Tag: Star Students

Aug 1

Students of the Month – August 2017

Region 5:

Davion (2nd Grade) I have recently been working with Davion, a 2nd grade student, who is inquisitive, bright and very sweet. He loves to read and, though he has some challenges, he is always excited to learn. He especially loves reading his favorite books, the Wimpy Kid series. The best compliment I got from him recently was when he asked me, “Can you come again tomorrow?” How could I ask for anything more!
– Theresa Sterling,


Region 3:

Mickey (6th Grade) Mickey was a quiet kid when I first met him, tapping his foot nervously and a bit apprehensively. After a few sessions, we got to know each other, and I figured out that we needed to break up the session a bit more by doing 15 minutes of work and then taking a short break. We usually do word searches as a reward, and he really seems to enjoy that. After tutoring him for a while, he is now much more comfortable. We always chat about what’s new, and the mentoring part of it has been great. He is a really sweet kid with a calm demeanor and will never say “no I don’t want to,” which is half the battle. It has been great getting to know him. – Armin Szatmary, Tutor

Region 6:

Angela (4th Grade) is a vibrant, curious and loving young girl with a passion for singing. She loves singing so much that it’s her dream to become a famous singer someday. In fact, I found that one way of inserting fun into our tutor sessions together is to sing. For example, I will sing (though I’m a horrible singer), “Angela, what is 7×2?”, and Angela will sing back, “it’s 14!”. Angela struggles with math, but she is motivated to learn, and I found that by making tutoring fun in a way that appeals to her, she enjoys it and learns more. I always look forward to our tutoring sessions together, and it’s very rewarding to hear how she’s improving and building self-confidence in various areas of her life. Together, Angela and I make a great team. – Stephanie Swenseid, Tutor


Region 8:

Giselle (Age 10) is such a delight. Every session Giselle is well-mannered, eager to learn and a sweet girl to spend time with. In addition to being a wonderful person, Giselle is a great student and puts a lot of effort into her studies. Whenever we practice her spelling words, she is always well prepared. She is always willing to complete her homework and finishes it with great penmanship and presentation. My favorite moments with Giselle are watching her creativity blossom. Giselle is a fantastic artist and very clever at putting together a thoughtful poem or handmade book. – Stacey Millet, Tutor


Emma (Age 7) My first session with Emma, she was not very talkative and was quite nervous. However, by the end of the session, she warmed up to me and was able to share a small bit about herself. Now, months later, Emma’s confidence has grown so much. She loves to ask questions and has a great amount of curiosity for learning! It has been a tremendous joy to spend time with her and watch her develop her reading, writing and language skills. Each day we end our sessions with playing games or reading a fun book.Her favorite activity is to look at pictures of my dog. It has been a joy getting to know this thoughtful and kind girl and her family. I even attended her birthday party, which was very special.
– Stacey Millet, Tutor


Online Tutoring:

Tamya (6th Grade) Tamya has been with our program for over 2 years. While she used to cry and refuse tutoring, she eventually began volunteering and now she loves the opportunity to connect with her 1-on-1 tutor online! It has been a joy to witness growth in Tamya not just in her academics but also in her curiosity and independence. She has developed into a kind and assertive spirit thanks in part to our wonderful Skid Row Learning Instructors, Allison Maldonado and Jason Wright. We only wish Tamya the best as she continues her journey with School on Wheels. Go Tamya!
– Ian Chan, Program Administrator (School on Wheels, Inc.)


Region 9:

Angel (8th Grade) is a highly intelligent student. He almost does not even have to try. He is very perceptive and a high achiever. Angel tries his best to excel in all of his classes. All that work has earned Angel the Mason award. Only 20 students in all of the Garden Grove school district received this honor. This award is contingent on grades and adversity. Considering he has lived through a rough couple of months, Angel still finds a way to get his homework done and be an active participant in his classes. Angel hopes to join the Air Force after high school.
Not only does Angel excel in his studies, he has a kind heart. There is one example I will never forget. We were sitting next to a disabled woman who was having a hard time navigating the printer. Angel noticed her struggle and was quick to offer her his help. He walked her over to the printer and proceeded to help her access and print her papers. I am very proud to have the opportunity to work with Angel. He is an all-around awesome young man!
– Diana Ly, Tutor

Jul 6

Students of the Month – July 2017

Region 8:

Ryleigh (Grade 5) I enjoy learning things that I don’t know. I enjoy doing art projects, especially drawing and painting and lots of color. I have worked hard on learning fractions and multiplication. I would like people to know that I am very capable when it comes to doing schoolwork. When my little sister starts school, I will tell her to pay attention so she will know what to do.



Region 1:

Diego (1st Grade) is a very intelligent young man with a wicked sense of humor. When it comes to schoolwork, he is particularly gifted at math – and takes pride in solving sums as quickly as he can. A lack of confidence in his own reading ability has sometimes slowed him down, and so we’ve spent a large amount of time reading together. As a consequence, over the past year I’ve watched Diego’s reading skills grow exponentially and his level of interest in reading books has also surged – which has been a real delight to see. – Chris Webster, Tutor

Region 8:

Charlie (9th Grade)
Tutor: “Why do you like this t-shirt?”
Charlie: “I love pugs; pugs are too cool for school”
But Charlie isn’t. When we first started tutoring together, Charlie did not like school one bit. His grades were not good and he hated homework. It was a huge struggle to get him to focus on any school work at all. He was failing most subjects.
It wasn’t easy but Charlie, to his credit, and despite many struggles in his life, kept coming to tutoring every week. Now, we read books together, his homework is always complete, and his grades are significantly improved. In fact, his recent grades included an A for science; and, B in math and language arts. It was one of the very few times I saw him genuinely proud of himself.
Tutor: “Why is school different for you now? Why are your grades so much better?”
Charlie: “Tutoring helps me focus. It makes me want to work harder because you believe I can. I even like to read now!”

Jun 2

Students of the Month – June 2017

Online Tutoring:

Philemon (2nd Grade) is an energetic, creative, and hilarious student. He is full of life and loves drawing. In addition, when he gets stuck on a difficult homework problem, he can stop, focus, and solve the problem. Then he does a quick victory dance and goes on with his artistic brilliance. His goofy, upbeat behavior always makes me laugh. Phi has a one-of-a-kind personality and is a delight to tutor. Congratulations Phi on this well-deserved award!
– Nikil Grama, Philemon’s Online Tutor


Region 3:

Ashlyn (1st Grade)
I’ve been tutoring Ashlyn for almost two years and like this butterfly drawing she did for me she’s full of life. Ashlyn is bright, inquisitive and funny. She’s a born problem solver and always goes for sounding out a new word or finding the answer to a new math problem. These are great qualities to have as a student and even greater qualities to have in life. I’m Ashlyn’s tutor but I learn so much from her she could be tutoring me!
– Elizabeth Hartog, Tutor
Region 4:

Sean (9th Grade) From the start, Sean has shown a great aptitude for math. Although it is common for some kids to stray from academics, I commend Sean for coming every week with a positive attitude toward the group tutors that work in our area. Though his math is more developed, he comments that his favorite subject is history. Many of our sessions include reading aloud and summarizing historical excerpts. His favorite past times include playing Dragonball Z and watching the Dodgers and Chargers win their games!
John Park, Tutor

Apr 5

Students of the Month – April 2017

Online Tutoring:

Vyctoria (3rd Grade) LOVES online tutoring. When other students are absent and cannot attend their online tutoring sessions, Vyctoria is always ready to jump in! Some of Vyctoria’s favorite things to do with her online tutors include reading stories, solving math puzzles, drawing and playing hangman! Vyctoria’s thirst for learning is contagious. Go Vyctoria!
– Skid Row Learning Center


Skid Row Learning Center:

Jasmine (6th Grade)  is a creative, imaginative, hardworking 6th grader who’s love for reading rivals our huge love for her! Jasmine has merged her love for reading and her creativity to make a fantastic Harry Potter pillow. Jasmine just celebrated her birthday and we want to wish her a fantastic Happy Birthday!
Jason Wright–Skid Row Learning Center Specialist


Region 6:

Trinity (1st Grade)  loves to draw. About this masterpiece, she said, “It’s me picking flowers in the rain. I like rainbows and flowers and the sky because it’s a pretty blue.” She also likes reading books, especially if they are funny or silly.  Trinity sometimes has to work hard on a new book. But it’s worth the effort when her (toothless!) smile appears with every word that is correctly sounded out. It’s so fun to hear Trinity read a book she has practiced and mastered. The pride in herself can be heard in her voice as she reads.
Karen Mooney –Tutor


Region 8:

Helen (3rd grade) What I like most about Helen is that she is a steady learner. She might not understand a concept at first but she can easily build up her knowledge as I ask her increasingly harder questions. This will be very important for her in the future when she is exposed to more challenging topics. I’m very confident that she will keep learning and have a bright future. Goooo Helen!
Alexandria Taylor – Tutor


Region 9:

Jeremiah (6th Grade)  While I am tutoring Jeremiah, I can say that he is tutoring me how to be patient, calm, and creative. During our sessions, Jeremiah has shown me to be surprisingly empathetic, humble, attentive and hardworking during our studies. And to my amazement, he’s quite an artist too! He had drawn me a Pokemon as a gift, which has constantly reminded me how awesomely rewarding it is to commit an hour of my week to tutor a child like Jeremiah.
Dave Lindqvist– Tutor


Region 4:

Caylee (7th Grade)  I have only worked with School on Wheels for around 4 months, but in those 4 months, I was able to see my impact on Caylee, my student, as well as find my passion for helping people. Caylee is wonderful to work with, she is always eager to learn, and I enjoy tutoring her and seeing her progress.
Audrey Hsu – Tutor



Region 5:

Joshua (10th grade) is a very self-motivated and determined student. When I first started working with him, his biggest issues academically stemmed from a lack of organization and a tendency to rush through his work. Since then, he has improved in both areas and has been able to maintain passing grades in all of his classes. I look forward to continuing to work with him and am confident that he has a bright future ahead of him!
Chris Klein – Tutor

Mar 20

Students of the Month – March 2017

Online Tutoring:

Ashley (3rd Grade)  In the beginning, Ashley was quiet and evasive. Over time, Ashley has become quite the young academic! When we get online, she greets us with a smile or a joke and is always ready to learn. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we look forward to hearing her stories about her school day. Ashley is one of the most determined, thoughtful and upbeat young women we have ever met. It is a pleasure to tutor and teach her every week. We know we’ll see her name in the record books one day, that’s for sure!
Esther & Joshua – Online Tutors

Region 1:

M (10th Grade) is a very bright young lady that has aspiration of being the first in her family to attend college. She is always polite, highly motivated, and loves to read as well as laugh. She has also inspired myself when she received straight A’s at her first semester at a brand new high school despite not knowing anyone there and helping her mother take care for her younger siblings. Her strong work ethic and positive attitude will serve her well in the future, and I can only hope to foster her growth by sharing my knowledge and experiences with her. I couldn’t ask for a more rewarding experience than being a mentor and friend to me.
Paul Godoy–Tutor Coordinator

Region 7:

Adan’s (7th Grade) favorite hobbies are video games and soccer. His favorite artist is Lil Uzi. He wants to become a game designer when he grows up. And his favorite subject is science. At School on Wheels, he has been a wonderful student, great kid with an awesome personality, and always has this positive aroma.
Nargis Saidzadah –Tutor



Skid Row Learning Center:

Vyctoria (3rd Grade) is my go-to student for online tutoring! She’s polite, hard-working, intelligent and kind. She has made every online tutor she works with feel the same. It has been a delight to have Vyctoria as a student at the Learning Center!
Jason Wright – Skid Row Learning Center Specialist



Region 12:

Jesse When I first met Jesse, he struggled quite a bit in mathematics and was actually enrolled in a supplementary mathematics support class. Over the past year, we worked together to improve his approach and understanding of the problems. I have been stunned by his tenacity and eagerness to learn, and to see his perseverance and efforts pay off. I’ve seen his grades slowly inch their way up, to the point of discussion about taking him out of his math support class!
Elaine Nguyen – Tutor


Region 5:

Isla (2nd Grade) To my delight, I am paired with a wonderful 7-year-old girl named Isla. She is bright, inquisitive, and diligent in her homework, which we get done promptly so we can get on to “Playtime”. This consists of word games, puzzles, and storybooks on many subjects, which we then discuss. I feel like she is 7 going on 35. She makes my week, and no matter what, I always leave with a smile, looking forward to seeing her the following week.
Erna Taylor-Stark – Tutor



Region 10:

David (1st grade) At our site, the children move on quickly, so we don’t have as much continuity, but one young boy stands out in my mind. He is a very creative 1st grade boy who was curious about very large numbers, so we made up a game with place values and continued the place values up into the trillions. He was astonished that numbers could go that high! It was very fun, and I think he learned a lot as well.
Andrea Reinkensmeyer – Tutor

Mar 4

March 2016 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Every month we highlight our star students and tutors. I am always amazed at the sheer tenacity and resilience of our students and the caring and passion of our volunteers. Please take a few minutes to read about Kaliyah who is in 6th Grade, and described by her tutor, Vivek, as brilliant, impressively curious and clever. Vivek has been a tutor since 2014. When he moved to Michigan to attend medical school, he continued to volunteer as an online tutor. Miles away, he continues to make a difference every single week.

Our students live with chaos and instability every day. They experience varying levels of trauma; some have been victims of violence and abuse; many more have witnessed it. Our studentsexperience high rates of health problems. They are sick more often than other children. They also go hungry at twice the rate of other children and have three times more emotional and behavioral problems than their housed peers.

And yet, when you read about mother and daughter tutors Susan Edelman and Clara Pitsker and how much they care about their students, or Jason Lee whose student encourages him to pursue his own dreams, you will understand that our students are fortunate to have such committed and compassionate people in their lives.

I’m inspired when I read about our star students and volunteers.  I’m inspired by all our students, volunteers and donors.  In my mind, you’re all stars. Thank you for caring. Your support is helping make a significant difference in so many lives.

With gratitude,

Catherine signature
Catherine Meek
Executive Director