"It’s not about knowing everything or being a teacher—it’s about being there for someone who needs the help."

- Jeremy A., Volunteer Tutor

Programs & Services

One-on-One Tutoring

Volunteer tutoring is the cornerstone of our program.  We are the only organization whose volunteers go to their students—wherever they may be—every week to provide positive mentorship and educational assistance.

Scholarships

Students can easily apply to our scholarship program which can be used for college, trade schools, arts/music/sports programs, educational summer programs, apprenticeships or enrichment classes. You can contribute to the fund through our donation page.

Digital Learning Access

We use laptops, smartphones and tablets to better address academic needs and help teach 21st-century technology skills.  Our online tutors work with students remotely over video chat and can be based anywhere in the U.S.

School Supplies

Every student we meet receives a NEW backpack filled with school supplies.  Annually we provide over 5,000 students with the tools they need to succeed in school.  Visit our student wishlist to find out more.

Skid Row Learning Center

Located in the neighborhood with the highest concentration of homelessness in the U.S., our center offers a safe and fun learning environment where students experiencing homelessness can access support after school.

  • The center is open six days a week year-round
  • Digital learning center
  • Academic lessons
  • Summer program

Where We Serve

We partner with over 400 sites across Southern California—including libraries, shelters, and after-school programs. Volunteer tutors travel to meet students where they are at to provide stability, consistency, and educational support.

Imperial Kern Los Angeles Orange Riverside San Bernardino San Diego San Luis Obispo Santa Barbara Ventura

We provide the training and mentors that make a difference!

"I couldn't have graduated without the help of my tutor"

-Victoria, student

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Mission & Vision

Since 1993, the mission of School on Wheels has never wavered: to enhance educational opportunities for children who are experiencing homelessness from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Our goal is to shrink the gaps in their learning and provide them with the highest level of education possible. Our program serves as a consistent support system for our students during a time of great stress and fear.

Our History

School on Wheels was founded in 1993 by Agnes Stevens, a retired schoolteacher, who understood the importance of education to students devastated by homelessness - and the unique challenges they face. We were then, and we remain, the only organization in Southern California dedicated exclusively to the educational needs of this fragile population. In 1999, Catherine Meek became one of Agnes’ first volunteer tutors on Skid Row. They became firm friends and the fearless duo grew the program, expanding its reach beyond Los Angeles.

Agnes
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Catherine was Chief Operating Officer before being elected Executive Director, serving from 2009-2019. She oversaw the growth of School on Wheels from a small, local nonprofit to one that works with thousands of children in six counties in Southern California. Catherine now serves as Executive Advisor working with foundations and large funders.  She believes that education is a right of every child and an economic imperative for our society. Catherine was named one of 10 Women of Worth in the U.S. in 2012 and has received numerous awards and accolades for her pro bono work. She still volunteers as a tutor.

Our Values

Trust, integrity, innovation, flexibility, passion, and teamwork⁠—these core values represent what we believe in, what we stand for, and how we approach everything we do. They determine how we treat each other, our students, volunteers, donors, partners, and the communities we serve. We measure our success by how well we live up to these values. We embrace people from all backgrounds, cultures, citizenships, experiences, and viewpoints.

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Our Impact

Our staff and volunteers work hard to remove the barriers that stand between our students and their education. After ten weeks of tutoring, two thirds of our students improved their assessment scores by a grade level or more.

Our Volunteer Tutors

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Our volunteers are the heart of our program.
In 2018 alone, 2,321 volunteers tutored
3,624 students experiencing homelessness.

"It helps them look beyond their current circumstances and see the possibilities the future can hold."

- Anna, Mother

Who We Are

The Executive Board
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Joshua Fein,
President

Chief Financial Officer,
Property Management Associates, Inc.

steven-100

Steven Dahlberg,
Treasurer

President,
The Kissel Company, Inc.

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Clifford Neiman,
Secretary

Principal,
The Neiman Group Architects

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Prof. Christine C. Goodman

Pepperdine University School of Law

March 25, 2010 Los Angeles, CAJackson George PortraitPhoto: Alex J. Berliner © Berliner Studio/BEImages

Jackson George

Senior Vice President, Disney Studios

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Beong-Soo Kim

Vice President and Assistant General Counsel,
Kaiser Permanente

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Laurie Levit

Educational Consultant

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Catherine Meek

Executive Advisor,
School on Wheels

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Cecil L. Murray

Professor of Religion,
Tanzy Chair in Christian Ethics, USC

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Ellen Padnos

Co-Founder,
Joyful Giving

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Angela M. Sanchez

Program Analyst for College Success,
ECMC Foundation

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Lynn Stone

Journalist

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Janet A. Wertman

Development Consultant

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Melissa Zukerman

Managing Partner,
Principal Communications Group

Staff
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Charles Evans

Executive Director

Catherine Meek, Executive Director, School on Wheels

Catherine Meek

Executive Advisor

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Matt Raab

Chief Education &
Program Officer

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Sinead Chilton

Chief Development
& Marketing Officer

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Carlos Apodaca

Skid Row Learning Center Specialist

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Danait Berhe

Regional
Team Leader

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Erica Berrios

Applications
Coordinator

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Katie Brennecke

Trainer &
Development

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Ian Chan

Program
Administrator

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Rachael
Christenson

Volunteer Support
Coordinator

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Riley Cobian

Regional Team
Leader

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Martha Dietzel

Marketing & Partnership
Specialist

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Marisol Farfan

Volunteer Engagement Specialist

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Lisa Frias

Student Support
Coordinator

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Emma Gerch

Online Tutoring
Coordinator

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Ana M. Gutiérrez

Program
Specialist

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Ryan Locante

Technology
Administrator

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Ellie Lopez

Skid Row Learning Center Assistant

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Allison Maldonado

Resource Support Specialist

Jesse

Jesse Pasquan

Volunteer Support
Coordinator

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Katie Philipson

Volunteer Support Coordinator

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Kristina Rakosh

Regional
Coordinator

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Maria Ramirez

Office Assistant

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Manmeet Sodhi

Regional
Coordinator

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Eboney Stephens

Student Support
Coordinator

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Rebecca Sul

Student Support
Coordinator

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Stephanie Swenseid

Regional
Coordinator

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Alyssa Velis

HR & Administration
Assistant

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Chris Walsh

Regional
Coordinator

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Carlie Whittaker

Volunteer Support
Coordinator

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Jason Wright

Skid Row Learning Center Instructor