“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
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.
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 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.
We provide the training and mentors that make a difference!
“I couldn’t have graduated without the help of my tutor”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Who We Are
The Executive Board
President, The Kissel Company, Inc.
President, Chief Financial Officer, Property Management Associates, Inc.
Grants Manager, U.S.VETS
Senior Vice President, Disney Studios
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, University of Southern California
Secretary, Principal, The Neiman Group Architects
Co-Founder, Joyful Giving
Treasurer, Chief Accounting Officer, Ares Management
Senior Program Officer, Grants & Programs LA84 Foundation
Angela M. Sanchez
Program Analyst for College Success, ECMC Foundation
Janet A. Wertman
Managing Partner, Principal Communications Group
Reverend Cecil L. Murray
Chief Development & Marketing Officer
Chief Administrative Officer
Chief Education & Program Officer
Associate Director - Students & Volunteers
Manager (Regions 5, 7, and 11)
Manager (Regions 1, 2, 3, and 6)
Associate Manager (Regions 4, 8, 9, and 10)
Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 9)
Associate Student Support Coordinator (Regions 1 & 6)
Program Development Coordinator - SRLC
Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 1)
Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 4)
Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 10)
Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 3)
Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 8)
Associate Student Support Coordinator (Regions 9 and 10)
Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Online)
Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 5)
Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 2)
Associate Program Development Coordinator - SRLC
Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 7)
Student Support Coordinator (Regions 2 and 3)
Parent Engagement Coordinator
Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region1)
Program Development Coordinator - Data & Technology
Associate Student Support Coordinator (Regions 5 and 7)
Curriculum & Training
Associate Director - Programs
Program Development Coordinator - Training and Development
Senior Program Development Specialist - Literacy
Senior Program Development Specialist
Program Development Coordinator - Grades 5-12
COMMUNICATIONS & OPERATIONS TEAM
Manager - Corporate Partnerships and Volunteer Engagement
Associate Program Development Coordinator - HR
Administrative Clerk - SRLC
Assistant - SRLC
Lynn “Jeong” Stransky
Marketing & Communications Specialist