Category: Star Volunteers

Jun 2

Tutors of the Month – June 2017

Online Tutoring

Ryan Geitner – Wow! I tutor online from North Carolina. In many ways, coming to my students through a screen has broken down the borders of communication and opportunity. It’s incredible to have these young friends across the country who lead lives so different from my own but reflect the same (if not greater) desire to learn and grow. It is truly my pleasure that I am able to log on to the School on Wheels online tutoring website and be connected with a wealth of smiling faces that teach me, far more than I can ever hope to teach them.

 

Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay Cities:

John ParkHello! My name is John Park. I’ve been with School on Wheels for over a year now and it has been nothing less than wonderful. It can sometimes be challenging to work with disadvantaged kids but developing relationships and making a difference in these children’s lives is a blessing.

 

 

Region 3 – Westside:

Elizabeth Hartog – I feel lucky to be a tutor with School On Wheels. Children are our national treasure and there’s no greater feeling than to help them along in their life’s journey. The added plus is how rewarding it is to be around them. It’s really great to spend an hour helping with a challenging subject at school or hearing about a great test score or having a good laugh together. They keep us in touch with who we are and what really matters. Thank you, School On Wheels for a wonderful two years!

 

Apr 6

Tutors of the Month – April 2017

Region 6 – Inland Empire

Karen Mooney – Last summer, I was looking into local non-profits for volunteer opportunities. I was excited to find School on Wheels. The website information sounded exactly right for me, and my daughter, a social worker, expressed high regard for the organization. As a retired elementary school teacher, tutoring allows me to use my experience in a worthwhile way. I get to do what I know and love, helping a child gain some needed skills and confidence that will lead to reaching her potential.

 

Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay Cities:

Audrey HsuOver the summer, I looked up organizations that I could donate the proceeds from my ring and pin business, Audcessories, to, and after some research, I found School on Wheels! Their goal of helping homeless children fulfill their academic endeavors peaked my interest, and I knew that was the organization for me. I decided to both volunteer as a tutor with them and donate the money to help out in two ways.

 

Region 9:

Dave Lindqvist – Initially, I thought School on Wheels was simply just a nonprofit organization that couples tutors with homeless children. Instead, I have realized it is trying to solve a bigger picture than that. I believe School on Wheels wants to stop the perpetual motion of homelessness by nurturing the importance of establishing educational accomplishments and milestones in our youth especially within the underprivileged.

 

Region 8 – Ventura County:

Alexandria Taylor – After becoming aware of the growing number of homeless children in California, I decided to find a way to make a difference. I came across School on Wheels and immediately grew attached to the underlying premise of the organization. Education is important to me, and I believe that with the attainment of knowledge, one is provided with an opportunity to accomplish anything. My experience has been very fulfilling.

 

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Chris Klein – I have always believed it is important to give back to those less fortunate than yourself. School on Wheels has provided me an opportunity to put this philosophy into action and I have enjoyed every moment of the experience. One of the most rewarding parts of being a tutor has been seeing my student’s academic ability and confidence improve. He has visibly become more motivated to learn and continues to surprise me with his determination to fulfill his goals.

 

Skid Row Learning Center:

Peter Banachowski – When people find out I volunteer they always say, “How selfless of you”. I see it opposite, “Selfless?! This is selfish baby”! I tutor because I have a passion for mathematics I know not many hold, and I enjoy injecting it’s beauty and usefulness into others.  Every human is both teacher and student, and every week I’m excited to go back and see what the kids will teach me in exchange for what I teach them.  It is an exercise of my simple belief that if you want to save the world, educate it.

 

Online Tutoring:

Esther Seo – I live in Alaska and I have been an online tutor for almost 2 years now; it has shaped the person I’ve become. I have learned how to be more patient. I love seeing students progress in their learning, and become smarter and smarter with each session. Despite the hardships of grasping difficult concepts, my students always persevere and seeing this inspires me. With each tutoring session, I realize how grateful I am to be able to see the impact that I have on education.

Mar 10

Tutors of the Month – March 2017

Region 7 – San Fernando Valley:

Nargis SaidzadahI have been with School on Wheels for almost a year now, and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made to join such a beautiful community. I chose this wonderful organization because my burning passion is to give back and help as many people as I possibly could, in humility & humbleness of course. As a psychology student, who studies brain & behavior almost every day, I can indubitably say that making someone feel good about themselves is one of the best ways to uplift both yourself and them.

 

Region 1 – East LA:

Paul Godoy – Having tutored Oakland elementary students while in college, I joined School on Wheels to continue to do my part in providing the best asset I believe a child can have: an education. School on Wheels has allowed me to work with many wonderful families and their children who despite their situation are always optimistic and eager to learn. During my sessions, I learn and growth as much from my students as they do from me. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to empower the lives of these remarkable children.

 

Skid Row Learning Center

Helene Rioux – Every Tuesday, you will find Mrs. Helene sitting at Table 2 among 2nd and 3rd graders. She helps 4-5 kids at a time. They not only focus on academics but Helene likes to teach students French along the way. It’s wonderful to see the students so focused on her words and translations. In her own words: “It is a privilege for me to tutor the kids, they are so positive and ready to embrace life in spite of all difficulties; every Tuesday they enrich my life while I try to give them all the help I can, Thanks to School on Wheels and Ms. Allison.”

 

Online Tutoring:

Deepti Sharma – School on Wheels opens its doors to a brightly painted oasis of learning and fun, away from the grim realities of daily shelter life. It also provides a safe haven for homeless youngsters to have fun, make friends and be physically active. This is the most positive and caring environment I have ever had the pleasure working in. As an online tutor, the best part is watching kids’ eyes light up when they learn something new or understand something they didn’t understand before, and seeing their excited little faces. It has been and continues to be a very exciting and rewarding experience for me. This is truly a great organization that I am proud to be a part of

 

Region 12 – North Orange County:

Elaine Nguyen – I initially began my experience with School on Wheels out of curiosity. Jesse was welcoming, eager, and incredibly hard-working. There were no barriers between us from day one, and we thrived off of each other. This past year, I have watched him grow immensely in character and intelligence. While I taught him mathematics and social sciences, he taught me patience and perseverance. I am so grateful to School on Wheels for providing me with this opportunity and life-long connection.

 

Region 10 – South Orange County:

Andrea Reinkensmeyer – I decided to get involved with School on Wheels because my teenage daughter is interested in becoming a school teacher and wanted to tutor children. It is a joy to help children grasp their academic material. I have had a fun time helping to coordinate tutors at one of the shelters and enjoy seeing the light bulbs go on in a child’s mind as they understand something. I especially enjoy helping them with math.

 

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Joel Safranek – This month I’m happy to choose Joel as the tutor of the month! There are several examples of why he is a fantastic tutor. He has been with SOW for over 3 years and has gone above and beyond. He is definitely a great role model and mentor to the boys at Boys Republic. In addition, Joel is the wonderful tutor coordinator who always keeps me up-to-date of new students at the location. Besides consistently tutoring each week, Joel has donated funds to the boys for fun movie and pizza nights. Thank you for all you do, Joel! In his own words:

“Working as a School on Wheels tutor with the boys at Silver Lake’s Boys Republic has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. These young men come from very challenging environments, but without exception, they want to do better and make good lives for themselves and be a credit to their families. I’ve forged great friendships with staff and residents and look forward to continuing my work in the months ahead.”

Feb 7

Tutors of the Month – February 2017

Region 1 – East LA:

Diane Lopez – Wanting to do something in the field of education, I would have never thought about tutoring homeless children. Sometimes people forget that homelessness is something that affects everyone, and children are not immune to it. I am so glad that I found School on Wheels because it fills me with such warmth that I cannot explain in words. Seeing my student smiling and growing in her studies keeps me wanting to make sure she gets the best tutoring I can give her. 

 

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Erna Taylor – I had just come out of an 8 1/2 year retail job at a scrapbooking store, and I was looking for something to do. School on Wheels caught my eye as an opportunity to work with children again. I had been a storyteller for many years, so this seemed perfect. I love words and books, and learning is very important to me. I also come from a big family, so working one-on-one with a child has been a great experience for both me and my student.

 

Region 6 – Inland Empire:

Deborah Myers – Education has always been important to me. Someone once told me, “Never stop learning,” and I took that message to heart. When I came across a notice for School on Wheels, it seemed like a perfect fit for my interests. I chose to work with high school boys in a group foster home. Even though their circumstances present a unique challenge, it’s especially thrilling when I can connect with a student to help expand his knowledge, and through education, help him to build dreams for a future.

 

Skid Row Learning Center:

Jesse Polen – Every Thursday, you will find Mr. Jesse sitting at Table 1 (a.k.a. Mr. Jesse’s Table). He takes on the tough but fun task of working with three or four 1st and 2nd graders at one time. Throughout this time, he not only helps the students complete homework but assists them in raising their scores. Mr. Jesse makes sure the sessions are fun, yet efficient, and is making a lasting impact on these children!

 

Online Tutoring:

Justin Helps – Tutoring with School On Wheels is a welcome change of pace after spending the work day in the world of adults. It is the highlight of my week. It is also very rewarding to see the understanding “click” for a student, and this has proven helpful to my work at Khan Academy. I’m honored to be involved with an organization like School On Wheels, which enables me to have this experience and know that the student benefits as well.

Dec 1

Tutors of the Month – December 2016

Skid Row Learning Center:

Daniela Elizondo, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Daniela Elizondo – I am honored to have Daniela as a member of our team! After meeting her, you would never guess that she was in high school. She is one of my most consistent and flexible tutors. We can count on her every Tuesday to come in and help any elementary student that asks no matter what the subject. She is the ideal role model and volunteer.

 

Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay Cities:

Sheryl Luttrell, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Sheryl Luttrell – Sheryl is a dedicated tutor, and has been with SOW for almost three years now. She is always willing to jump in and help wherever is needed. It is wonderful to know that her students can count on her. Thank you for all that you do for SOW!

 

 

Region 7 – San Fernando Valley:

Maya McKeever, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Maya McKeever is such a kind, consistent, and talented tutor! I am so impressed with the connection she made with her student. In her own words, “I began tutoring with School on Wheels almost a year ago. I wanted to find a way to be more supportive in my community, especially within the scope of socioeconomic discrepancies and education. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to tutor every week, my student brings me a lot of laughs and learning experiences.”

 

Region 8 – Ventura County:

Kathy Jarman, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Kathy Jarman has been a tutor with School on Wheels for over a year, and as a lifelong learner she has incorporated a passion for knowledge and lessons learned from her own mentors into her sessions in an effort to inspire and encourage our students: “I have learned more from my students than I ever expected. My first student taught me that teaching, just like most things in life, needs to be individualized. And when it is done properly, it makes all the difference in the world.”

 

Region 12 – North Orange County:

Jacob Maldonado, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Jacob Maldonado – “Currently, I am continuing my education to become a history/social studies teacher. When I learned about School on Wheels’ weekly tutoring service, I was excited to take advantage of this great opportunity and gain more one-on-one experience with students. I am very grateful that tutoring with School on Wheels has given me a chance to enhance my teaching skills and to make a significant difference in a student’s life.”

 

Online Tutoring:

Catherine Luo, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Catherine Luo – “This was my first time tutoring and I’ve learned so much about how far a little bit of patience and constant encouragement can go. I’ve come to truly value education as a tool for empowering young students growing up in difficult situations, and I’m constantly inspired by how dedicated my student’s mother is to her daughter’s education. I look forward to learning about my student’s new endeavors each week and hope to continue encouraging her to achieve what she sets out to do.”

Nov 1

Tutors of the Month – November 2016

Region 2 – South LA:

Aliyah Souder has been a volunteer with School on Wheels since 2012. Aliyah made a video describing her experience tutoring Coreyon and his passion for learning.

Region 6 – Inland Empire:

Michelle Chebeir, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Michelle Chebeir – “Growing up with a hearing disability, I had the experience of learning with obstacles. I understand how a little support can go a long way. I volunteer as a tutor because I want to provide that support and encouragement to my students. I’ve had so much fun getting to know and tutoring my current student, Jenna! Her love for art makes our tutoring sessions very colorful!”

 

Region 9 – Santa Barbara:

Claudia Gack, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Claudia Gack – “I have been a tutor for two years, in the first months I was really excited and enthusiastic but I didn’t see much progress and did lose a little motivation. I stuck through it and am so glad I did. I see that Ariana improved a lot and that’s what really matters. As a tutor it is important to understand that continuous support is the biggest gift we can give our students. Even if it is tough and there is no instant reward – the long-term results are incredibly rewarding.”

 

Region 10 – South Orange County:

Deborah Woods Meyers, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Deborah Woods Meyers – “Working with my student had been fun and educational. Not only do you get to see your student grow but you get to see a family really rebuilding their lives and growing too. Sometimes I think I learn more than my student. Fortunately, my kid is in a stable home now. He is blessed with a mom who works hard to help her children overcome the difficulties they have been through. If you been thinking about this, VOLUNTEER! Just an hour a week can truly make a difference.”

 

Region 12 – North Orange County:

Richard Vela, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Richard Vela – “My experience with School on Wheels has been a truly wonderful experience. As a young man working at School on Wheels, my goal is to show that success can be achievable through hard work and dedication, no matter what situation, and no matter what circumstance. I have learned through my own experiences that mentorship can be a powerful tool, and I intend on helping the best I can as a volunteer with School on Wheels.”

 

Online Tutoring:

William Shin, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

William Shin – “I was looking for an opportunity to volunteer and work with children for some time when I found out about School on Wheels (SOW). The last time I had tutored a student was back when I was in college and I had forgotten how fulfilling it is to work with and learn from young minds. The online tutoring option is a wonderful option as it provides me with the flexibility to work around my regular work schedule and still be able to serve. The students I have tutored at SOW have been great. Kudos to the staff and my Coordinator as well for running an excellent program.”