Category: Our Volunteers

Apr 30

We Appreciate Our Volunteers

April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month and every year School on Wheels hosts appreciation events throughout Southern California.  We invite our volunteer tutors and staff and get together to celebrate. It is a great opportunity for volunteers to meet each other and share stories about our students and their successes. School on Wheels volunteers are the best! They dedicate their time to tutoring homeless students and ask nothing in return. During these annual appreciation events, each Regional Coordinator awards volunteers who spend 100 or more hours volunteering with a Presidential Volunteer Service Award.  This year we awarded 250 volunteers with this prestigious award.  To see the full list of volunteers you can click here.

Above are photos from events hosted in Ventura, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Inland Empire.

School on Wheels is always in need of volunteers ages 12 and older that want to make a positive difference in the life of a homeless student. We work with school age children that are living in temporary or homeless situations and provide them with one-on-one tutoring, backpacks, school supplies and all the tools they need to succeed in school. If you have one hour a week or more to spare and would like to join our amazing volunteer team please consider applying to become a volunteer tutor with our organization today! You can go to our volunteer page here to find out more and apply.

Apr 28

Former Teacher Becomes Volunteer Tutor

Chris Kuritzkes is a pre-K teacher and recently moved to California from Philadelphia. She read a flyer about School on Wheels and was intrigued to find out more. She trained as a tutor and was recently matched with Giselle (10). Chris says that Giselle is a very hard worker and enjoys learning. Since Giselle loves to learn, she is excited to review and further explore the concepts she is learning about in the classroom.
Chris said that she was completely humbled by the outpouring of resources and the positive impacts School on Wheels has on its students and families. “I am honored to be a tutor with a program that offers hope and makes a difference in the lives of so many.”

If you would like to make a difference like Chris, click below!

Apr 28

Dwight, The Math Guy

“I enjoy tutoring math. When I first applied, math tutors were in short supply. Agnes Stevens (Founder of School on Wheels) referred to me as the math guy.”

Dwight Liu has been a School on Wheels tutor for 15 years! He maintains his one-hour-a-week commitment and continues to volunteer because he finds it rewarding and feels better about himself when he is making a difference. And what a difference. We estimate that he has tutored over 100 students in his time with us!

“I tutored one student for around three years until he graduated high school. He had a heart of gold and a wonderful attitude. I was so glad when his family finally found permanent housing…So many of my other students have been brief encounters, but that is the nature of tutoring homeless kids.”

Dwight credits tutoring for School on Wheels for making him a much better tutor to his daughter – increasing his patience with her and giving him new teaching tools to help explain things. Many of the students he has worked with lack basic skills and have very difficult lives. While he still sometimes finds it hard to get his students to focus or understand concepts, he gets the support he needs from the School on Wheels online workshops and staff.

Dwight tutors at a shelter only a few minutes from his work. His company, Covington Capital Management, supports volunteer activities with donations to their employees’ favorite nonprofits.  Thank you, Dwight, for your years of service!

Are you Mathematically minded like Dwight?

Apr 27

Rachel & Ryleigh

Ryleigh is 12 ¼ years old, and her favorite flavor ice-cream is birthday cake! She would like to be a nurse, like her mom, because “Being a nurse is the best thing because you get to help people.”

Rachel Bravo, Ryleigh’s tutor’s favorite ice cream is pistachio. Ryleigh says Rachel is “funny, nice and kind.”
Rachel has been a volunteer tutor for 4 years. “I tell people about School on Wheels all the time! I even managed to persuade one of my coworkers at Ventura County Credit Union to tutor, and she loves it.”
Rachel and Ryleigh have worked together, mostly on math, for about a year. Although they meet at a kitchen table in a busy shelter, they still manage to focus on school and studies.
When Rachel wanted to do more in her community, she discovered School on Wheels online and knew she was able to commit to an hour-a-week schedule. She loves her 10-minute commute and that Ryleigh is always ready and waiting for her.
“It is hard enough to help a child succeed in school and navigate getting into college when there are two parents, with two incomes, living in their own home. Once a child falls behind, the obstacles just multiply. I also understand that no matter how prevalent texting and social media is – mastering good grammar, spelling and reading comprehension will never be obsolete!”

Click below to become a School on Wheels tutor like Rachel!


Feb 6

The President’s Volunteer Service Award

The President’s Volunteer Service Award

Every year School on Wheels nominates volunteers to receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Award recipients receive an official President’s Volunteer Service Award medal, a personalized certificate of achievement, and a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States. Below, find a list of this year’s award recipients.  Congratulations to you all!

Alexander Sviridov Bronze
Ali Mourad Bronze
Alonso Quintero Bronze
Amarilis Bolanos Bronze
Ana Terrell Bronze
Andrew Meyer Bronze
Angela Zhang Bronze
Ann Buckley Bronze
Ann Klein Bronze
Anndrea Nelson Bronze
Annie Sui Gold
April Cha Bronze
Arianne Neumark Bronze
Arpine Galstyan Silver
Ashley McGuinness Bronze
Ashley Peterson Bronze
Attila Szenczi Bronze
Barbara Penland Bronze
Barbara Speicher Bronze
Barbara Wells Bronze
Brandon Mann Bronze
Brenda Ramirez Bronze
Bria Gaines Bronze
Brian Shepherd Bronze
Brock Ruebel Bronze
Bruce Ward Bronze
Bryan Rupley Bronze
Cameron Geller Bronze
Cami Bern Bronze
Camille Boag Bronze
Carl Carson Bronze
Carlos Apodaca Gold
Catherine Meek Gold
Catherine Meek Bronze
Cathie Alter Bronze
Charles Johnson Bronze
Chelsea Kroeker Bronze
Cheyne Burton Bronze
Chris Goodman Bronze
Christopher Cole Bronze
Christopher Donnellon Bronze
Christopher Kowalchuk Bronze
Claudia Gack Bronze
Daerique Jamison Bronze
Daisy Cruz Cervantes Bronze
Damion Wagner Bronze
Danyelle Fowler Bronze
Darren Sepanek Bronze
David Kagen Bronze
Deborah Chankin Bronze
Deborah Myers Bronze
Deborah Woods Bronze
Denise Coleman Bronze
Destiny Mendez Silver
Dick Bennett Bronze
Dinah Piggott Bronze
Donna Price Bronze
Edith Flores Bronze
Edward Cimatu Jr Bronze
Eileen Speer Bronze
Elisabeth Egelko Bronze
Erica Haaseth Bronze
Erin Fitts Bronze
Esther Cho Silver
Evan Panas Bronze
Farid Holakouee Bronze
Francis Villareal Bronze
Franklin Rutherford Bronze
Gabriel Ephron Bronze
Genia Telkamp Bronze
Gillian Smith Bronze
Gretchen Garnett Bronze
Haley Cobb Gold
Heidi Vogl Bronze
Helene Rioux Bronze
Ian Chan Bronze
Iris Portillo Gold
Jacklin DieBold Bronze
James McCuskey Bronze
Jane Shirk Bronze
Janki Patel Bronze
Jay Cramer Bronze
Jean Edison Bronze
Jennifer Phan Bronze
Jerry Edwards Bronze
Jesse Valenzuela Bronze
Jezz Quibal Bronze
Jimmy Chan Bronze
Jimmy Dhanapanth Silver
Joan Cashel Bronze
Joel Safranek Bronze
John Park Bronze
Jonathan Simmons Bronze
Jose Montiel Bronze
Joseph Soulsby Bronze
Joseph Webb Bronze
Josie Azzam Bronze
Joyce Neu Bronze
Judith Stamper Bronze
Juliette Brown Bronze
Justin Paul Bragado Bronze
Karen Castaneda Silver
Karen Gray Bronze
Karen Ross Bronze
Karisa Witham Bronze
Kate McNeil Bronze
Kathleen Olinger Bronze
Kathy Jarman Bronze
Katy Michaelis Bronze
Kelly Washkewicz Bronze
Kevin Widarma Bronze
Kristen Schulle-Griffin Bronze
Kylie Banks Bronze
Ladan Sheikholeslam Bronze
Laura Espejo Silver
Lauren Tess Bronze
Lina Bahn Bronze
Linda Gottlieb Bronze
Lisa Beedle Bronze
Lisa Olmstead Bronze
Lisa Pullins Gold
Lisa Yu Bronze
Lizette Rodriguez Gold
Luisa Latham Bronze
Manmadh Rebba Bronze
Marcela Rodriguez Bronze
Marcia Rothman Bronze
Marcy Anderson Bronze
Margaret MacCurdy Bronze
Margaret Wells Bronze
Margery Cosgrove Bronze
Margie Johnson Bronze
Maria Ortiz Bronze
Mariana Castellanos Gold
Matthew Costa Bronze
Matthew Lind Bronze
Maxine Cruz Bronze
Megan Robbins Bronze
Megan Sullivan Bronze
Megan Velo Bronze
Melinda Hambrick Bronze
Mercedes Hendricks Bronze
Mgo Talarian Bronze
Michael Erzingher Bronze
Michael Schultz Bronze
Michelle Chebeir Bronze
Michelle Curtin Bronze
Miriam Leserman Bronze
Mona Tse Bronze
Monica Carrillo Bronze
Nader Farahat Bronze
Nancy Ayon Bronze
Nancy Okamoto Bronze
Natalie Ferbezar Bronze
Natalie Platon Bronze
Nazanin Kotobi Bronze
nesrin misif Bronze
Norma Perez Bronze
Osmond Cruz Bronze
Pamela Fleischer Bronze
Patricia Basualdo Bronze
Patricia Lester Bronze
Patrick Jong Bronze
Paul Godoy Bronze
Paula De La Rosa Bronze
Peggy Sanders Bronze
Peter Banachowski Bronze
Pouye Sedighian Bronze
Pranit Kumaran Silver
Priscilla In Bronze
Raven Loya Bronze
Rebecca Anders Bronze
Rena Hayami Bronze
Renee Thurau Bronze
Ronak Reshamwala Bronze
Roy Friedland Bronze
Sahand Pirbadian Bronze
Samuel McKean Bronze
Sarah Talaei Bronze
Seth Sanders Bronze
Sharla Fisher Bronze
Shauna Longstaff Bronze
Sheryl Luttrell Bronze
Stephanie Jost Bronze
Steven Cox Bronze
Steven Mynsberge Bronze
Susan Edelman Bronze
Sylvia Carlisle Bronze
Taly Ginsberg Bronze
Tereisa Lytle Bronze
Thomas Niskanen Bronze
Tolulope Popoola Bronze
Tomer Gurantz Bronze
Valentina Savelyeva Bronze
Valeryia Hryb Bronze
Virginia Olson Bronze
Wendy Rodriguez Bronze
Winnie Strohmeyer Gold
Yalda Kotobi Bronze