The college application process can be daunting for high school students and a challenge for those trying to guide students through the process. In particular, the application essay can be a critical piece of that puzzle. In this webinar, Brien Gorham walks us through how to help students parse the language of their prompts, strategies for structuring and organizing these essay (including best tips for using anecdotes), and methods for helping students find themes in the stories of their lives.
About the presenter:
Brien Gorham has over twenty years experience as a high school English teacher. After graduating from Villanova University, Brien taught in several public schools in New Jersey before moving to Seattle, where he spent six years teaching the Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. He currently lives in Los Angeles as a freelance writer and video editor.
Thanks to all our artists who participated in this year’s contest! We loved seeing all your amazing submissions and hope you will continue to create art year-round.
The winners of 2019 School on Wheels Holiday Art Contest are Mia and Keiley! Congratulations to all the artists, it was a very difficult decision and we know you all worked very hard! In addition to posting on our website, we will also be posting on our Facebook page next week. You can enjoy all the students’ contributions by scrolling through the gallery above.
Guest post by School on Wheels Ambassador Victor Maldonado
There are enough children without homes in Los Angeles to fill Dodger Stadium. Yet, when we think of homelessness, children aren’t who we typically imagine. With over 65,000 students without homes in Los Angeles County alone, why does child homelessness go so grossly unnoticed? The answer is simple: out of sight, out of mind. These are children who are living in shelters, motels, group foster homes, vehicles, and on the streets. The common thread that connects these children is a lack of consistent education.
I am proud to volunteer with an organization that bridges these gaps in education, giving children experiencing homelessness a fighting chance at a stable life—School on Wheels. Their approach may seem modest: tutor a child for one hour per week. However, the impact on that child’s life is incalculable—it provides these children with the structure and consistency they need. That hour reiterates to them that they aren’t forgotten, that they do matter, and that they can change their circumstances.
And once a child believes in themselves, the hope and optimism they carry is truly inspirational. In January 2018 a student of mine was struck in the crossfire of a drive-by. In the weeks following, I recall trying to be sympathetic to his condition by telling him we could just play games until he felt better. Knowing he had the SATs coming up, he responded, “Games won’t get me into college. We’ll work on math sections.” To contextualize things, this was a student who, not even a year prior, would constantly vocalize that he might as well “pick out a box to live in now” because he felt he had no chance of attending college. It was at that precise moment that I realized how much of an impact that hour a week can have on the self-esteem of a child in need.
School on Wheels is the only non-profit organization in Southern California that focuses on the education of children experiencing homelessness. As such, its’ success, as well as the success of the children it serves, is directly related to its number of volunteers. Sadly, that number is often limited by people’s misconceptions on whether they’re “qualified” to volunteer. In reality, the only obstacle is a person’s willingness to volunteer.
Regardless of your age, background or level of education, your mere presence in a child’s life can be transformative. They will never forget that someone cared enough to show up once a week during the most turbulent time of their lives. Get started today.