Tag: volunteer

Aug 7

From a Tutor to a Mentor

Sunny and Katy at her high school graduation, and Katy with her Presidential Service Award

Katy Michaelis met Sunny in 2012 when she was in 8th grade. In December 2015, Sunny moved into the foster care system and was placed with a foster family. It took a little bit of time, but with School on Wheels’ help, Katy got back in touch with Sunny and they started meeting weekly at a coffee shop.
“Over the years our relationship changed from tutoring to mentoring. We mostly focused on math, but when Sunny got to AP Chemistry in her junior year, I was just there to encourage and cheerlead! It felt like she didn’t like me at first, but after meeting for so many years we developed a relationship, and sometimes there were days when we just talked rather than tutored.”

Sunny graduated in June from high school and has a full ride to Cal State Fullerton through Guardian Scholars – a program that is committed to supporting ambitious, college-bound students exiting the foster care system. Both School on Wheels and her tutor Katy are very proud of her achievements and Katy said she is inspired by Sunny’s determination to succeed.

Katy and Sunny talked about college for a long time, and it was always in Sunny’s mindset that she was going, but she never knew for sure. When we asked Katy what she thought her contribution had been to Sunny’s success, she said that she likes to think at a minimum that she kept Sunny focused on college. They talked a lot about what college was going to be like, and Katy wrote a letter of recommendation for Sunny’s scholarship request. She also turned up week after week, and the stability and consistency of their tutoring time was a contributing factor. Sunny received help from a lot of different organizations, including School on Wheels, which provided her with backpacks and school supplies from 8th grade onwards, as well as a scholarship for books for high school.

“Tutoring was something that my mom signed me up for,” Sunny said. “I didn’t want to do it at first. It was kinda scary to be doing homework with a stranger. But after my initial hesitation, it soon became part of my routine, and meeting Katy every week was something stable in my life. Sometimes I became so overwhelmed with tests and homework, but she was there to ground me. I had a vague idea who School on Wheels was – support for kids whose demographic was homelessness. But Katy really helped me when I transitioned into the foster care system because I felt like she was a neutral person. The second I saw her, I could tell her everything: about my anxiety, about my new foster family, my mom, about anything. She always stayed neutral and positive. She helped to guide me on what to say and how to say it. It felt good that she was invested in me and helped to rationalize my thoughts.

Tutor Katy is having a baby and is due in a few weeks. Sunny is so excited and has watched Katy’s bump grow with delight and is counting down the days to meeting her new friend. She is also anxious about starting college in August. “I am still trying to get my head around the fact that I am actually going to college and gauge how I feel about it!

We asked Sunny what she would say to other kids in a similar situation, and she said this:

“Kids that live in shelters, motels, and group foster homes need to take advantage of all the programs out there to help them, especially with school, like School on Wheels. Ok, so it’s just tutoring, but it becomes so much more that that. I have met a friend for life, and she has become the most positive influence in my life.”

Jan 31

New Regional Coordinator for School on Wheels

Ventura Breeze

School on Wheels is happy to announce that after a long search we have a new Regional Coordinator for Ventura County.  Angie Allmendinger has joined the team and will be working from our Resource Center in Ventura.  Before joining School on Wheels Angie earned her M.A. in American Studies in Germany and taught High School English is rural Japan.

School on Wheels is always looking for volunteers who want to make a positive difference in the life of a homeless student.

We are looking for volunteers as the list of homeless children that need our help is growing.  We are predicting that the number of families and children experiencing homelessness will increase significantly this year due to the lack of affordable housing, shelters closing and new government policies.

Nov 30

Giving Tuesday 2015

Join the Giving Tuesday Movement and Give Back!

School on Wheels will be participating in this year’s GivingTuesday!

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back.

This holiday season give thanks for the children in your life by supporting those who need your help.

For as little as $10 a month, you can make a recurring donation that will help School on Wheels tutor more homeless children and youth.

You can also help by sharing with your friends and family how you are giving this #GivingTuesday using this hashtag and recruit others to give.

Make a contribution today!

Sep 28

CBS LAUNCHES “VOLUNTEERING WITH THE STARS” INITIATIVE AS PART OF NEW “VIEWERS TO VOLUNTEERS” APP

v2vimage w sow logo

School on Wheels has been chosen to participate in the CBS “Volunteering with the Stars” Initiative and will be featured on the new “Viewers to Volunteers” App which gives the public the chance to support the causes and nonprofits they love best, without spending their own money.

 

v2v logoFor more information on the many benefits of the app and how to download it click here!