Category: Press Releases

Feb 14

School on Wheels Welcomes New Board Member Ellen Padnos


School on Wheels is happy to announce the appointment of a new Executive Board member. Joining the Board is Ellen Padnos: “I’m thrilled and honored to have a greater role within School on Wheels. I’ve worked with the team for years and am so inspired by them and the incredible work they do.”

Ellen has supported School on Wheels for many years, and with her group, Joyful Giving has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through their annual fundraising event to benefit School on Wheels.
“We are delighted that Ellen is joining the Board. She has been an integral part of our fundraising team for several years and I know she will continue to use her talents and her passion for our mission to help School on Wheels and our students,” said Catherine Meek, Executive Director

Prior to starting Joyful Giving, Ellen co-founded and was Editor-in-Chief of Women.com which she sold with her husband in 2013. Ellen spent her early career working in Sales and Operations at Yahoo in Silicon Valley and for USA Networks in New York.

Ellen currently resides in Manhattan Beach with her young family. She loves what she does and with over 100 active members of Joyful Giving and Joyful Givings Kids (created in 2016) is changing how her community, young and old, finds out and supports local nonprofits, not only financially but through volunteering and activism too.

Dec 1

School on Wheels Announces New Board Member, Donor, and Volunteer, Susan Taylor


School on Wheels is honored to announce that President of OMD Entertainment, Susan Taylor will join the Board of Directors.

“I created The Emily Austin Project for School on Wheels in honor of a young colleague’s sudden and tragic death. The Project provided a much needed outlet to help put grief into action. In learning more about School on Wheels I knew I wanted to be part of this small but mighty organization in a more substantial way. I am excited to join their Board of Directors.” ­- Susan Taylor

Susan is a career veteran of the entertainment and advertising industries focusing on film, television and theater. She currently holds the position of President, OMD Entertainment, an Omnicom agency that exclusively services The Walt Disney Company, including Studios, DCP, Franchise, DATG and Home Entertainment.

During her tenure at OMD Entertainment, Susan created The Emily Austin Project which continues today. The Emily Austin Project includes a corporate footprint for tutoring throughout her company in addition to a donation portal. Susan’s parents were both educators with LAUSD and she is a passionate believer in the importance of education in providing opportunity and hope.

“Susan is a great addition to our Board of Directors. She embodies the spirit of community and will bring talent, expertise and energy to our Board. We have all been inspired not only by her fundraising efforts in memorializing her former colleague, Emily Austin, but also in allowing her employees to use part of their workday to tutor our homeless students.” Catherine Meek, Executive Director.

Oct 21

School on Wheels is honored to announce that former student will join the Board of Directors

“I really enjoy advocating for education and being a voice for students who are normally overlooked. Education has always been important to me because it represents a springboard out of homelessness.” – Angela M. Sanchez

School on Wheels first met Angela when she was 17 and living at a homeless shelter with her dad. While living in shelters and motels, she completed high school with a 4.2 GPA and went on to college at UCLA.

Angela Sanchez earned her Master’s in Education with a focus in student affairs from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Volunteering with School on Wheels, while an undergraduate, she established the first university faction of the nonprofit at UCLA. Angela created college admissions and financial aid workshops tailored to the students’ needs in addition to volunteer recruitment, training, donor and community relations, and development.

As a graduate student, Angela provided the evaluation component to UCLA’s Philanthropy Lab and also worked in UCLA’s Alumni Affairs, assessing scholarship recipients’ feedback to engage alumni and encourage giving. Angela currently works as the Program Analyst for College Success at the ECMC Foundation and continues to provide motivational talks for students across Los Angeles. Her impressive background in program development, assessment and community building, in addition to her unique personal experience with homelessness, will be great assets to the School on Wheels board.

“Angela is a true Renaissance woman,” says Catherine Meek, Executive Director. “She is a talented education professional, soon to be published author and cartoonist, magician (member of the Academy of Magical Arts at the Magic Castle), blogger extraordinaire, and passionate education advocate for our students. I’ve known Angela for over seven years, and she will bring all her experiences, knowledge and skills to enhance our mission at School on Wheels.”

“I am so excited to welcome Angela Sanchez to our Board. Angela brings with her first hand experience of being homeless and working with a School on Wheels volunteer tutor while living in a shelter. She has transformed these life lessons to become a successful role model and an outspoken advocate of our mission. We look forward to working with Angela and sharing her passion.” – Joshua A. Fein, Board President

Sep 14

Rise High Wins $10 Million With The Help Of School On Wheels

For Immediate Release:

LOCAL NONPROFIT’S EXPERTISE HELPS RISE HIGH WIN $10 MILLION

School on Wheels is honored to be part of the team that used their expertise in the education of homeless and foster youth to win $10 million for RISE High  XQ: The Super School Project, a high school redesign competition funded by Laurene Powell Jobs.

LOS ANGELES – September 2016

School on Wheels would like to congratulate RISE High, one of ten  $10-million winning school projects nationwide. The proposed Los Angeles charter high school has been designed to serve homeless and foster children whose educations are frequently disrupted.  The idea being that instead of going to school, school will come to you.

Catherine Meek, Executive Director of School on Wheels said, “We were proud to be able to use our knowledge and understanding of the impact of homelessness on children’s education as part of the grant application team for RISE High.   They will fill a great need by serving our same population in a full-time school program, and provide a model that other schools can use to better serve homeless and foster youth. That will certainly be an accomplishment!”

Natasha Bayus, Team Leader at School on Wheels and an expert in homeless education helped develop the RISE model and she sees a great need for a school devoted to the individual needs of homeless and foster youth:

“It was an honor being part of the grant application team for RISE, as part of the advisory committee, School on Wheels’ experience and expertise in dealing with homeless and foster youth was a major part of the design element.  We also have an after school learning center in the heart of Skid Row, so we see first hand the struggles our students face when it comes to attending regular school and keeping up with their peers.”

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ABOUT SCHOOL ON WHEELS School on Wheels, Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1993 by Agnes Stevens, a retired teacher. Today, hundreds of volunteers work one-on-one with children whose homelessness prevents them from receiving the academic stability and help they desperately need. The heart of the School on Wheels’ program is the volunteer tutors who come from all backgrounds and professions, with a shared goal – to reach out to a child, to teach, to mentor, and assist in his or her educational life. The mission of School on Wheels is to enhance educational opportunities for homeless children from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The goal is to shrink the gaps in their education and provide them with the highest level of education possible. Their program serves as a consistent support system to homeless students at a time of great stress and fear. School on Wheels brings the message to homeless students that they are cared about and important. They do this by offering:  One-on-one weekly tutoring with a volunteer / Backpacks, school supplies and school uniforms / Assistance in entering school / Help in locating lost records / Guidance for parents in educational matters for their children / Skid Row Learning Center / Tutoring in six counties in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

PRESS CONTACT School on Wheels, Inc. Sinead Chilton 805.641.1678schilton@schoolonwheels.org

To learn more about School on Wheels, volunteering or donating please visit: www.schoolonwheels.org

Jun 17

Charity Champions League

The Humane Society of the United States Wins Charity Champions League $250,000 Grand Prize

Fitting Tribute To Team Captain Christina Grimmie

Teams Led By Nancy O’Dell and Kevin Frazier Took 2nd and 3rd Place in First-of-Its Kind Social Good Competition, Earn $100,000 and $75,000 for ALS.net and School On Wheels

 $550,000 Prize Pool Provided by Toyota and Chevy Dealers, ServiceMaster and Others

NEW YORK, NY – June 16, 2016CBS EcoMedia today announced that The Humane Society of the United States has won the $250,000 grand prize in the inaugural Charity Champions League “social giving” competition. Christina Grimmie, the 22 year-old singer who died tragically on June 11, served as the organization’s Team Captain.

In addition to Ms. Grimmie, 10 celebrities from sports, entertainment, and digital media led teams in support of a variety of nonprofit organizations.

These are the final standings:

(1st) $250,000 – Christina Grimmie/The Humane Society of the United States
(2nd) $100,000 – Nancy O’Dell/ALS.net
(3rd) $75,000 – Kevin Frazier/School on Wheels
(4th) $50,000 – Cal Ripken, Jr./Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
(5th) $25,000 – Phil Keoghan/National Multiple Sclerosis Society
(6th) $15,000 – Weylie Hoang/ASPCA
(7th) $10,000 – Usain Bolt/After–School All–Stars
(8th) $10,000 – Mark Teixeira/Harlem RBI
(9th) $5,000 – Jerod Mayo/Boston Medical Center
(10th) $5,000 – Nika Erculj/The Trevor Project
(11th) $5,000 – Stephanie May & Matilda Donovan/Ronald McDonald House Charities

“Christina Grimmie and all our Team Captains proved that when you present the American public with an easy way to get involved and make a difference, they will take action,” said Paul Polizzotto, Founder and President of CBS EcoMedia. “We are delighted to be able to direct critical funding to The Humane Society of the United States, which Christina was so dedicated to supporting, and to the other ten very worthy nonprofit organizations that participated in the competition.”

The goal of Charity Champions League is to give millions of Americans the opportunity to support the social causes that most inspire them—without making a personal monetary donation.

The competition was free to play and participants who scored “points” for the nonprofit team of their choice by reading, watching, and sharing content on the Charity Champions League website and recruiting others to play.

The $550,00 prize pool was provided through generous contributions from Local Toyota Dealers, ServiceMaster, Tri-State Chevy Dealers, Winthrop University Hospital and Jerome’s Furniture.

“We are still grieving over the senseless killing of Christina, but we are committed to honoring her passion for animals by creating the Christina Grimmie Animal Medical Fund to provide life-saving veterinary attention and ongoing care for our most critical animal rescue cases,” said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.  “Her many fans made sure that she placed first in the Charity Champions competition, enabling a gift of $250,000. We hope that the Grimmie family, and her worldwide fans, take some solace in knowing that her compassion for animals and people will live on through this life-saving program.”

Augie Nieto, Chairman of the Board, ALS.net, added “All of us at ALS.net are so thankful to Nancy O’Dell, and everyone at Charity Champions League for creating a fun, inspiring way to raise crucial dollars for ALS Research.  We appreciate everyone who took the time to participate.  Every dollar we receive will be put to use immediately in our research lab to find a cure for ALS.”

Catherine Meek, Executive Director, School on Wheels, commented, “What an honor!  Thank you Charity Champions League and our team captain, Kevin Frazier, and all of those wonderful people who played in the league.  Homelessness has a devastating impact on children’s educational opportunities and this award will enable us to provide volunteer tutors to hundreds of homeless kids for an entire year.   This will truly change their lives.”

Charity Champions League is the latest program from EcoMedia, the mission of which is to transform the power of the advertising dollar into tangible social change. The company’s unique business model gives brands the opportunity to direct a portion of their advertising budgets to participating nonprofits, helping to fund a variety of critical environmental, health and wellness, education, and veterans’ programs without adding to their advertising spend. Since its inception in 2001, EcoMedia has directed over $80 million in funding and resources to a variety of philanthropic organizations, positively impacting the lives of more than 30 million Americans.

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CONTACT:

Kelli Raftery / CBS Corporate Communications

 

About CBS EcoMedia Inc.

EcoMedia was founded in 2001 by social entrepreneur Paul Polizzotto. The company’s mission is to harness the power of the advertising dollar to make tangible, quality of life improvements in communities nationwide. In 2010, after successfully partnering on a wide range of environmental projects, EcoMedia was acquired by CBS Corporation, exponentially scaling its reach across television, radio, interactive, and publishing media.

Through EcoMedia’s patent-pending EcoAd, EducationAd, WellnessAd, Viewers to Volunteers, Volunteering with the Stars, and Charity Champions League advertising programs, national brands and local businesses provide millions of dollars in financial support to some of the nation’s most effective nonprofit organizations, funding critical veterans’, education, health and wellness, and environmental projects nationwide.

EcoMedia’s innovative and proprietary business models have fundamentally altered the advertising and philanthropy landscapes, elevating the ordinary, traditional commercial – and media, in general – into a catalyst for tangible, quantifiable social change and making it possible for everyone to give back, whatever their means.

Paul Polizzotto and the team at EcoMedia have earned numerous awards and recognitions for their work, including the US Conference of Mayors Award for Excellence in Public Private Partnerships (2009) and back-to-back Edison Awards for Social Innovation and Social Impact (2012, 2013).

In Spring 2016, Paul was named Social Good Leader of the Year by CynopsisMedia and recognized as one of “America’s 25 most influential philanthropy and social innovation experts” by Philanthropy Media. He has received the Starlight Children’s Foundation’s “General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Leadership Award,” the EPA’s “Environmental Hero” recognition, the Santa Monica Baykeeper’s and the Waterkeeper Alliance’s “Keeper Award,” and the Coastal Living Leadership Award. He was also named a Public-Private Visionary by Vanity Fair magazine.