Congratulations to our graduates!
Every year we joyfully celebrate our high school graduates. They receive gifts and goodies, help with graduation expenses and a brand new laptop! This initiative is funded by the Delphi Foundation and the original idea came from one of our supporters, Sunni Won (Thanks Sunni!). Students are also invited to apply for the Catherine McAuley Meek Scholarship. Our hope is that they will continue to keep us updated on their academic achievement and successes for years to come. Continue reading below for some of these wonderful stories from our students!
Former students and recent college graduates like Yhomira and Sunny are fabulous role models for our students and help to prove that even in the direst of circumstances dreams can come true. They are featured here along with just a few of the dozens of high school graduate students who agreed to share their graduation photos and stories with us this year.
Katy Michaelis started tutoring Sunny G when she was in 8th grade and got to work with her through her high school graduation. We wrote about their relationship back in 2017 and you can read more here. Katy got to watch Sunny graduate recently with her bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton!
“It was amazing to get to continue to be part of her journey and celebration. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to support Sunny and give her at least some of the resources she needed for success. This is such a meaningful moment for us both.” – Katy Michaelis
Yhomira recently graduated from the University of Florida!
“School on Wheels was a big part of my life when I was homeless. They were always there for me and I attended their learning center after school every day. When so many doors were closing for me and my family theirs was always open.
There was always a celebration at the center or field trips or interesting people to meet and I always equate them with happiness.
I struggled my whole life to get where I am today, but I would say to any kid in the same situation that nothing is impossible and you can do anything if you dream big. Sometimes bad things happen and we all make mistakes but learn from them and eventually the good things come. When I was young I didn’t understand why all these things happened to my family. But now I am the first one to graduate in my family and my sister is a graduate too. I believe you are able to overcome anything and nothing is impossible.”
Bryan will be attending Harbor community college in the fall. He would like a job that pays well and allows him to travel!
“I hope I inspire the next generation to take a step into new heights – Bryan O
Gabby’s dream job is to become a marine biologist. Her tutor, Tazin Yunis, helped Gabby with college prep and completing her FAFSA. She received numerous acceptance letters and is thrilled to be attending UCLA in the fall and, you guessed it, she will be studying marine biology!
“Tutoring was never something fun that I enjoyed at first but my tutor was great. I learned so much and it helped me stay on track. This summer I’ll be working at the Aquarium of the Pacific and then will be attending LA Trade Tech’s culinary program in the fall.” Jalen R.
“My Tutor (Katherine Pope) helped me so much. She helped me with Math, chemistry, getting ready for my SAT pretty much anything I needed help with. It was always nice to see her. I looked forward to my sessions with her. My dream job is to become a graphic designer and work in the marketing field. I will be attending Orange Coast Community College in the fall and would like to transfer to Redlands University or a Cal State University after I complete my general ed.” Leilani L.
“I really liked my time with School on Wheels, especially with my tutor (Sharon Lopez Victoria), she explained everything very well and really helped me a lot. I had a few AP classes (Bio, psychology, literature) and she was always so helpful with those classes. She was also a good mentor. I will be attending Santa Ana Community College in the fall and right now I am undeclared but I’m considering psychology.” Nayli J.
Soraya’s dream is to pursue a fine arts degree and transfer to a four-year university after community college.
“My tutor (Laqshya Taneja) has been great. He has helped me so much in such a short period of time. He has not only helped me with pre-calculus but also helped me stay motivated. School on Wheels has been amazing, thank you for all your help.”
Angie’s dream job is to become a Psychologist and work with children. She will be attending Glendale Community college and majoring in Psychology, then transfer to San Francisco State.“I was struggling with math and English but when I started working with my tutor I finally understood the material. My tutor (Pouye Sedighian) was very helpful and explained everything very well.
Anthony wants to pursue a BA in Psychology with a minor in Business AND a double major in Nursing. He’ll attend Cal State University Northridge.
“I want to extend my appreciation for not only the program but my tutor too, he pretty much helped me pass all my classes. My tutor, Nick, has been amazing, I learned a lot from him it was nice to feel I had a head start.” Anthony B.
“School on Wheels has helped me succeed by making me more confident in my math work.
I plan to attend the University of Oregon and my dream job is to become a psychiatrist”
Frail first met his tutor Barbara Speicher when he was in third grade (and spoke very little English). They continued to meet until he moved into permanent housing with his family in 6th grade. They kept in touch over the years via phone, texts, and emails, and Barbara attended his track meets and family celebrations. We were thrilled to hear that Frail graduated from high school this year and received awards and recognition for his leadership skills, maintaining a 3.5 GPA, and being captain of his track team, to name just a few. He received a Simon Scholarship and will be attending Cal State Fullerton University, majoring in Criminal Justice.
“It’s hard to believe it was 10 years ago we met. He is such a nice young man with lots of ambition and hope for the future. Thank you, School on Wheels for this wonderful program to help make dreams come to fruition!” – Barbara Speicher
“I am very grateful to have been in this program. When I meet my tutor it was only my third week in this country. I didn’t know any English at all. My tutor helped me so much. She always encouraged me to keep moving forward despite my challenges. In the future I see myself working in congress!” – Frail Cortez
Ashley will be attending San Antonio Community College in the fall and her dream job is to become a social worker.