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. 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.

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

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

a woman and a girl looking at a paper

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
Catherine_headshot_website

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.

IMG_0139-2
a couple of women in graduation gowns holding shopping bags

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

hero-group-IMG_7504_narrow

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

steven-100
Steven Dahlberg

President, The Kissel Company, Inc.

Joshua Fein

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

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

Senior Vice President, Disney Studios

beong-100
Beong-Soo Kim

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, University of Southern California

a person smiling for the camera
Laurie Levit

Educational Consultant

Catherine--Picture for Martha-v2
Catherine Meek

Executive Advisor

a man smiling for the camera
Clifford Neiman

Secretary, Principal, The Neiman Group Architects

a woman with long hair
Ellen Padnos

Co-Founder, Joyful Giving

a man in a suit smiling
Jarrod Phillips

Treasurer, Chief Accounting Officer, Ares Management

a man wearing glasses
Jonathan Reid

Senior Program Officer, Grants & Programs LA84 Foundation

a woman smiling for the camera
Angela M. Sanchez

Program Analyst for College Success, ECMC Foundation

a woman smiling for the camera
Lynn Stone

Journalist

a woman smiling for the camera
Janet A. Wertman

Development Consultant

a woman with long hair
Melissa Zukerman

Managing Partner, Principal Communications Group

Director Emeritus

a man wearing a suit and tie
Reverend Cecil L. Murray

Director Emeritus

Staff

LEADERSHIP TEAM

Charles Evans

Executive Director

Sinéad Chilton

Chief Development & Marketing Officer

Catherine--Picture for Martha-v2
Catherine Meek

Executive Advisor

Mike Potentier

Chief Administrative Officer

Matt Raab

Chief Education & Program Officer

PROGRAMS TEAM

Team Leaders

Danait Berhe

Manager (Regions 4, 8, 9 and 10)

Riley Cobian

Manager (Regions 1, 2, 3, and 6)

Stefanie Iacobucci

Manager (Regions 5, 7, and 11)

Coordinators

Leigh Beaulieu

Program Development Coordinator - SRLC

Ashley Cazarez

Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 4)

Sandra Cervantes

Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 10)

Eden Ettenger

Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 3)

Maxine Faustino

Senior Volunteer Engagement Specialist (Region 2)

Jose Garcia

Associate Student Support Coordinator (Regions 9 and 10)

Quinn Mankowski

Associate Program Development Coordinator - SRLC

Yesenia Ontiveros

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 7)

Cheyenne Parker

Student Support Coordinator (Regions 2 and 3)

Manmeet Sodhi

Senior Volunteer Engagement Specialist (Region 1)

Cher Sullinger

Program Development Coordinator - Data & Technology

Stephanie Swenseid

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 6)

Genesis Torres

Associate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 9)

Chris Walsh

Senior Volunteer Engagement Specialist (Region 8)

Aeriell Woodhams

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region 5)

Kristie Wong

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (Region OL)

Jason Wright

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator - Applications

Isela Yanes

Associate Student Support Coordinator (Regions 5 and 7)

Bryanna Zambrana

Student Support Coordinator (Regions 1 & 6)

Curriculum & Training

Ian Chan

Associate Director - Programs

Emma Gerch

Digital Learning Specialist

Rebecca Glaser

Senior Program Development Specialist - Literacy

Allison Maldonado

Senior Program Development Specialist

Jesse Pasquan

Program Development Coordinator - Training and Development

COMMUNICATIONS & OPERATIONS TEAM

Ellie Lopez

Assistant - SRLC

Lynn “Jeong” Stransky

Marketing & Communications Specialist