About

“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.  Our volunteers meet with their students every week to provide positive mentorship and educational assistance. Due to COVID-19, our students are currently meeting with their tutors weekly online only.

Digital Learning Access

Our Digital Learning Initiative empowers our students to harness the power of technology and Internet/WiFi to be able to participate in online learning and develop crucial 21st-century skills. The ultimate goal of our initiative is to bridge the digital divide and provide equitable access to our students who would not have access otherwise.

Scholarships

Students can easily apply to our scholarship programs 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.

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. Learn more about running a virtual supply drive here.

Skid Row Learning Center (current closed due to COVID-19)

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 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.

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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 2020 alone, 1,602 volunteers tutored
2,360 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.

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Jarrod Phillips

Treasurer, Chief Accounting Officer, Ares Management

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Clifford Neiman

Secretary, Principal, The Neiman Group Architects

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Steven Dahlberg

President, The Kissel Company, Inc.

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

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, University of Southern California

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Laurie Levit

Educational Consultant

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Catherine Meek

Executive Advisor

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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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Jonathan Reid

Senior Program Officer, Grants & Programs LA84 Foundation

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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

LEADERSHIP TEAM

Sinéad Chilton

Chief Development & Marketing Officer

Mike Potentier

Chief Operating Officer

Matt Raab

Chief Education & Program Officer

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Catherine Meek

Executive Advisor

Charles Evans

Executive Director

PROGRAMS TEAM

Team Leaders

Danait Berhe

Regional Team Leader

Riley Cobian

Regional Team Leader

Stefanie Iacobucci

Regional Team Leader

Coordinators

Maxine Faustino

Volunteer Support Coordinator

Yesenia Ontiveros

Volunteer Support Coordinator

Cheyenne Parker

Student Support Coordinator

Jesse Pasquan

Volunteer Support Coordinator

Kristina Rakosh

Regional Coordinator

Manmeet Sodhi

Volunteer Support Coordinator

Stephanie Swenseid

Volunteer Support Coordinator

Genesis Torres

Volunteer Support Coordinator

Alex Toutant

Volunteer Support Coordinator

Chris Walsh

Regional Coordinator

Aeriell Woodhams

Volunteer Support Coordinator

Isela Yanes

Student Support Coordinator

Curriculum & Training

Katie Brennecke

Training & Development Specialist

Ian Chan

Program Manager

Emma Gerch

Digital Learning Specialist

Rebecca Glaser

Literacy Leader

Allison Maldonado

Resource Support Specialist

Jason Wright

Applications & Regional Support Coordinator

COMMUNICATIONS & OPERATIONS TEAM

Marisol Farfan

Volunteer Engagement Specialist

Ellie Lopez

Skid Row Learning Center Assistant