“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. Tutors meet their students online or in person.

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.


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

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 five 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.

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.


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


Our volunteers are the heart of our program.
Last year, 1,226 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

Steven Dahlberg

President, The Kissel Company, Inc.

Josh Fein
Joshua Fein

President, Chief Financial Officer, Property Management Associates, Inc.

Lizeth Flores

Grants Manager, U.S.VETS

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

Senior Vice President, Disney Studios

Beong-Soo Kim

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, University of Southern California

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Laurie Levit

Educational Consultant

Catherine--Picture for Martha-v2
Catherine Meek

Executive Advisor

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Clifford Neiman

Secretary, Principal, The Neiman Group Architects

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Ellen Padnos

Co-Founder, Joyful Giving

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Jarrod Phillips

Chief Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer, Ares Management

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Jonathan Reid

Program Officer, ECMC Foundation

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Angela M. Sanchez

Education & Equity Consultant

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Lynn Stone


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Janet A. Wertman

Development Consultant

Director Emeritus

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Reverend Cecil L. Murray

Director Emeritus



Charles Evans

Executive Director

Sinéad Chilton

Chief Development & Marketing Officer

Catherine--Picture for Martha-v2
Catherine Meek

Executive Advisor


Team Leaders

Leigh Beaulieu

Associate Manager - Skid Row Learning Center

Riley Cobian

Associate Director - Students & Volunteers

Sarah Holden Fraza

Associate Manager (Regions 5, 7, 8)

Manmeet Sodhi

Associate Manager (Regions 1, 2, 3, and 4)


Monique Salazar

Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 8)

Berkley Morgan

Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 5)

Alondra Santos

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator - Regional (Reg 4)

Lara Akl

Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 9)

Tiana Shambayati

Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 3)

Cindy El Jamrah

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 10)

Elizabeth Barboza

Associate Student Support Coordinator (Regions 1 & 6)

Bryan Mecina

Program Development Coordinator - Skid Row Learning Center

Eden Ettenger

Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 3)

Jose Garcia

Associate Student Support Coordinator (Regions 9 and 10)

Cynthia Gonzalez

Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Online)

Alysa McDaniel

Assessment Coordinator

Yesenia Ontiveros

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 7)

Susan Shiells

Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region1)

Cher Sullinger

Program Development Coordinator - Data & Technology

Curriculum & Training

Ian Chan

Associate Director - Programs

Rebecca Glaser

Senior Program Development Specialist - Literacy

Aimee Mendoza

Program Development Coordinator - Grades 5-12


Jamie Haugen

Marketing & Communications Specialist

Danait Berhe

Manager - Corporate Partnerships and Volunteer Engagement

Briana Brown

Associate Program Development Coordinator - HR

Ellie Lopez

Assistant - SRLC