Tag: Teen Workshops

Apr 27

Literacy Strategies for Older Students Struggling to Read

Often children will develop basic reading skills, but struggle to move on to more advanced material. We explore the main roadblocks that kids face when learning to read and learn how they engage with the material from their own perspective. We also learn one easy game that you can play to make a dramatic difference in older students ability to become a strong reader. It works like magic!

About the Presenter: Mary Beth Fletcher was a public school teacher in Pomona Unified School District for 17 years and she has taught every grade level. For the last 7 years, she has been working as a private reading specialist and tutor.

Aug 10

Tutoring Commercially Sexually Exploited Children – CSEC 101

Young people who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation may have certain behaviors and special needs, and it is important to understand the challenges and trauma they have faced. In this workshop, child welfare consultant and organizer Miranda Sheffield gives School on Wheels tutors the information they need to successfully tutor children and youth rescued from CSEC scenarios. She is joined by a sexual trafficking survivor, Rachel Thomas, who discusses her experience. This workshop is specifically designed to inform School on Wheels tutors who are working with or may be working with CSEC students.

About the presenters: Miranda Sheffield has spent the last 10 years working within the child welfare community. Early on, she worked with Los Angeles County DCFS to promote youth engagement and accountability with youth living in group homes. In the last five years she worked with the Children’s Law Center supporting youth in extended foster care. Miranda helped create CLC’s Peer Advocate program, giving clients an opportunity to work with peer advocates who have had direct experience growing up in foster care. She was a part of CLC-specialized CSEC team, which included attorneys and case managers providing legal and social support to youth in the life. Miranda has transitioned out of her role at CLC and currently works as a consultant, providing training to those in the child welfare community.

Former music video model and sex trafficking survivor Rachel Thomas is a dynamic educator who speaks from the heart and aims at the head. With a Masters in Education from UCLA and over 10 years’ experience in teaching and mentoring, Rachel co-founded Sowers Education Group to sow seeds of sex trafficking awareness and survivor empowerment.

Rachel was a junior at Emory University when she unknowingly met a trafficker: a professional and well-spoken ‘modeling agent’. He had business cards and a portfolio of contracts with beautiful models of all ethnicities. He groomed her with high-quality, all-expense paid photo shoots and legitimate modeling work in various music videos and magazines. Then, after he had collected a W9 form from Rachel (including her parents’ address and SSN), the relationship became dangerous. He began forcing her to have sex with buyers, threatening to kill her and her family if she didn’t obey. He became physically and psychologically abusive, ushering Rachel into the dark world of sex slavery. Thankfully, the police and FBI were eventually able to help Rachel, and the trafficker’s dozens of other victims, to escape this devastating situation. As Rachel continues to overcome and understand her experience, she is “turning a mess into a message” that will spread prevention and empower victims.

Since 2012, Rachel has reached over 36,000 live audience members and millions more through numerous media outlets including The T.D. Jakes Show, The New York Times Upfront Magazine and ABC’s Newsmakers. Rachel was also honored by Congressman Ed Royce of California’s 39th district and Los Angeles Supervisor Don Knabe for her leadership and trafficking prevention efforts. To learn more about Sowers or Rachel Thomas, please visit www.SowersEducationGroup.com.

Aug 9

Online Workshop: Tutoring Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) 101

This online workshop is open to both active tutors as well as tutors completing our application process. The workshop, however, does not substitute for the mandatory in-person Tutor Training required of new applicants. Please refer to our event calendar to register for a Tutor Training.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
12:00-1:00 PM

Young people who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation may have certain behaviors and special needs, and it is important to understand the challenges and trauma they have faced. In this workshop, child welfare consultant and organizer Miranda Sheffield will give School on Wheels tutors the information they need to successfully tutor children and youth rescued from CSEC scenarios. She will be joined by a survivor, Rachel Thomas, who will discuss her experience. This workshop is specifically designed to inform School on Wheels tutors who are working with or may be working with CSEC students. 

About the Presenters:

Miranda Sheffield has spent the last 10 years working within the child welfare community. Early on she worked with Los Angeles County DCFS to promote youth engagement  and accountability with youth living in group homes. In the last five years she worked with the Children’s Law Center supporting youth in Extended Foster Care. Miranda helped create CLC’s Peer Advocate program. The program provided clients an opportunity to work with Peer Advocates who have had direct experience growing up in foster care. Miranda transitioned into working directly with foster youth involved in CSEC while at CLC. She was apart of CLC specialized CSEC team which included attorneys and Case managers providing legal and social support to youth in the life. As of now Miranda has transitioned out of her role at CLC, she currently works as a consultant and provides training to those in the child welfare community. 


Former music video model and sex trafficking survivor Rachel Thomas is a dynamic educator who speaks from the heart and aims at the head. With a Masters in Education from UCLA and over 10 years’ experience in teaching and mentoring, Rachel co-founded Sowers Education Group to sow seeds of sex trafficking awareness and survivor empowerment.

Rachel was a junior at Emory University when she unknowingly met a trafficker: a professional and well-spoken ‘modeling agent’. He had business cards and a portfolio of contracts with beautiful models of all ethnicities. He groomed her with high-quality, all-expense paid photo shoots and legitimate modeling work in various music videos and magazines. Then, after he had collected a W9 form from Rachel (including her parents’ address and SSN), the relationship became dangerous. He began forcing her to have sex with buyers, threatening to kill her and her family if she didn’t obey. He became physically and psychologically abusive, ushering Rachel into the dark world of sex slavery. Thankfully, the police and FBI were eventually able to help Rachel, and the trafficker’s dozens of other victims, to escape this devastating situation. As Rachel continues to overcome and understand her experience, she is “turning a mess into a message” that will spread prevention and empower victims.

Since 2012, Rachel has reached over 36,000 live audience members and millions more through numerous media outlets including The T.D. Jakes Show, The New York Times Upfront Magazine and ABC’s Newsmakers. Rachel was also honored by Congressman Ed Royce of California’s 39th district and Los Angeles Supervisor Don Knabe for her leadership and trafficking prevention efforts. To learn more about Sowers or Rachel Thomas, please visit www.SowersEducationGroup.com.

Register Here

Jul 28

What to Do When There’s Nothing to Do

In this workshop, experienced tutor John Reece presents creative ideas for group and 1-on-1 tutoring. Often, students do not have homework or may be reluctant to do homework or more traditional lessons. An innovative, fresh approach to target student interests and get them engaged can make a world of difference. This workshop is appropriate for tutors working with students of any age, but may be especially useful for grades 6-12.

About the Presenter: John Reece is a retired sailor, having spent 20 years in the US Navy during and after the Vietnam era. He is also a retired Aerospace Logistics Engineer and Manager of Technical Publications and Training. Since his retirement he has been focusing on improving his public speaking skills with Toastmasters and looking for ways to help young people with their schoolwork, particularly with math.

May 3

Online Workshop: College Planning for Four-Year Schools

This online workshop is open to both active tutors as well as tutors completing our application process. The workshop, however, does not substitute for the mandatory in-person Tutor Training required of new applicants. Please refer to our event calendar to register for a Tutor Training.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
12:00-1:00 PM

It’s never too early to start planning for college, but many of the students we work with think that a four-year school is out of reach. In this essential workshop for homeless and low-income students seeking college admissions, college consultant Susan Goodkin will show tutors how to help their students prepare for the process. Topics will include:

  • IB, AP, honors, oh my — what classes students should take
  • The 411 on testing: PSAT, SAT, ACT, and SAT subject tests
  • How to build the kind of extracurricular list colleges want to see
  • How to most effectively describe extracurricular activities to impress college admissions readers
  • The dreaded college application essay — what colleges look for
  • What teachers to ask for recommendations, and what they should — and shouldn’t — say
  • How students should prepare for college interviews
  • What low-income students need to know about the Questbridge program
  • How to find colleges that are supportive of first-generation students

About the Presenter: Susan Goodkin helps students achieve their college dreams. Over the past few years alone, Susan has had 6 students admitted to Stanford, and multiple admissions at Harvard, Yale and at every other Ivy. Her clients have also been admitted to all the UCs and many other colleges across the country, ranging from small religious schools to large public universities. Susan is a graduate of Harvard University, Harvard Law School, and Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Mar 23

Resume and Cover Letter Writing 101

This workshop addresses the art of resume and cover letter writing and is geared toward students with little or no work experience. Help students get over the angst of resume writing with a few helpful tips. Unlock the secret to finding the “keywords” that employers are looking for in resumes and cover letters. This webinar covers several types of resumes recommended for high schoolers, whether they are seeking full or part-time employment.

Download a PDF here.

About the Presenter: Irene Tirella initially began teaching basic business skills at an alternative high school for disadvantaged women in 1994. She also taught English as a second language in both the US and Asia and has tutored all grade levels from Kindergarten through college. Additionally, Irene worked as a job coach and mentor with the Department of Defense, where she helped service members transition from military to civilian life. More recently Irene worked at Brooks Institute as a career adviser helping students and alumni with their work search efforts. Currently she is an Educational Consultant specializing in classroom management strategies.