Tag: 25th Anniversary

Sep 17

Friendsversary Was Fantastic!

Thanks so much to the over 220 guests who helped us celebrate our 25th Anniversary at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center on September 16. If you attended, be sure to tag yourself in the photos! A special thanks goes out to all our amazing sponsors: Aspect, Calamigos, Comerica Bank, ECMC Foundation, Epic Summit, Gallant, Alexandria, The Neiman Group, Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, Principal Communications Group, Sheppard Mullin, and Property Management Associates. It was such a lovely event, filled with good friends, a lively silent auction and an outpouring of compassion and goodwill towards our students experiencing homelessness. With your help, we raised over $75,000 for our program.

Mayor Garcetti shared his well wishes with us as well:

 

Aug 29

25 Years of Shrinking Educational Gaps

Originally published in Ventura Breeze

In 1993 a retired school teacher, Agnes Stevens, was so deeply moved by the number and plight of homeless students she saw that she dedicated her life to setting up a nonprofit to help. School on Wheels has been providing one-on-one stable tutoring relationships ever since.

August marks the 25th anniversary of local nonprofit School on Wheels. School on Wheels began in Santa Monica with one tutor and now operates in six counties throughout Southern California. In 2010, it opened its flagship Skid Row Learning Center and since then has opened five Digital Learning Centers a in Compton, San Fernando Valley, Boyle Heights, Venice and Chino Hills. In 2017, 2,029 volunteers spent more than 100,000 hours tutoring 3,370 homeless kids. More than 5,000 backpacks, school supplies, uniforms and bus tokens have been distributed to children in need in the past year. Their Resource Center is located in Ventura.

“When I was 16 we were homeless in Los Angeles and we spent nights sleeping on buses and trains and finally moved into a shelter in Skid Row,” said Josephine Bailey McLein. “That’s when I found School on Wheels. Their center had internet and I could do my homework somewhere I felt safe. I worked hard to get all the requirements for college, but I never told anyone at my high school I was homeless. I am now a junior at USC majoring in human biology and my mom and sister finally have an apartment. School on Wheels encouraged me to keep up with my school work and to follow my dream of going to college.”

As California’s housing shortage intensifies, the number of homeless children continues to climb. Since 2014, the number of homeless youth in California has jumped 20 percent, to more than 202,329, and accounts for nearly four percent of the overall public school population, according to the California Homeless Youth Project.

“While childhood homelessness and poverty are daunting, I truly believe that when people come together around a shared belief, change is possible,” says Catherine Meek, executive director of School on Wheels.

Today, hundreds of volunteers work one-on-one with children whose homelessness prevents them from receiving the academic stability and help they desperately need. The heart of the School on Wheels’ program is the volunteer tutors who come from all backgrounds and professions, with a shared goal – to reach out to a child, to teach, to mentor and assist in his or her educational life. The mission of School on Wheels is to enhance educational opportunities for homeless children from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Tutoring in six counties in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Sinead Chilton, Director, Development & Marketing School on Wheels, Inc. told the Breeze. “I met Agnes Stevens, the founder of School on Wheels at a volunteer training in Ventura in 2003. I knew straight away that I would know her for a long time and that her mission was an important one. Up until then, I didn’t realize that children were homeless in Ventura never mind the rest of America. School on Wheels has always had a presence in Ventura County and over the years has helped thousands of children in the county with backpacks, school supplies, one-on-one tutoring and mentoring. I still volunteer today and I think the mission is as important as ever.” 

Aug 20

Nonprofit Organization Celebrates 25 Years Of Service To Children And Youth Experiencing Homelessness

“While childhood homelessness and poverty are daunting, I truly believe that when people come together around a shared belief, change is possible,” says Catherine Meek, executive director of School on Wheels. “Twenty five ago Agnes provided us with a conduit for this change and we are honored by the support of volunteers and donors to keep making a difference in the lives of students like Josephine.”

Read the full article at Santa Monica Daily Press.

Apr 23

Honoring Our Volunteers and a Video Message From Mayor Eric Garcetti

April is Volunteer Appreciation month, and every year we celebrate our volunteers and thank them for dedicating their time and talents to supporting the homeless students we serve.  As this year is our 25th anniversary, we hosted our biggest event ever. On Saturday, April 21,  over 150 volunteers from Long Beach to Ventura joined staff and board members for an inspirational breakfast and award ceremony.

Mayor Eric Garcetti honored volunteer tutors with certificates of appreciation and recorded a video for us to share at the event. Speakers included a parent whose daughter is now attending college and student Charlie (15) who surprised his tutor, Executive Director Catherine Meek, by reading out the proclamation she received from the mayor. Click here to see a full list of the amazing volunteers who logged over 50+ volunteer hours in 2017.