Category: Star Students

Nov 27

2019 Fall & Winter Student Artwork Contest

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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.

Nov 12

Meet Adam, Yalda, and Naz

Guest post by School on Wheels volunteer ambassador Stacey Millett.


Recently Yalda published a book of her poetry to raise funds for School on Wheels. It includes drawings from School on Wheels students as well! You can buy the book here and on November 16th, 2019 there will be a public book launch party in Ventura


Adam, 16 years old, started with School On Wheels in March 2018. He describes his experience with his tutors as being “positive and helpful in creating a template to reach his goals.”

When Adam came to School On Wheels his main aspiration was to work on increasing his SAT score. Adam’s current goal is to score within the top 1 percent of students on the PSAT, which will make him eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program. He would like to attend USC and study biology and design. 

School On Wheels worked to facilitate a personal relationship that would support Adam in achieving his goals. Yalda,16, and her mother Naz tutored Adam together. Adam says, “they are both very helpful and have different points of view. Perspectives from both the mother and daughter help in different areas and provides a balance in learning.” 

The three met each week, and sometimes their sessions lasted over two hours. If they were unable to meet in person they did Skype sessions on the computer. Adam was very grateful to School On Wheels for providing a computer so that his learning has no boundaries.  

Adam and Yalda are the same age. Yalda has benefited from the tutor sessions as well, as she was studying to take her SAT test soon. Typically, when one of them answered a problem incorrectly, the other will have answered correctly, and vice versa. Naz, in a truly parental fashion, made sure they took breaks outside of the library: getting fresh air and even going for a quick jog around the building. 

This unique tutoring template they have created “worked working wonderfully,” Naz explained. When Adam began his School on Wheels tutoring sessions with Naz and Yalda, his score was 1170. He’s now at 1450! “This was a big turning point”, Naz continued, “when Adam scored so high, it made all three realize their hard work and dedication was really showing results and it gave them all more trust in each other and the process.”

Adam’s advice to other School On Wheel students is this: “Find a goal and dedicate yourself to your goal. If you are struggling to find something to focus on, ask others what they think you are good at, see if that is a good fit, and keep your head down and work hard. If things get hard along the way, believe that it will get better.” 

Adam adds that “when he achieves his success he will have three to credit: Yalda, Naz and School On Wheels for helping him get there.” Yalda believes 100% in this possibility, saying “Adam has a bright future ahead of him and can do anything he commits to.”

Nov 6

Students of the Month – Nov. 2019

DeAndre

Age 16

DeAndre would like to be a software engineer. He loves Fortnite, all things Marvel (especially Spider-Man), YouTube, and math. We have studied together for a big World War II history test, practiced getting ahead in his math classes using a Geometry workbook, and had informative lessons about earning credit, minimum wages, resume building, salary negotiations, and other applicable skills.

Christina Schoellkoph, Tutor

Kyla

Age 7

Kyla loves to draw–mainly animals–and enjoys science. Her love for science is sparked by discovering new things like fossils and dinosaurs. She also loves ice cream! She struggles a bit to stay focus but has greatly improved each time I have been with her. When she grows up she wants to become an artist, doctor, scientist, a famous dancer or singer. Oh, and she wants a peacock for a pet. Kyla has taught me that an interest in school can help you dream big. The perseverance that she has shown tells me that she has a bright future ahead.

Nathalie Martinez, Tutor

Anthony

Age 13

Anthony wants to go to college and to work on solving global warming. Math is an academic challenge that we have worked on together. Working with Anthony has taught me that being humble is one of the best personality traits someone can have, and also how important it is to always be open to learning new things.

Eden Ettenger, Tutor

Azekial

Age 8

Azekial is very interested in video games and drawing, and enjoys cartoons like Teen Titans Go. I think that one of the biggest challenges we have faced was trying to get him familiar with the way time is represented on a clock. At first, he couldn’t identify the times in the pictures, but now he has made much progress. Azekial isn’t yet sure what he would like to do in the future, but is a very bright student so I’m sure he will make it far.

Nivitha Kandula, Tutor

Jacob

Age 14

Jacob likes to ride his bike and skateboard, and to practice tricks on them. He is also enjoys video games and watching YouTube. At school, PE is his favorite subject. His dream job would be a professional BMX rider. On weekends, Jacob sometimes helps out a family member with handyman jobs which allows him to learn how to fix things. This gives him the opportunity to discover if there is a trade that he would be interested in pursuing when he finishes high school.

Chris Smith, Tutor

Sep 30

Students of the Month – Oct. 2019

James

Age 9

James enjoys music, baseball, and computer games. Our focus is on improving reading scores and improving math, hopefully to win a math achievement award at the end of the school year. James says he believes we should keep trying to improve no matter what.

Ann Buckley, Tutor

Pierre

Age 8

Pierre enjoys football, math, and watching movies. He says he would like to be both an athlete and a paramedic. One of the things I’ve learned with Pierre is to try out different strategies, like clapping for each syllable, or building words with pieces of paper that have letters on them. There is no one way that works all the time, but I will say that drawing smiley faces goes a long way in improving motivation!

Laurie Kovalenko, Tutor
Aug 29

Students of the Month – Sept. 2019

Collin

Age 9

Collin’s interests include science, acting, and furry animals. One of Collin’s big academic challenges was learning Common Core Math, but he never gave up and learned to use the method well. This was a big success for him! Collin wants to do well in school and be successful when he grows up, maybe even becoming a famous actor or comedian someday. I have learned from Collin that you need to be courageous and brave, and you need to forgive and accept.

Elaine Gonzales, Tutor

Troy

Age 14

Troy once told me that he received a student recognition award for math at school. He was so proud! Troy is very interested in production and says he intends to pursue a successful life.

Raquel Abreu, Tutor

Lionel

Age 13

Lionel loves playing sports, especially basketball. His dream is to play in the NBA when he grows up. When it comes to academics, he is interested in science, social studies/history, and likes reading. Lionel used to just try to memorize problems and answers, but I have been teaching him to understand the concepts. It’s great to see him working so hard and really learning.

Ganesh Koka, Tutor

Jul 26

Students of the Month – August 2019

Jenny

Age 9

Jenny has a wide range of interests, including K-pop, make-up, spicy food (noodles!), dancing, singing, baking, arts and crafts, painting, relaxing and sleeping. Our challenge was to raise Jenny ’s grades as much as we could within a short amount of time, and we did it! Jenny hopes to inspire the world through music, dancing, and other forms of art.

Stephanie Gunawan Piraner, Tutor

Amir

Age 11

Amir is incredibly interested in sciences. He also likes making and watching videos, and has his own YouTube channel. Amir always finishes his homework before tutoring sessions, and, with a little nudging, is happy to take on other topics he is struggling with. Whether it be while doing school work or creating his own videos, Amir shows interest, dedication, and passion.

Brian Lee, Tutor

Aaron

Age 17

Aaron actually has a wide range of interests but the one that stands out the most is independent film making, particularly documentary. Aaron is very motivated and able to focus; rather than follow text books, we often deep-dive to learn as much about a particular topic as possible, drawing connections between different time periods in history and then testing these with a few round up questions. It was a joy working with someone who was clearly engaged and giving it their best shot. I have confidence that when he puts his mind to something, he really has the potential to achieve it.

Katie Rowley / Andy Griffin, Tutors

Giovanni

Age 6

Giovanni says the root of his happiness, whether it be his trip to the beach recently or his new toy from McDonald’s, is that he always gives himself a reason to live that day. Even during times of stress, he focuses on when the good shall come and never becomes discouraged from fighting through the day. Giovanni is always hopeful and full of purpose.

Joelle, Tutor

Giovan

Age 16

Gio is a fun loving, bright student, with some of the best handwriting I have seen. We have been making great developments by playing the card game Math Wars and reading aloud. One of the special times we have during our sessions is when Gio teaches me a few words of sign language to add to my vocabulary, an experience I will treasure and use all my life!

Sasana Kachirsky, Tutor

Martin

Age 11

Since the first session we had together I’ve gotten glimpses into the challenges Martin has experienced in his young life, and they aren’t small. Still, he is ready to laugh with other students and catches onto subjects quickly. Martin has reminded me of the importance of laughter in learning; I feel lucky I get to work with him.

Gavin Sweeney , Tutor

Samantha

Age 17

Sam loves math, chemistry, and working with animals. She wants to work with kids or animals (or both), and she also wants to run a restaurant where they serve comfort food and where people can go to feel happy and full for a reasonable price. She really enjoys people, and is very open minded and sweet. She has a big heart and always wants to help in any situation.

Nima Kharrazi, Tutor

Adrianne

Age 8

Adrianne loves dogs, art, gymnastics, musical comedy, puzzles, making friends, and playing outdoors on her bicycle. She loves all animals and dreams of one day becoming a veterinarian. I have learned a greater depth of unconditional love and commitment from Sam, as well as how important it is to keep a promise and how to laugh and open my heart more fully.

Pamela Miller-Shults, Tutor