Category: Star Students

Feb 7

Students of the Month – February 2017

Region 4:

“Stephany (3rd Grade)  is such a sweet girl. She’s always one to give gifts, such as rocks, to show how much she appreciates you. She’s hesitant about learning or practicing, especially her multiplication tables, but always strives to do better. I try to make each lesson fun for her, and it really keeps her engaged. It is genuinely exciting to see her do her multiplication tables much faster now. I look forward to our next challenge. Diane Lopez–Tutor


Region 6:

David (10th grade) “I’ve been privileged to work with at least 30 students over the past year at a group foster home in Pomona, but David stands out. When I met him in May, he was quite small for his age and kept to himself, and the older students frequently picked on him. However, he did apply an effort to his homework, which was not true for all of the other students. To encourage student participation, I developed a study quiz game. David didn’t play in the beginning, but eventually, it became one of his favorite things to do during our sessions. It turns out that he is very good in math and spelling! This got the attention of the other students, and before long, they were trying to get David to join their teams. David’s confidence grew, and when he successfully graduated the program in November, I believe he left feeling better about himself and his future.” Deborah Myers–Tutor


Skid Row Learning Center:

Abraham (3rd grade) “Abraham comes in every day enthusiastic and exuberant. He gets his homework done and takes the time to help other students around him. Most days, it’s common to see multiple smiles at whatever table he’s sitting. A joy to tutors and peers alike, Abraham is the epitome of Student of the Month.”  Jesse Polen–Tutor


Online Tutoring:

Vincent (9th Grade)  “My son has really improved his grades a lot since starting his online tutoring and he has developed an outstanding attitude toward learning as well! Vincent looks forward to working with his online tutoring teachers, who are very patient and extremely helpful. He really likes computers now and spends his free time on Khan Academy, YouTube, and other programs and websites. He really enjoys learning.” – Vincent’s Mother

Dec 1

Students of the Month – December 2016

Online Tutoring:

Nate, School on Wheels Student of the Month

“Nate (5th Grade) loves art and he also knows that he needs to work on his math skills. So, I thought, let’s combine the two! We’ve worked together on coloring sheets: for every part of a drawing he colored, we worked on a math problem. One hour, once a week, for 2 months. Nate has gone from struggling to add to mastering his times tables. Even on days when he feels overwhelmed, Nate never gives up. It has been a joy to work with him.” – Ian Chan – Online Tutor


Skid Row Learning Center:

Lily, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Lily (Kindergarten) is one of the sweetest, funniest, most precocious kindergarteners you’ll ever meet. Every day Lily comes in joyful and ready to learn. Her willingness to complete her homework and her commitment to excellence are a sight to see!



Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay Cities:

Aliyah, School on Wheels Student of the Month

“Aliyah is an amazing kindergartner. I ask her every session if there is anything she wants to work on (besides her coloring skills) and was surprised when she wanted to learn the Pledge of Allegiance. It makes sense as she is new to school, but I’ve never had that request before and it shows how seriously Aliyah takes her role as student. I look forward to our sessions together and wonder how she will amaze me next week. Thank you, School on Wheels, for this opportunity!” – Sheryl Luttrell, Tutor


Region 7 – San Fernando Valley:

Jadelynn, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Jadelynn (4th Grade) is a sweet fourth grader with a lot of potential. She is very funny, intelligent, competitive and creative. She has a lot of energy and shows a great passion for learning. Her goal for the future is to become a teacher at the elementary school that she attends. – Maya McKeever, Tutor


Region 8 – Ventura County:

Bobbie, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Bobbie (6th Grade) – “When not doing homework, Bobbie enjoys dancing — specifically hip-hop and ballet — and hopes to become a choreographer. As an avid reader, Bobbie has become a fairly good speller and will be competing in the local spelling bee. She has an insatiable appetite for learning, but the best part about our sessions is when she looks at me with the “I get it now” look. Just priceless! It has been an honor to be her tutor.” – Kathy Jarman, Tutor


Region 12 – North Orange County:

Caleb, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Caleb (7th Grade) – “At first, Caleb was hesitant to give new things a try and he would only give short, quick responses to questions. He has become much more comfortable challenging himself with new or difficult activities. With a solid amount of dedication, consistency, and determination, reading is now his favorite activity. I am proud of his improvement and excited to see his progression continue in the upcoming months.” – Jacob Maldonado, Tutor

Nov 1

Students of the Month – November 2016

Skid Row Learning Center:

Andrea, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Andrea (5th Grade) is an avid reader, choir member, exemplary student, and appointed “Digital Learning Center Captain”. Leading by example, Andrea always completes her work before helping other students. She is a joy to work with and we appreciate her hard work and dedication.


Region 6 – Inland Empire:

Jenna, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Jenna (2nd Grade) – “Right away, I realized what a special student Jenna was. She is exceptionally talented, both artistically and mathematically. Despite missing some schooling, Jenna took it upon herself to keep learning by downloading educational games and practicing her skills on her own. Her improvement and success as a student is due to her love and thirst for knowledge. I love how she comes to our sessions ready to learn with a positive and open mind!” – Michelle Chebeir, Tutor


Region 9 – Santa Barbara:

Ariana, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Ariana (4th Grade) – “On our first tutoring session, I asked Ariana what her favorite day of the week was. She answered, ‘Tuesday – because that’s the day that you come.’ Hearing this sweet answer got me already excited to work with her. Ariana really likes school, spending time with her family, and visiting her extended family in Mexico. She also enjoys playing tag, riding to the beach on her bicycle, and going to the mall. Her favorite subject in school is Math.” – Claudia Gack, Tutor


Region 10 – South Orange County:

Julian, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Julian (4th Grade) – “My student is really smart and loves school. We share a love of science, studying the weather and geology, and even the requirements of what it takes to be an engineer.” – Deb Woods, Tutor



Region 12 – North Orange County:

Phillip, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Phillip (7th Grade) – “I have seen nothing but positive growth in this intelligent young man. He comes not only prepared to learn, but eager as well. His exceptional effort has been well-documented and recognized during each of our tutoring sessions. Phillip has a very bright future if he keeps working hard, and I firmly believe he is well-equipped to go above and beyond to achieve whatever stands in his way.” – Richard Vela, Tutor


Online Tutoring:

Nick, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Nick (9th Grade) – “Nick showed curiosity at first, but would get easily distracted. There were more than a few times when he was frustrated and I was worried he’d give up, but he’s demonstrated persistence and has completed each project we’ve tackled. We use Khan Academy to work on coding and computer science and he gets so excited when he figures things out. Once, when a passerby asked what he was doing, he said, “I’m hacking.” I loved it!” – Tomer Gurantz – Online Tutor

Oct 3

Students of the Month – October 2016

Skid Row Learning Center:

Jordan, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Jordan (12th Grade) is polite, respectful, and enthusiastic. He goes above and beyond his peers and provides an immense amount of assistance with projects at the Skid Row Learning Center. He works additional hours to complete tasks, and comes straight from school to accomplish his goals at the Learning Center. His dedication to helping improve the experience for other students is fantastic too!


Region 1 – East LA:

Arianna, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Arianna (3rd Grade) has made great progress and we are very proud of all her hard work. She started off shy and quiet and didn’t want to participate in group tutoring. She was matched with a tutor one on one and after a couple of weeks, Arianna started to come out of her shell. She now looks forward to tutoring and even attends group tutoring twice a week. Her mom says it’s her favorite part of the day!


Region 3 – Westside:

Andrew, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Andrew (4th Grade) – “Even though every session isn’t wildly successful, I know that every time we meet, Andrew is making progress. One of the greatest gifts is seeing Andrew’s eyes light up when he’s finally able to solve the math problem correctly or appropriately pronounce that stubborn word. One of my favorite things about our sessions is when we wrap with 10-15 minutes of group reading on the bean bags.” Sevag Salibian, Tutor


Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay:

Gerald, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Gerald (5th Grade) is a bright, motivated 10 year old who shows up every week ready to work and learn. “The very first time I tutored with him I made up some practice math problems, and after one or two he looked over at me and said “Come on, give me some hard ones!” That demonstrates exactly the type of person he is, always curious and ready to dig into his school work. He’s a great kid and a real pleasure to work with.” Steve Cox, Tutor


Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Angel's Flight Group Home, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Angel’s Flight Group Home – This month we would like to highlight ALL the students at Angel’s Flight group home, who participate in group tutoring each week. The students at the home have been working hard to improve academically each week. They are always prepared and ready to learn. After school work is done they enjoy playing chess and putting together art projects with the tutors. Keep up the excellent work!


Region 10 – South Orange County:

James, School on Wheels Student of the Month

James (1st Grade) – “When I first met him, as a kindergartener, we shared our common interests (love of animals and ice cream, among others). I was immediately charmed and impressed. We have worked on listening, communication, reading, letters and numbers. I remind him that he is a good thinker and a hard worker.” Ann Buckley, Tutor


Online Tutoring:

Montia, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Montia (12th Grade) – “First of all, I’m so, so proud of Montia. YAY! She is awesome! I remember when Montia told me about receiving extra credit on her test, she was so ecstatic. We sat in front of our screens just cheering. It was such a genuine moment. Montia has so much potential to achieve great things in the future. She has developed a great work ethic, and she has a kind heart. I am fortunate to be her tutor and mentor.” Carol Wang – Online Tutor

Sep 1

Students of the Month – September 2016

Skid Row Learning Center

Myiona, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Myiona, 1st Grade. Sometimes I am reminded that the school system is supposed to be a launching pad for future success. Myiona, a reticent but precocious 1st grader, was that bright reminder this month for two reasons. She impressed tutors and staff with her indefatigable work ethic because she completed long worksheets without breaks or complaints. Also, the rate at which Myiona learns amazes me. After giving her a two-minute lesson on subtraction, she was doing whole worksheets by herself, doing them mentally with no finger counting needed. Myiona’s potent mix of diligence and incredible processing power led me to believe that she can become literally anyone she wants to be, from rocket scientist to president. I’m beyond pleased that the volunteer tutors and staff at School On Wheels were able to quickly close her educational gaps before she left the Skid Row Learning Center, reminding me of why School On Wheels’ mission is vital in this world.

Brian Lopez, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor

Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay

Paula, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Paula, Kindergarten . From day one, Paula has been a “happy-virus” who seems to have an unsurpassable supply of giggles which she gives out bountifully to those around her. She shares wonderful stories with great imagination; she teaches me how to color within the lines, and she always seems to win during memory games. She is the ball of sunshine I look forward to seeing every week; and after each session, I’m inspired to share her happy virus with everyone around me.

Janet Cho, Tutor

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena

Gabriel, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Gabriel. Gabriel is a great student! He has been with our program for over two years and in that time has definitely improved and excelled. At times he has made small strides, but nevertheless he continues to progress and more forward. Keep up the good work, Gabriel!

Michael Erzingher, Tutor

Region 6 – Inland Empire

Arlenne, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Arlenne, Kindergarten. One of my favorite students is a little girl named Arlenne. She is only five years old, but very motivated to learn during tutoring. Her mom thought her teachers didn’t give enough homework to practice at home; so we found worksheets to practice and extend concepts like rhyming and adding. Although the work was sometimes challenging for Arlenne, she never gave up, and in the end succeeded with a big, proud smile. Completing this work together seemed to make both of our days!

Megan Robbins, Tutor

Region 7 – San Fernando Valley

John, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– John, 8th Grade. John just graduated from middle school and will be entering high school in a few weeks. His ambition is to be a veterinarian because he loves animals, as evidenced by the fact that he has three dogs! He enjoys playing video games and watching baseball on television. He is hopeful the Angels will win the World Series in the near future. He is also an excellent ping pong player – see the picture he drew for you.

Isaac Weingart, Tutor

Region 12 – North Orange County

Sunny, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Sunny, 12th Grade. I have been tutoring/mentoring Sunny for three years and have seen her grow from an eighth grader who thought she knew it all to a soon-to-be senior in high school. Sunny has her eyes set toward a bright future. We work together on schoolwork, but as she gets older and her classes become more difficult, our relationship has turned into more of a mentorship. We work on life skills and talk about decisions as much as we solve trigonometry problems. Sunny has faced a lot of tough choices and has shown maturity and insight beyond her years. Sunny also works very hard in school and strives for excellence in all she does. We have recently begun taking college tours and looking at majors, scholarships, and other programs as well as studying for the SAT. I couldn’t be more excited to see what lies in Sunny’s future!

Katy Michaelis, Tutor

Online Tutoring

Ethan, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Ethan, 8th Grade. Ethan is a motivated individual who is inspired to create programs and games during our online tutoring sessions. Ethan and I have been taking an online Javascript programming class together on Khan Academy for almost a year now. We spend each session viewing short teaching videos and performing programming lab activities together. I would like to say I’m tutoring him, but to be fair, I’m learning almost as much as he is! My favorite memory and activity was when Ethan had a math assignment about calculating the volume of three dimensional objects. Instead of laboriously calculating the answers to each question, we decided to go onto Khan Academy and write, from scratch, a program to perform these functions. Ethan has been a pure pleasure to work with, and I can see him going far with his skills.

Tomer Gurantz, Online Tutor

Aug 2

Students of the Month – August 2016

Skid Row Learning Center

Melodie, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Melodie, 10th Grade. Having students return to the Skid Row Learning Center(SRLC) is a bittersweet, mixed bag since we always hope that students that leave us find permanent housing and ensuing stability and success. Upon a student’s return, we never know whether to expect a downtrodden student or a resilient one. July’s Student of the Month, Melodie, is definitely the latter. Three and a half years away from the academic assistance and positive role models at the SRLC left Melodie far behind in her studies. However, she came back prepared to take advantage of everything School On Wheels has to offer.

Melodie has been walking into the SRLC with a big smile on her face ready to tackle the day’s academic assignments and eager to use all the resources at her disposal. For example, Melodie quickly learned to divide during one online tutoring session, which will help her tremendously in high school and life beyond. One final example of Melodie’s resilience and resourcefulness is her stellar art project where she had to illustrate a food chain in 3 dimensions, which she did with characteristic panache (as shown above and to the left).

Brian Lopez, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena

Highland Park boys group home, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Highland Park boys group home. Here is what Cameron writes: I started off feeling very nervous about taking on the responsibility of being a tutor and meeting new kids. However, I decided to take tutoring as a challenge to better the lives of others and to conquer my own nervousness, One of the really great moments we had together was playing basketball in their backyard. I saw the kids not as students but as normal teenagers. Carlos, was one student I focused on particularly. Overall, I saw a massive improvement in Carlos’s ability to recognize certain words; he learned to break down words he didn’t know and figure them out unassisted. Finally, I feel that, overall, my experience as a tutor made me a better person and helped others.

Alex writes:
I started tutoring last fall. Up until then, I’d been shy and slow to get into conversations much less tutor kids in a group home. As I felt more comfortable, I became more invested in the boys and their futures. Each day tutoring them was another chance to provide an opportunity for success, to give these kids a shot at meeting their own goals.

Cameron Riefe, Alex Riefe, Tutors

Region 6 – Inland Empire

Cameron, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Cameron, 7th Grade. Having a student like Cameron is every tutor’s dream. When we first met, he was reading below his grade level. As we progressed through each lesson, he surprised me with his unique insight on the way the world works and his maturity. Conversation with him is never dull. Although he occasionally has trouble focusing, Cameron is a quick and curious learner. They say reading is food for the soul, but I find that Cameron experiences the world differently. His sagacity, intelligence, and interests are rooted in interaction and hands-on experience. Often we find time to discuss and dismantle the intricacies of sports, history, and the world around us.

Angela Zhang, Tutor

Region 8 – Ventura County

Cari, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Cari, 5th Grade. I am so pleased with my student Cari. She is a bright little girl with strength of will and a challenge for many. It is wonderful that she and her Mom really count on my presence each week. They both show their appreciation which makes my work so rewarding. I hope to prepare her for what she will encounter in 5th grade so that she will shine.

Cari enjoys reading and writing, and from time to time, she enjoys volunteering at a local pet store. When she grows up, Cari would like to save animals with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Eileen Speer, Tutor

Region 10 – South Orange County

Justice, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Justice, 3rd Grade. Justice is an outgoing, intelligent, and highly perceptive student. He has worked hard and is making nice progress in the short time we’ve worked together. In our tutoring sessions, he actively participates, shares his opinions, and explains his thought process when asked. What strikes us most about Justice is how he is very comfortable expanding upon almost ANY topic of discussion. He likes to share examples and animated demonstrations on a wide range of subjects, which makes our time together much more interesting and fun. Justice brings plenty of energy to our sessions, and he’s not shy about liking a little reward for a job well-done. Though only in 3rd grade, Justice will likely achieve whatever he sets his mind to!

Brandon Mann, Tutor

Region 12 – North Orange County

Heaven, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Heaven. I am very glad to have Heaven as one of my students. She comes into tutoring sessions with a smile and a desire to learn. With every session, Heaven continues to strengthen her grasp of all academic concepts. It was great to see her so excited to learn about Newton’s second law of motion and conduct a science experiment using a K’Nex roller coaster set. It has been such a pleasure and privilege to have been given the opportunity to observe Heaven’s academic growth.

Matthew Young, Tutor

Online Tutoring

Micah, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Micah, 9th Grade. It has been a pleasure to serve as Micah’s tutor and to be part of his support system. Since our first online tutoring session in April, Micah has blossomed in his understanding of many key foundational concepts in mathematics, such as counting, addition, subtraction, and now in multiplication. We are yet to tackle division! One of my key success stories tutoring Micah is his increased willingness to ask questions and to question what I teach him. Students like Micah, despite their difficult home life benefit immensely from consistent academic support and mentorship.

Ian Chan, Online Tutor