Tutors of the Month – August 2015
Region 5 – Hollywood, Silver Lake, Highland Park
– Tyler Edmonston. This month we would like to honor Tyler Edmonston for being an outstanding tutor to his student. Tyler not only takes the time to tutor his student, but he really does goes the extra mile to personalize his tutoring sessions to her needs. In his own words:
When I first heard of School On Wheels, I was truly in awe of the positivity the organization brings to students and the community. Yet, after learning of School On Wheels last year, I spent several months making sure that I was “ready”, so to speak, to become a tutor. When I joined in early 2015, my only regret was that I did not pursue tutoring with School On Wheels sooner! It’s been inspiring to see my student progress and to also meet the other volunteers. I’m so thankful to be part of this organization!
Lancella Hunter, Regional Coordinator
Region 3 – Westside
– Debra Kaufman. Debra has been such a great help to Jonathan, and I am so glad the two of them have connected. She has especially helped him with his writing and has always been flexible with her time to make sure she meets with him each and every week. Thank you, Debra, for all you do! In her own words:
I love working with young people, especially teenagers. I had read about School on Wheels before but another mention on the radio reminded me. I attended the volunteer training and, after a couple of false starts, was matched with Jonathan. He’s a bright student who wants to improve his writing – and teaching writing is a specialty for me, since I’ve been a journalist for over 20 years. It’s a great match and I really enjoy my time with Jonathan…and with School on Wheels.
Kyle McDonough, Regional Coordinator
Region 4 – South Bay, Long Beach
– Lisa Utsinger. Lisa has been a tutor with School on Wheels since February. Because she is such a great role model for the students, Lisa is Region 4’s Tutor of the Month. Lisa joined the Army at a young age and was stationed in Germany for many years. Once she finished her tour of duty in Germany, Lisa came home and enrolled as a full-time student at Hope International University. She is now in the Army Reserves and works full time as a computer consultant at the Veteran Administration Hospital in Long Beach.
Lisa loves the outdoors, running and doing outdoor obstacle courses. She also enjoys reading and writing. With all that Lisa does, she has found time to tutor with School on Wheels. She says that it is her most enjoyable hour of the week. She also says that she feels a responsibility towards the youth of our community and that this is the best way she can help. Lisa, thank you for all you do for School on Wheels’ students and for our country.
Louis Mena, Regional Coordinator
Region 6 – Inland Empire
– Song Jeong. Song has been a volunteer with our program since June 2014. She’s been instrumental in getting students at both of the group homes she works with to be successful. Song even helped co-facilitate an online workshop we hosted last year for all our tutors. In her words:
I first got interested in volunteering for School on Wheels because of its cause. As a graduate student at CSUF for special education, I wanted to give back to the community by doing what I know and enjoy doing the most, which is teaching. Also, I liked the fact that School On Wheels focused on helping homeless youth which was both new and a bit nerve-wracking at first. However, as I have been volunteering at the group homes for a year now, I have learned tremendously. Behavior, classroom management, and building rapport have been the biggest areas where I grew with the experiences. Yes, there are times when things get hard and my patience is tested. But my students have allowed me to mature as an educator just like red wine. Therefore, I cannot thank the students and School on Wheels enough for allowing and trusting me to be a part of the team. I am truly looking forward to what the next year with School On Wheels will look like.
Thank you Song! We are truly happy to have you be a part of our team!
Trish Arias, Regional Coordinator
Region 7 – San Fernando Valley
– Laura Hine. Laura has been a fantastic tutor for School on Wheels since she joined the team in April of this year. She has worked hard to help Arman improve in reading and math. As a tutor, she is a great example of being flexible with the family, making tutoring fun for Arman, logging her hours, and going above and beyond in everything she does! In her words:
My journey with School on Wheels began a few months ago with an ‘Aha’ moment. I was in the checkout line at the grocery store and was saddened by the efforts of a teenage girl trying to read the cover of a tabloid magazine but with no success. While she outwardly struggled to sound out the word ‘summer,’ I experienced an inner struggle, a real crisis of consciousness. How could I give back to the community and help such a prevalent problem with our youth? Enter School on Wheels. School on Wheels has allowed me to tangibly use my English degree while giving my student the consistent one-on-one attention that is crucial for his bright future and current success in school. Although watching the educational progress of my student is unbelievably rewarding, the true reward lies in the gratitude and patience we have acquired for each other, and how elated I feel that I get to spend time with him and make a difference every week.
Brianna Grothe, Regional Coordinator
Region 12 – North Orange County
– Yuri Ceriale. Yuri has been tutoring with School On Wheels for over a year. A student of Troy High School, she dedicates every Friday night to working with Jeshua, her student of over a year. During this time, she has constantly gone above and beyond for Jeshua. She is patient and caring, all while keeping a sense of humor that is always appreciated. She has helped spread the word about School On Wheels at her school, and many other students have followed her lead.
When asked what motivated her to tutor, Yuri responded, “I am currently attending a top high school, enrolled in the most rigorous curriculum. However, I’ve realized that I am only here because of the tremendous amount of help I’ve received from others. I want to be the provider of that help in another person’s life. I want to inspire kids to aim high, too.”
Thank you for all you do, Yuri!
Laura Schickling, Regional Coordinator
– Megan Barrett. Over the past several years, as I’ve continued to expose myself to a greater diversity of people through volunteer work, I’ve become less interested in “being the best” and more focused on enabling others to become their very best. School on Wheels has been paramount in this transition. I find myself anxiously awaiting my next tutoring session, thinking endlessly about how I can best convey the information to my student, and smiling awkwardly to myself as I think back to the previous week when my student was finally able to solve that fraction problem on their own. School on Wheels has afforded me the ability to use education to empower a child, to help (even in some small way) provide them with the confidence necessary to take on life’s daunting tasks…and that opportunity is absolutely unparalleled! Overall, I can confidently say that tutoring has afforded me the recognition that my greatest potential, my ability to “be the best”, is realized not through personal triumph but through empowering others and through cultivating their own success.
Thank you, Megan, for the consistency, thoroughness, and passion you bring to your tutoring sessions. You make a difference! Fun fact: Megan has tutored 10 students online since joining our team!
Ian Chan, Digital Learning Coordinator