Students of the Month – August 2016
Skid Row Learning Center
– 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. 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.
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, 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, 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, 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. 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
– 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