Students of the Month – February 2016
Skid Row Learning Center
– Shakiya, 8th Grade. It is with great pride and admiration that I select Shakiya as the Student of Month, because she gave me three exemplary reasons to do so. The first of these is her work ethic. Once becoming familiar with the rules and structure of School On Wheels, Shakiya begins her homework as soon as she arrives without any procrastination or complaints. The second reason for her selection is her initiative. While other good students comply with rules and instructions, Shakiya goes beyond the norm and seeks challenge and growth. For instance, once her homework is done, Shakiya is known to seek the toughest learning center assignments and knowledgeable tutors, so that she can learn and grow as a student and be prepared for the challenges at school. Her preparation paid off in strides because the third and most salient reason for her selection is delineated by her most recent report card — one chock-full of A’s!
Brian Lopez, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor
Region 1 – East LA to Pasadena
– Gilbert, 5th Grade. When Gilbert and I met, he needed extra attention in math but now his report cards show improvement every semester! With support and encouragement from his mother, Gilbert has made great progress.
I am very proud of his creativity; Gilbert designed a board game. At our first meeting when asked what he would like to accomplish in our tutoring sessions, he said, “Art and Science projects!!” So for some well-earned fun after math study, we have done several art and science experiments. He painted a beautiful picture as a gift for his mom, and we have made green slime in the name of science! Gilbert is bright and ambitious; I know he can become anything he wants to be. I will never forget the fun we’ve had this year in our tutoring sessions!
Sasana Kachirsky, Tutor
Region 3 – Westside
– Alanna, 2nd Grade. Alanna has been coming to one of our group tutoring sites that benefits from the help of our OMDE volunteers for the past four months. We couldn’t be happier with her improvement. I remember on her first day she would not speak to anyone, not even to read words out loud on the page. It has really been a pleasure to see her feel more and more comfortable as time has gone on. I am happy to see she now talks openly with all the tutors she works with, which has been a really big step. From the start of the school year she has really improved academically. At our last meeting her mom came up to us to say how her teachers have really seen a difference in her schoolwork and thanked us for our help. An hour a week doesn’t seem like a lot, but I know it has made a big difference to Alanna and her tutors; we are very proud of her progress each week!
Kyle McDonough, Regional Coordinator
Region 4 – South Bay, Long Beach
– Alyssa, 2nd Grade. Alyssa is in 2nd grade. We usually work on math. I try to give her some tips and strategies to help and I notice that she likes to fix her own mistakes. She’s definitely getting better in
subtraction. She also likes to read to me. It’s good because she recognizes her mistakes and fixes them. She would rather play. So I’m learning how to keep her focused and leave some time at the end for us to goof off and do what she wants. She smiles and laughs a lot.
Nicholas DeLucca, Tutor
Region 5 – Hollywood, Silver Lake, Highland Park
– Oscar, 10th Grade. Chris and his student primarily work on two subjects: math and the drama that comes with being in high school. If there’s something Chris doesn’t know, they figure it out together. The best moment with his student wasn’t when he mastered the art of functions, but when he felt comfortable enough to talk to Chris about his crush, friends, and family. He believes that it’s one thing to be able to teach a student, but it’s more rewarding to be able to relate. “I’ve still got it!” he joked.
Christopher Van Nest, Tutor
Region 8 – Ventura, Santa Barbara
– Krystal, 6th Grade. Krystal never ceases to amaze me. Whether it is her consistent, positive attitude or her drive to overcome a subject that she tends to struggle with, you would never know that she is only twelve years old. Krystal is a fun-loving girl who is a joy to be around. Not many kids Krystal’s age are eager to learn or will ask you to teach them a little more than what the teacher has taught so far in class. Krystal has already improved so much since her first tutoring session; her potential is obvious. I can’t wait to see what Krystal’s future has in store for her because I know it will be as bright as her personality.
Kaycee Holcomb, Tutor
Region 10 – South Orange County
– Noah, 1st Grade. It is a pleasure working with my student Noah. He is so full of energy. He likes doing his math homework more than reading or writing, so I bring books to share with him each time I tutor. This encourages him to read by himself or to listen while I read. Since I have discovered some of his favorite subjects, it is fun to find books with topics he will enjoy such as karate, dinosaurs and fossils. I think he is concentrating a little better on his homework than when I first met him. I also bring him a little surprise that he can pick out of my bag as a reward for concentrating on his homework. One activity he loves is playing card games with me. He is great at “Go Fish” and “Uno”. He has taught me how to play Uno once again, since it has been about 40 years since I last played it.
Nancy Okamoto, Tutor
– Nurfarrah, 7th Grade. It’s been a joy to get to know Nurfarrah and to see her grow academically in math and in writing. Nurfarrah has grown to seek better understanding of the material she’s learning. In math and over time, she’s proven herself to be a quick learner and she has discovered writing as her medium to demonstrate her creativity, sense of humor, and fun-loving personality. In each of our tutoring sessions, I can see Nurfarrah’s drive to do well in school. I’ve also gotten the chance to connect with Nurfarrah over our shared love for art; it’s been so much fun sharing my art with her and getting a chance to see her amazing artwork too. Nurfarrah is a talented and curious learner and it’s been the most rewarding experience to have her as a student over the past year.
Catherine Luo, Online Tutor