Category: Star Students

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
Jun 25

2019 Graduation Stories

June is our favorite month because we get to hear about all the successes our students have achieved during the school year.  We caught up with a few of our high school grads and their families and tutors to see their graduation photos and hear their stories.  

“My student Eric went from D’s and C’s to A’s and B’s.” tutor Anna Mack said proudly when we spoke to her on the phone last week. “We met at the shelter he was at with his family two years ago and we’ve tutored every week since.” Eric will be attending Cal Poly in the fall.

“I struggled as a Junior in high school. I was failing classes and wasn’t focused on my education. But for my senior year, I had a tutor – Brittany. I finally wasn’t on my own anymore. I became less frustrated with school and I started to feel positive and just started to do it. I want to study culinary arts or environmental science and plan to attend Los Angeles Mission College.” – Student Ossie 

“When I got my family into a shelter School on Wheels came right alongside us and helped my kids with their education. I didn’t have the education to help them myself. We are extremely proud of Ashley. She is the first in our family to graduate from high school.” – Xochitl, Ashley’s Mom

With your support, we can help more students like Eric, Ashley, and Ossie!

Jun 19

Students of the Month – June 2019

Jaya

Age 9

Jaya enjoys science and scientific experiments. She also plays Roblox a good amount. I honestly can’t think of any big academic challenge that Jaya couldn’t get. She’s an excellent student and can understand what I try to explain. Jaya hopes to become an engineer when she gets older.

Kai, Tutor

Angel

Age 13

Angel has been plugging away at math problems all month long! I have watched him grasp topics and begin to improve. Angel loves skateboarding, online tutoring, and hot chips.

Jason W., SRLC Instructor

Jaylene

Age 11

When I met Jaylene, she had just started 5th grade, but her level of math was of 2nd grade. So we worked each week studying 2nd grade onwards math while also doing the 5th-grade math that was done in her school to keep her grades up. She worked very hard with always a smile on her face. Jaylene wants to be an oncologist. She wants to earn well and support herself while also contributing to society by providing care for those who can’t afford. Jaylene has always amazed me with her resilience, courage, and hope for her future.

Manmeet, Tutor

Kaylee

Age 9

Kaylee loves to hang out with her friends and cousins. Her favorite subject at school is reading. She also really enjoys playing games, playing outside, reading books, and doing typing practice online. Kaylee has taught me that persistence is so important. When she puts her mind to her work, she makes incredible progress and completes it quickly and well.

Joelle, Tutor

Ryder

Age 8

Ryder loves to skateboard. He couldn’t read when I first started tutoring, but now he can complete a whole book! From Ryder I have learned how to be more patient, understanding, and compassionate.

Andrew, Tutor

Takara

Age 12

Takara loves anything KPOP!! Period. 🙂 So I try to incorporate a bit of dance to each session. She wants to learn to speak Korean and to travel to Korea and possibly do a Study Abroad program. I have learned from her how important it is to do what you love. To really believe in your passion and let it flow through you, allowing you to dream big. This is a sure path to happiness. 🙂

Carla, Tutor
Nov 6

Students of the Month – November 2018

Region 5:

Gabriel (11th grade) – I love seeing Gabriel brighten up when we talk about art and clothing! He’s very interested in becoming the best person and truly understanding what interests him! We sit and sketch together during the week and talk about shading, contouring, construction of garments, and croquis! – Eric Garcia, Tutor

 

Region 1:

Marco (age 16) – Marco and I work on his projects and homework together each week. Most of the time we are going over things as a recap or moving forward and learning something new. Marco is a smart, funny, intelligent and creative student. We are in the process of designing a game, and I will be teaching him how to code using Unity. He was responsible for the design, concept and gameplay. Over the past few weeks I have seen Marco grow in his confidence with schoolwork and ability to problem solve. He shows a great interest in coding and biology, which is perfect for designing biology-related programs. Keep up the great work, buddy! – Jeremy Agrusa, Tutor

 

Region 2:

Layben, Nytirri, and Lamar – There are few kids’ rituals as important as Saturday morning cartoons, but the siblings Layben, Nytirri and Lamar are always eager to work on math, kindly helping us set up the chairs and tables without being asked.

In the first few sessions, Layben (kindergarten) was more reserved, and I hardly heard him speak. After more one-on-one time, I have found he has a burgeoning sense of humor, playing jokes while I watch him make speedy progress on addition and subtraction.

Nytirri (2nd grade) reminds me of me as a child, with her diligence and her affinity for arts and crafts. If you teach her something new, she will master it by the next week and ask you to give her a more difficult problem set. Sometimes, she makes her own problems and teaches them to us.

Lamar (3rd grade) is equally devoted, bringing his own workbook to do extra practice at the end of a lesson. He loves brain games, like word searches and chess. He quickly learned the rules of chess one day, then taught them to the other students. As the oldest, he has a sense of confidence that I feel will enable him to be a leader.

Charlotte Kim, Tutor

 

Online Tutoring:

Katrina (10th Grade) – Katrina is very bright, a quality she undoubtedly gains through her love for reading. She invests hours into reading everyday and enjoys every minute of it! She says she loves to be transported to an alternate universe, in which the interesting events are taking place. Katrina is also an extraordinarily quick learner and grasps material after only a few minutes of practice. Often, we get through much more than I had initially intended to cover in one online tutoring session! It has been wonderful being able to connect with Katrina through online tutoring, and I have no doubt that Katrina will accomplish amazing things in the near future!
Lori Horhor, Tutor

Skid Row Learning Center:

Bailey (Kindergarten) – Bailey is the first Kindergartener ever chosen as Student of the Month at the Learning Center! She is helpful, dutiful, kind, caring, and respectful. She not only completes her homework quickly and efficiently, but she also helps her classmates. She is the epitome of what a Student of the Month should be! – Jason Wright, Tutor

 

Sep 27

Students of the Month – October 2018

Region 10:

J. (age 15), R. (age 12) and K. (age 9) – This summer, we worked on computer coding with the kids at a shelter in Orange County. This family of three siblings thrived in the coding program.

J. is the smart, gentle, and mature older sister who quietly guides her siblings when they’re unsure of what to do. J. is so smart that she was on track to get her AA degree while in high school, and she is excited to return to her education in the fall. During the summer, J. was eager to learn coding, and whenever possible, she also worked to increase her typing speed. She understands better than anyone that technology is the key to success in the modern world, and she’s grabbing the bull by the horns.

J.’s brother, R., is also remarkably intelligent. When handed a Chromebook to use for coding, R. enthusiastically zipped through the levels. Fortunately, a few of the tutors had just completed an AP Computer Science course, so they’ve been able to work with R. on additional new material. R. is quiet, humble and focused. Nothing will stop him.

The youngest of the siblings is K. Although she has less computer experience than her siblings, K. has been determined to learn as much coding as she can during the tutoring sessions. She has been a sponge. In addition, K. has been effusively thankful to the tutors for sharing their time with her.

Despite their current situation, this delightful family has shown an amazing amount of positivity, cooperation, and discipline. While all of the students at the shelter are wonderful, this trio reminds us that we are lucky to have them in our lives. – Milan Narula, Tutor

 

Online:

Lawrence (5th Grade) – What enjoy most about tutoring Lawrence is how his face lights up when he learns something new. While helping him with reading comprehension, he asked me what a salamander was. We then went down a rabbit hole about salamanders, because he wanted to learn more and more about them, as well as other amphibians. This continued for more than a couple sessions and it was a delight to see. – Thu-Anh Holton, Lawrence’s Online Tutor

 

Region 4:

Sean (11th Grade) – Sean is a caring teenager that is interested in Japanese culture and anime. His favorite subject is math and he loves Dragon Ball Z and Takis!
– Riki Aihara,
Tutor

 

Region 5:

Iris (12th grade) – Iris was living in a shelter with her family when we first met, and attending a local high school. The high school wasn’t providing a very supportive learning experience, so we worked together to enroll Iris at Lafayette Charter School, where she’s really done well with her classes. Iris excels in math, which is good because it’s definitely not my strong suit. Iris enjoys reading a great deal, and I love hearing her take on the books she’s reading, whether they’re classics or recent fiction.
Michael Hacker, Tutor

Aug 7

Students of the Month – August 2018

Online:

Ethan (9th Grade) – Even though Ethan has been working hard as an older brother and taking care of two younger siblings, I admire his enthusiasm for participating in the Summer Program. At first, he was hesitant about reading books that were written before the year 2000, but the Summer Program has made him more open to reading different kinds of books, such as The Hobbit. Throughout the summer, we’ve had a lot of fun talking about the books we’ve read together. Ethan especially enjoyed making text-to-self connections and identified strongly with the character Wade Watts from the novel Ready Player One because of how Wade overcomes the challenges he experiences. After summer, I look forward to seeing Ethan continue to develop his love of reading and continue to make different types of connections when he reads! – Natalie Platon, Ethan’s Online Tutor

 

Region 1:

Communidad Cesar Chavez Students – Because we mainly group tutor at a short-term shelter, we only have the kids for a limited time before they move to more permanent housing. It’s tough to get tutoring done in a fairly noisy, fluid environment with kids of different abilities, but I’ve found multiplication flash cards are the most useful tool. 75% of the students we help have trouble with their times tables, and since multiplication is the cornerstone of math, the kids see immediate results. My favorite part of the year is during the summer, when we develop interactive science projects. They include projects such as dry ice, launching water bottles, anatomy, botany, paper airplanes, and making dinosaur fossils. The kids go nuts for this stuff!
– Evan Panas,
Tutor

 

Region 10:

STEM of Wheels Students – We immensely enjoyed working with the students in STEM on Wheels. Their completed projects for our daily challenges were proud moments for both them and us. Whether it was building a bridge to cross a river or trying to program a Sprite to dance about the room, the kids demonstrated logic, background knowledge, reasoning, and most importantly, a sense of fun in completing their projects. We cheered as Daniella’s group’s little car inched its way up the inclined plane; we laughed with Bryan in his attempt to design his candy “cell” into a face; we groaned while doing our healthy exercises; we watched excitedly as Natalie’s dog chased a cat around the screen like she’d coded it to do. It was quite the summer program, full of amazing kids.
STEM on Wheels Tutors