Tag: Tutors of the Month

Aug 7

Tutors of the Month – August 2018

Region 10 – South Orange County:

Mathew – To go to the summer camp and share some of our knowledge of the biomedical, engineering, health, and coding fields was a rewarding experience: it put smiles on the kids’ faces, it put smiles on our faces, and overall, kids had a good time doing our hands-on projects. It was amazingly exciting to see our students start to discover new passions and interests while experiencing STEM as a whole.

Ashley – Each day we did a different activity that related to engineering, biomed, health, or coding. Many of the students learned things that they had never seen at school before, including Scratch and K’nex.

Michael – I could already tell that the organization required dedication and and passion. I soon realized the power of teamwork and the possibilities that could arise from the combined goodwill of multiple volunteers.

Jason – There was no doubt that the curriculum — which consisted of engineering, biomed, health, and coding — was exceptional, however, what made this program so successful and the experience worthwhile were the irreplaceable connections made during the course of the three weeks. Given the thier harsh lifestyles, it is not fanatical to presume that education is not their first priority, therefore, such intimate connections between the tutor and the students may be more impactful to the children’s lives than any lecture. I hope that we have comparably influenced the children.

 

Region 1 – East LA:

Evan Panas – I started tutoring with School on Wheels a little more than 5 years ago when I noticed some free time that could be more productive. I felt SOW offered the best bang for my buck. The greatest part about helping kids is that they’re eager to learn, and information adults take for granted amazes them. They are excited to see you every week. It’s satisfying to provide a little stability in their chaos-ridden lives. Since we do this as a group, I would be remiss to not also thank my fellow tutors Niru Madduri, Alonso Quintero, Brenda Ramirez, and Marisol Sacramento. And a special thanks to Sasana Kachirsky who coordinates at another shelter and is never-ending supply of inspiration. Also, many thanks to our past and present regional coordinators who offer wonderful support to all their tutors: Paula Buxbaum, Marisol Farfan, Daisy Arce, Cecelia Olivas, Louisiana Wermer, and Ian Chan.

 

Online:

Natalie Platon – It’s been lots of fun participating in the Summer Program this year! I’m glad that online tutoring gives me the opportunity to still work with Ethan even though he moved away from Skid Row a few years ago. By using Google Hangouts and our smartphones, we’ve had great discussions about what we’ve read; Ethan is now making more text-to-self, text-to-world, and text-to-text connections and has progressed when it comes to thinking more deeply about the underlying message behind a story. The Summer Program has also motivated him to read more as well, and we’ve read several books so far. Ethan has even gone to the library himself to read more books on his own! I’m very thankful to be able to still connect with and tutor Ethan even though he’s moved several times.

 

Skid Row Learning Center:

Lisa Yu – I began volunteering because I just want to help out a bit. Being homeless is hard enough but being homeless and trying to keep up with school as well?! Wow, now that’s a challenge. I tutor at the Learning Center so I never know what to expect. Sometimes a student needs help with a math problem. Often, he or she just needs encouragement to power through an assignment. There is nothing like seeing the glow of accomplishment on a student’s face after having just persevered and finished. Other times it has nothing to do with school but with just listening empathetically.

What amazes me is the energy that hits me every time I enter the Learning Center. Wow! I just love the unabashed enthusiasm, curiosity and resilience of these students. At times the energy seems to visibly bounce off the walls. Huge kudos to the resident team that keeps everyone focused! Thank you, School on Wheels, for really taking to heart the “no child left behind” credo.

Region 7 – San Fernando Valley:

Michael Weiser – I am happily married for 38 years and have two beautiful and incredible daughters and one grandson who we all adore. I have had a rewarding 40-year career in the entertainment industry, and have reached a point in my life where I decided that because I have been so fortunate, I need to recognize the opportunities I have had by giving back somehow.
While searching sites for non-profit organizations that might be appealing I stumbled across School on Wheels, and it all felt right. And because of School on Wheels, I have had the opportunity to meet 9-year-old Nikoli, who is an amazing, funny, and a very smart young man who has a real desire to learn. Nikoli loves video games and would like to be a video game developer when he is older. I am honored to have this opportunity to spend time with Nikoli every week, and to see the improvement in his math and handwriting skills!!

 

Jun 29

Tutors of the Month – July 2018

Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay Cities:

Ian Lee – I am very proud to be a part of School on Wheels since 2016. As a high school student, I know it’s important to get help when needed. Otherwise, it’s easy to give up. I feel satisfied when I see my student grasps concepts and improve. For some kids, just reading with them is good enough. One student’s mom said her son was able to pass the reading test that he failed before and move up to the next level. I have lots to learn to become a good tutor. I’m learning every week not only from other wonderful tutors but from the awesome students who trust me and share their stories.

 

Online:

Ann Kimball – Since joining School on Wheels, I realized that any student, no matter where they come from, has potential to become or do anything they set their minds to through encouragement, hard work, and determination. As an online tutor, it is so exciting to see a student succeed at a task that they previously thought extremely difficult. When one of my students, Zonia, learned of the simplicity of adding and subtracting positive and negative integers, a task that she had told me before she did not understand, she could not wait to show her teacher what she had learned! My time working with an incredible organization like School on Wheels has helped me to encourage a love of learning within students while also giving me the chance to meet truly intelligent and inspiring personalities every single week. Whether it be making them laugh or teaching them something new, the vast array of students I have had the pleasure of working with always makes my sessions both eye-opening and exciting.

Region 1 – East LA:

Nayelie Aguilar – When volunteering with School on Wheels, I feel that there is an opportunity given to families who don’t have as many resources. I first began tutoring because I know how challenging it may be when situations about income can affect a student academically. My mother was laid off, and we lost our house when I was younger, but if I had known there were programs like School on Wheels I would’ve taken the opportunity. I feel honored to be able to give back, and even if it’s just helping tutor one child, I am grateful. My experiences with School on Wheels have positively impacted my life and helped me view certain situations differently.

 

Region 9 – North Orange County:

Jacob Maldonado – I have been tutoring with School on Wheels since 2016, and I have enjoyed every moment. While there are challenging times, I can always learn from them to provide a better experience for my student. I discovered SOW at a time when I was looking for a chance to gain one-on-one tutoring experience with a student. Without a doubt, my tutoring experience with SOW has prepared me for my current job position as an elementary school instructional assistant. SOW has not only provided me the perfect opportunity to grow as an educator but to grow as a person. Thanks to SOW, I have a better understanding of the resilience and strength of students in need.

 

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Holly Fleischer – I’ve been a tutor with School on Wheels for over two years now. I signed up in the winter during the last election year. Through my day job, I was lucky enough to be part of the Entertainment Council for Hilary Clinton, andI got to sit in on meetings with incredible leaders such as Valerie Jarrett, Huma Abedin and Senator Corey Booker. Being part of that group made me realize that I needed to do something more than just my day job. Not just for me, but for my own kids to see. I wanted them to know from an early age that their mom may work but she also volunteers. I felt it was important that I make a difference starting from a local level and through much research I found School on Wheels. They make it super convenient for you to work with kids close to your home or work. During my time as a volunteer, I tutored a young girl named Tatiana from 4th – 6th grade, and I’ve been working with Jessica, a kindergartener, for the past school year. Helping these kids with their schoolwork is important, but for me, getting to know them and be part of their lives is my favorite aspect of working with SOW. Tatiana has since moved from LA, and I am still in touch with her mom from time to time. She will always have a special place in my heart and so will Jesse.

 


Martin Han
– I originally heard about School on Wheels through a friend and have been tutoring with School on Wheels for about two years. As group tutors, we spend a lot of our time helping students through workbooks or digital learning material. It’s always cool when we work through a problem, and the student learns that the material is not as hard as it seemed.

 
 


Brian Morales
– I started volunteering at School on Wheels because I have seen the benefits of education first hand and I wanted to help a younger generation get excited about learning. My favorite moment was when my students asked for me to come on non-tutoring days to hang out and play with them. It showed that I made a positive impact on the students I work with.

 


Sharon Senko
– School on Wheels struck me as an organization making a real impact on an often overlooked population, and I knew I wanted to volunteer the second I learned about the opportunity. Group tutoring at Zahn is always a highlight of my week. The kids are full of energy and it’s wonderful to watch them progress. My fellow tutors are awesome! We’ve just become a Digital Learning Center which has further improved the engagement level of the students. I am very grateful to School on Wheels for their support and look forward to volunteering for many more years to come.

 

Apr 3

Tutors of the Month – April 2018

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

My experience tutoring with School on Wheels has been my favorite part of college and, no matter how hard the week has been, that hour continues to be a bright spot.
– Kayla Williams

I chose to be a tutor because I think that the community can benefit from this academic support and our work has been very productive.
– Annika Moen

I choose to tutor with School on Wheels because I am committed to helping provide equal access to education for all.
– Clara Keane

I have had an amazing experience volunteering with School on Wheels.
– Ellen Prince

I have really enjoyed seeing the progress made over the year. There were some students who struggled with reading and to see them persevere and make progress has been rewarding. – Sara Woldegebriel

I love working with children and believe education is the ultimate tool of empowerment, especially for kids. I started volunteering for School on Wheels because I was excited for a chance to work with kids and because I wanted to give back to the community. – Dalia Quezada

School on Wheels is doing great work and we’re glad that we are contributing in a helpful way. – Manjun Hao

So far my experience with School on Wheels has been a very positive one. I’ve developed a close relationship with my student and I’ve really enjoyed seeing her reading comprehension develop over the course of our time together.
– Darla Howell

I choose to volunteer for School on Wheels because the value of education is immeasurable. – Gianna Zinnen

Skid Row Learning Center:

Shannon Moore – Shannon has been with School on Wheels since 2016 and recently formed a girls group, aged 10 and up, which gathers every Tuesday. They work on various emotional topics such as confidence, self-appreciation, and self-care.T he girls love it and look forward to their time with Ms. Shannon! In her own words, “From the moment I met my first student Rafael, I knew destiny was hard at work! School on Wheels has given me the opportunity to not only be a tutor, but a role model and friend to these beautiful souls.
Field trips in summer and birthday parties at the shelter have created irreplaceable memories that I can share with these incredible students for a lifetime. I’ll never be able to thank School on Wheels and my students enough for truly changing my life!”

Online:

Albert Zhu – Tutoring for School on Wheels has been a very delightful and inspiring experience for me. Helping my students understand and master what was taught to them in school has been very rewarding, and it always brings a smile to my face when I see them finally have their “aha!” moments. School on Wheels has not only given me the joy of teaching, but it has also allowed me to discover the need to sometimes put aside my own personal goal and desires to help others achieve theirs. If I had not known that School on Wheels tutored homeless children, I would not have thought for a second that any of my students were homeless, because once the label of “homeless” is taken away, each and every SOW student is just like any other student in the world—with the desire to learn, the ability to succeed, and the potential to shape their futures. I am always glad to put aside some of my time each week to help my students take control of their education and reach their future goals.

 

Mar 19

Tutors of the Month – March 2018

Region 3 – Westside:

Aidan Stern – The School On Wheels community is one of untapped potential in the mainstream consciousness. The family I tutor showed me an intelligence, thoughtfulness, creativity, and most importantly, an unparalleled resilience that I find extremely inspiring. If they can show up for the session, I have no excuse not to be there with them. My hope is to be a source of encouragement and motivation to support their educational journey. My favorite moments are in between the tutoring sessions: right before the tutoring starts and the mini breaks we take during the session where I get to better understand the students and their personal philosophies. My goal for each session is to get the kids to celebrate their mistakes and learn from them rather than judge themselves harshly for it; to provide a stress free space of levity where we accept mistakes as part of the process and learn from each other through open discussions.

Online

Sarah Lohmar – Although I have only been an online tutor for a little less than a year, I have quickly learned to love working with the students and getting them excited about learning. What is great about School on Wheels is that it focuses not only on education, but on inspiring confidence in students. I have learned that this confidence can be built in many ways, whether it be helping students realize they really do understand the material or by asking about their favorite subjects in school. Thanks to volunteering as a tutor, I get to help my local community and work with amazing, energetic students every week!

 

Yuki Jung – I became an online tutor after hearing about School on Wheels from a co-worker a year ago. I am constantly amazed by the curiosity and resilience of the students. I feel extremely lucky to support them as they overcome the challenge of reading a tricky word or adding two-digit numbers. I also love getting to know what gets them excited, whether it is Godzilla, tic-tac-toe, or spiders. Even though tutoring online has its challenges, I am grateful every week to School on Wheels for the opportunity to work with my students.

 

Feb 6

Tutors of the Month – February 2018

Online:

Aidan Stern – I see the impact that we School on Wheels tutors have on the lives of homeless students. Through online tutoring, I have been able to interact with students far beyond where I live, and I can fit tutoring time in spaces that would be impossible with regular school, work and commuting. These past few months I have watched my students gradually grow in their skills of complex arithmetic and grammar concepts. It has been very rewarding to see one of my students, Savanna, progress in multiplication. After just a few online sessions, we have progressed from two-digit multiplication to more complex compound multiplication. In-between her math homework questions, we take mini-breaks and play tic-tac-toe or do a maze. Getting to know my students has profoundly shown me the impact we all have on our students’ lives.

 

Sarah Lohmar – Although I have only been an online tutor for a little less than a year, I have quickly learned to love working with the students and getting them excited about learning. What is great about School on Wheels is that it focuses not only on education, but on inspiring confidence in students. I have learned that this confidence can be built in many ways, whether it be helping students realize they really do understand the material or by asking about their favorite subjects in school. Thanks to volunteering as a tutor, I get to help my local community and work with amazing, energetic students every week!

 

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Jonathan Garcia – My experience with School on Wheels over the past 2 1/2 years has been nothing short of amazing. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a handful of diverse students over this time, and although some days may be more productive than others, the breakthroughs we are able to accomplish more than make up for the struggles along our journey. I’ve been blessed enough to travel the world multiple times for a career that has been my dream since I was a teen, but in all honesty, the fulfillment and joy that I have cultivated from making a difference in these kids’ lives is far beyond what I could have expected. So much so, that it has led me to contemplate spending even more of my time giving back and helping strengthen the future of these kids that so desperately need it.

 

Alexandra Bendheim – I began tutoring with School on Wheels two years ago, after just graduating from college and at a time in my life where I felt particularly out of control. I wasn’t sure where my path would lead me, and for the first time, I felt out of my comfort zone. A colleague told me about this wonderful organization and thought volunteering would help to put things into perspective for me. She was right. I signed up to tutor the next day, and within the moment of meeting my very first student, Donald, my entire life changed.

Donald taught me about the challenges and trauma that kids in his position face every single day. He was a survivor, who had big dreams of playing professional basketball, and he was a poet (though he didn’t know it yet). Unfortunately, he left soon after. He will face tremendous hardships because there is a total lack of institutional support for kids like him, but with some guidance and extra attention, I am confident he will rise to his full potential.

After that, I made it my mission to be a mentor for other kids like Donald. As tutors, we get to be a part of a support system that can otherwise be lacking in their lives. Just showing up each week, we remind them that people care, and they can succeed. So I am grateful to School on Wheels, and to everyone committed to this mission, because every little ounce of positivity and kindness helps to spread the love and change the world.

 

Skid Row Learning Center:

Carla Gentile – I tutor because I believe education is the backbone of each child’s future. Many parents and guardians in skid row are facing incredible challenges daily just trying to provide basic needs for their children. To know that I am providing a tiny bit of support to these families in order to help them reach a more holistic life brings me joy and humility. I work with the young children ages 5-7. Helping them learn the alphabet, complete basic math and reading assignments alone can be a challenge. When we complete an assignment, we all feel happy and enjoy the accomplishment together! But there’s so much more to it: listening to the kids and helping them navigate their emotions, helping them stay focused and giving them attention that they might not get at school are a big part of tutoring for me. Being able to serve this community by helping a child to build their confidence and self-esteem is why I am here. The fact that we have so much fun doing this is just an extra benefit for me.

 

Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay Cities:

Cathy Anderson – Cathy is a wonderful addition to the SOW volunteer team. She is always excited to tutor with her student Ariana and she loves to come up with different ways to make tutoring exciting and fun for her student. Cathy has a tremendous passion and love for tutoring. I am so lucky to have her tutoring in my region!

Nov 2

Tutors of the Month – November 2017

Skid Row Learning Center:

Eric Sarabia – Mr.Eric is a great tutor and he is nice and also helpful. He is funny and he helps me with my homework when I need help with it. He helps me when I am writing a story. Mr.Eric helps me with multiplication and he plays card games with me. Mr.Eric should be tutor of the month because he is a good tutor.

– Aisha, 3rd Grade

 

Region 6: Inland Empire

Gabriela NunezI joined School on Wheels as part of my college internship, but once my internship was over, I didn’t want to leave. Volunteering has made me expand my horizons through different tasks I’ve been able to accomplish. I feel like I’m actually giving back to my community by helping these children thrive in their education. As an educator, I strongly believe each child deserves a wholesome education to succeed in life. My student Maile has made me see the world with a different set of eyes. 

 

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Jarred OlsonI feel that we all have an obligation to protect and empower the most vulnerable people in our communities. I was shocked to read about the prevalence of homelessness among children in Los Angeles and felt pulled to help in some way. Volunteering with School on Wheels seemed like an effective way to participate in stopping the poverty cycle that people without a support system often fall into.

 

Online:

Peter Knapp – It’s been a great experience tutoring and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be able to help through the online platform. I’ve been online tutoring since January of this year and have been able to work with a number of different students. It’s a fun and rewarding challenge to figure out different ways to help them understand a concept or, sometimes, just help them smile after a bad day. There are so many negative challenges that homeless students face – it’s gratifying to be able to offer some positive feedback and encouragement.

Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay Cities:

Amber Monterosso – When I first moved to Long Beach, I was looking to find a volunteer organization to get involved with. When I heard about School on Wheels from a coworker a couple of years ago, I knew it was going to be the perfect fit for me. The perseverance of the students I have worked with is inspiring, and I’m grateful that I have had the opportunity to help foster a love of learning in them.

 

Region 8: Ventura County

Stephen Smith – Tutoring a homeless student has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It might sound like a cliché, but I honestly think I get more out of the experience than my student. It feels so good to see his big smile and perfect white teeth when he “gets” a concept (or one of my corny jokes), sounds out a word, takes in my compliment or feels proud of himself. To know that I had a part in making this adorable, bright, polite young boy (who is growing up in not the best of circumstances), happy is indescribable. My 16-year-old son recently asked me if it was depressing tutoring a homeless child. I replied – not at all! I explained that I was confident that he would “make it” in life, due to all the people who were taking care of him. He has a loving mother, a good supportive sister, teachers who care and of course School On Wheels to provide their services and programs.