicians.

Everything from witchcraft to voodoo to Harry Houdini — particularly the ways they all tied back to women’s roles in society. Women who practiced magic were historically condemned while men were revered. Even as magic became more theatrical, women were still relegated to the role of assistants.
The history of women in magic resonated with Sanchez’s thirst for knowledge, particularly when the odds are stacked against you.

After all, even AP calculus is still a secret knowledge of the world.

But it wasn’t easy. As her anxiety and uncertainty about the future got the best of her, even magic club began to fall apart her senior year, and calculus turned out to be an even greater struggle than she imagined.

Sanchez’s plummeting grades threatened the future she’d been looking forward to (one that, she hoped, would take her to UCLA).
That’s when she discovered School on Wheels, a nonprofit that offers tutoring support for children struggling with poverty and homelessness.

The nonprofit paired her with an astrophysics graduate student from Cal Tech.

“Making that connection was the best thing that ever happened to me while being homeless, and since then I have maintained a constant relationship with them,” she says.

Her tutor not only offered her guidance in AP calculus, but he also gave her some “secret knowledge” to help unlock the mysterious realm of the college application process, a process that many underprivileged students are unsure of how to navigate.
A little support went a long way, and Sanchez was accepted to UCLA.

And by calling on that same tutor, Sanchez was also able to track down a variety of local community scholarships, and learned about the differences between need, merit, and passion-based support as she navigated her way through a pile of applications.

Read the full article on upworthy.com here.

Sep 13

‘Y&R’ Joins Forces with School on Wheels

For those planning to attend “‘” Fan Event on Saturday, August 19, you’ll not only get the chance to meet your favorite stars from the top rated daytime drama series, you’ll also be able to ensure those less fortunate can start the new school year on the right track.

In partnership with School on Wheels, a Los Angeles based non-profit organization specializing in tutoring and mentoring for homeless children in grades K-12, fans can drop off school supplies as part of the School on Wheels school supply drive. The organization’s mission is to provide each child in need with a brand new backpack filled with much-needed school supplies.

As a thank you for your donation, each attendee who donates new school supplies will receive a free raffle ticket good for an exclusive prize from the show.

Note: In order to receive a raffle ticket, the value of the supply donated must be $5.00 or greater. Additionally, school supplies must be new; no cash donations will be accepted.