Month: August 2017

Aug 1

Students of the Month – August 2017

Region 5:

Davion (2nd Grade) I have recently been working with Davion, a 2nd grade student, who is inquisitive, bright and very sweet. He loves to read and, though he has some challenges, he is always excited to learn. He especially loves reading his favorite books, the Wimpy Kid series. The best compliment I got from him recently was when he asked me, “Can you come again tomorrow?” How could I ask for anything more!
– Theresa Sterling,


Region 3:

Mickey (6th Grade) Mickey was a quiet kid when I first met him, tapping his foot nervously and a bit apprehensively. After a few sessions, we got to know each other, and I figured out that we needed to break up the session a bit more by doing 15 minutes of work and then taking a short break. We usually do word searches as a reward, and he really seems to enjoy that. After tutoring him for a while, he is now much more comfortable. We always chat about what’s new, and the mentoring part of it has been great. He is a really sweet kid with a calm demeanor and will never say “no I don’t want to,” which is half the battle. It has been great getting to know him. – Armin Szatmary, Tutor

Region 6:

Angela (4th Grade) is a vibrant, curious and loving young girl with a passion for singing. She loves singing so much that it’s her dream to become a famous singer someday. In fact, I found that one way of inserting fun into our tutor sessions together is to sing. For example, I will sing (though I’m a horrible singer), “Angela, what is 7×2?”, and Angela will sing back, “it’s 14!”. Angela struggles with math, but she is motivated to learn, and I found that by making tutoring fun in a way that appeals to her, she enjoys it and learns more. I always look forward to our tutoring sessions together, and it’s very rewarding to hear how she’s improving and building self-confidence in various areas of her life. Together, Angela and I make a great team. – Stephanie Swenseid, Tutor


Region 8:

Giselle (Age 10) is such a delight. Every session Giselle is well-mannered, eager to learn and a sweet girl to spend time with. In addition to being a wonderful person, Giselle is a great student and puts a lot of effort into her studies. Whenever we practice her spelling words, she is always well prepared. She is always willing to complete her homework and finishes it with great penmanship and presentation. My favorite moments with Giselle are watching her creativity blossom. Giselle is a fantastic artist and very clever at putting together a thoughtful poem or handmade book. – Stacey Millet, Tutor


Emma (Age 7) My first session with Emma, she was not very talkative and was quite nervous. However, by the end of the session, she warmed up to me and was able to share a small bit about herself. Now, months later, Emma’s confidence has grown so much. She loves to ask questions and has a great amount of curiosity for learning! It has been a tremendous joy to spend time with her and watch her develop her reading, writing and language skills. Each day we end our sessions with playing games or reading a fun book.Her favorite activity is to look at pictures of my dog. It has been a joy getting to know this thoughtful and kind girl and her family. I even attended her birthday party, which was very special.
– Stacey Millet, Tutor


Online Tutoring:

Tamya (6th Grade) Tamya has been with our program for over 2 years. While she used to cry and refuse tutoring, she eventually began volunteering and now she loves the opportunity to connect with her 1-on-1 tutor online! It has been a joy to witness growth in Tamya not just in her academics but also in her curiosity and independence. She has developed into a kind and assertive spirit thanks in part to our wonderful Skid Row Learning Instructors, Allison Maldonado and Jason Wright. We only wish Tamya the best as she continues her journey with School on Wheels. Go Tamya!
– Ian Chan, Program Administrator (School on Wheels, Inc.)


Region 9:

Angel (8th Grade) is a highly intelligent student. He almost does not even have to try. He is very perceptive and a high achiever. Angel tries his best to excel in all of his classes. All that work has earned Angel the Mason award. Only 20 students in all of the Garden Grove school district received this honor. This award is contingent on grades and adversity. Considering he has lived through a rough couple of months, Angel still finds a way to get his homework done and be an active participant in his classes. Angel hopes to join the Air Force after high school.
Not only does Angel excel in his studies, he has a kind heart. There is one example I will never forget. We were sitting next to a disabled woman who was having a hard time navigating the printer. Angel noticed her struggle and was quick to offer her his help. He walked her over to the printer and proceeded to help her access and print her papers. I am very proud to have the opportunity to work with Angel. He is an all-around awesome young man!
– Diana Ly, Tutor

Aug 1

Tutors of the Month – August 2017

Region 9 – North Orange County:

Diana Ly – Greetings! I have been tutoring with SOW for about 7 months, and I cannot be more grateful to have stumbled upon this great organization! I love having the opportunity to spend my time tutoring and also help build self-esteem. It always amazes me how much I am able to learn about the students and, in turn, learn more about myself. I am truly blessed to be part of School on Wheels! Thank you!



Region 6 – Inland Empire:

Stephanie SwenseidEducation is something I’ve always been passionate about; in particular, I am interested in helping to remove barriers that prevent children from receiving an education. From the moment I joined SOW, I knew it was the perfect fit for me! The passion and dedication of SOW is incredible. Additionally, they provide me with so many resources that help me be the best tutor I can be. I am proud to be a part of the SOW family. SOW has enriched my life and given me tools to help educate children in need. I am grateful for my experience with SOW and look forward to positively impacting the children we encounter through our work together.

Region 8 – Ventura County:

Stacey Millet, Tutor Coordinator – When I discovered School on Wheels, I was in search of a meaningful volunteer experience, an organization where I could do something small to better society and my local community. I found those things and more with School on Wheels. As a volunteer, I feel part of a great village of other volunteers, staff members and families that inspire me with their tenacity, strong hearts and willingness to use education to help the lives of children. In return, my time volunteering has made me want to give more. Sure, it can be difficult with a full-time schedule and busy life, but seeing the success and change in my students has made it all worth it.

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Theresa Sterling – I’ve been a teacher for over 20 years. I love helping students learn. I also love volunteering. So when I heard about School on Wheels, I thought it would be a perfect fit. SOW is a wonderful organization for so many reasons: the dedicated individuals running the program; the many volunteers; and of course the children and their families. I can only imagine the difficulties and challenges these students experience, so anything we can do to give them confidence and a love of learning is a benefit that can’t be beat.

Online Tutoring:

Kimberly Kutz, Khan Academy – I think the most surprising thing for me in online tutoring has been just how incredibly sweet and eager to learn the kids have been in general. I came in expecting that the students would have a hard time concentrating because they experience so much adversity in their lives, but with very few exceptions the students I’ve worked with have been confident, energetic, and really excited about learning. My favorite part of online tutoring has been seeing kids feel proud about how well they know the material and helping to build their confidence in school and in life. And I love that I can tutor online all the way from Northern California!

Skid Row Learning Center:

AmeriCorps VISTAs – This summer, the Learning Center is honored to have three amazing AmeriCorps members helping with big projects. We welcome Colleen Guzman, Jose Mendoza, and Adriana Toranzo-Rivero. They are excelling at improving our coding and virtual reality curriculum, designing and finding new worksheets for our Academic Program, organizing all games and activities by standard for easier access, and recruiting for volunteers and partnerships through local business outreach. Their impact is immeasurable, and the amount of students they help will make the future better for all!

Region 3 – Westside:

Armin Szatmary – I have been volunteering for 18 years and heard about School on Wheels through the social justice program at my Temple and through another tutor. I believe getting an education is a really big deal and feel strongly that children should get the best education they can. After working as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for many years, I know how hard it is for kids that move around and don’t get the education that they deserve. I really enjoy my time tutoring with my student, Mickey, and he is a really nice kid and fun to be with. I enjoy our hour together.

Armin always puts so much time and thought into his sessions and comes with a folder of activities and worksheets for him and Mickey to work with. He is a thoughtful teacher, and I can tell he truly cares about education and helping his students. Armin goes above and beyond as a tutor, always participating in School on Wheels events and doing whatever he can to figure out ways to engage Mickey in tutoring sessions, and we feel really lucky to have him as a tutor!