Tutors of the Month – December 2015
Region 10 – South Orange County:
Sabra Morris. Sabra just celebrated her first year anniversary with School on Wheels. She genuinely cares about each and every one of her students and goes the extra mile to make them feel special. Her students’ faces light up when I ask them about tutoring and they really look up to her as a role model. We are so thankful for her dedication to our students and to School on Wheels.
I have loved every second. My husband is also a volunteer, and he recommended School On Wheels to me. I write for a living and love to work with young people; so this seemed like the perfect fit, and it was! I’ve had so much fun getting to know my students, and tutoring my current student, Lynette, has been so rewarding for both of us.
Lilian Pahn, Regional Coordinator
Skid Row Learning Center
– Heidi Vogl. I first became familiar with School on Wheels over three years ago when we were filming the independent feature film “Between the Miles” at the Skid Row Learning Center. The film centers around three homeless teens, runaways from the system. I was immediately intrigued and inspired by the mission of School on Wheels and have been most amazed by the fact that, despite overwhelming odds and circumstances, most of the children at the Skid Row Learning Center are incredibly positive, happy and resilient. They just need someone in their corner telling them that they are cared for and capable of leading successful lives, that their dreams matter and that they matter. At School on Wheels, they have many “someones” doing just that.
Allison Maldonado, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor
Region 1 – East LA to Pasadena
– Jimmy Chan. Since March, Jimmy has been a phenomenal School on Wheels tutor. His creativity and passion for teaching have made a big impact on his students’ lives. Each week Jimmy provides consistency and uses creative techniques to engage his student in learning. Besides his mentoring abilities, Jimmy has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills. He is willing to help where needed, even if that means commuting two hours. Here is what Jimmy had to say about his experience as a tutor:
The act of helping students who weren’t given the opportunity to live their lives with hope and passion is something that I hold close to my heart. Since volunteering with School on Wheels I hope that I have shown the students ways to find “the light at the end of the tunnel” through knowledge and education. As the saying goes, “You learn something new every day.” I use that phrase in tutoring each week . The best reward I get is seeing the hope and passion grow in the students as they begin to recognize the value of their future.
Jimmy, thank you for your dedication!
Marisol Farfan, Regional Coordinator
Region 2 – South LA
– Daisy Pineda. Daisy joined School on Wheels in 2012 as a dedicated tutor. She has just resumed her position as a Tutor Coordinator in Compton at a transitional shelter. Daisy has helped tremendously by matching tutors with students and reaching out to parents. I am extremely grateful to have her help!!
Tutoring School on Wheels students has challenged me to stay creative and learn new ways of teaching. Each of my students has inspired me in some way, not only in my professional life but my personal life as well. I am now a Tutor Coordinator which means I also have the opportunity to assist in welcoming new tutors! This has truly been a life changing experience. Thank you School on Wheels!
Kenisha Edwards, Regional Coordinator
Region 3 – Westside
– Cathi Carlton. Cathi was one of the first tutors I matched with a student as the new Regional Coordinator for Region 3. She has done an amazing job! She goes above and beyond to find creative ways to help Kayla get ahead in her school work. Kayla has really made strides with her reading because of Cathi. Thanks, Cathi, for all you do to help Kayla learn and for being such a dedicated tutor!
My friend recommended volunteering with School On Wheels when I spoke with her about wanting to work with children. The training was an easy process. I was excited when Kyle called me to tell me there was a student in my neighborhood and asked if I could come that evening. Kayla and I made a strong connection at first sight. It has been such pleasure working with Kayla and meeting the other kids at the shelter. I really enjoy volunteering with School On Wheels and think that it is a wonderful organization which supports our community.
Kyle McDonough, Regional Coordinator
Region 6 – Inland Empire
– Tom Rodriguez. Tom has been a tutor with School on Wheels for about nine months now and has been with his student from the beginning. It is very obvious that he has made a tremendous impact on Anthony and the bond they have built will be life lasting! He has not only provided Anthony with the tools to excel in his school work, but he has given him the hope, trust and encouragement that he may not have received from anyone in the past. Tom has been a true friend, mentor, and excellent tutor to his student. I am so proud to have him on my team! Here is a bio written by Tom:
I graduated from Loma Linda University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science. In 2010, I enlisted in the Army National Guard. Currently, I work for a government subcontractor training doctors across the country how to perform medical evaluations for military servicemembers and veterans. My hobbies include running marathons, six this year alone and counting.
Trish Arias, Regional Coordinator
Region 12 – North Orange County
– Elizabeth Mack. Elizabeth has been a tutor with School On Wheels for 6 months. During this time, she has proven to be a thoughtful, caring, and accommodating tutor. She always puts her student’s needs first and comes up with creative ways to make the content interesting. Beyond the academic side, it is clear that Elizabeth cares for her student as a person. She is not simply there to help with homework, but also supports and encourages her future dreams and aspirations. Her enthusiasm and easy-going nature make her a pleasure to work with and I am thrilled she found School On Wheels.
I want to be a supportive a positive mentor towards young children, helping them foster an appreciation and love of learning.
Mission accomplished, thanks Elizabeth!
Laura Schickling, Regional Coordinator
– Tomer Gurantz. Tomer has been an online tutor with us since March of this year, but has tutored with us since 2013. Tomer made the switch from in-person to online tutoring because of his hectic and busy schedule. Tomer is an energetic and dynamic tutor who demonstrates an attentiveness to the specific needs, interests, and aspirations of his students, and we are inspired by his passionate and unwavering commitment to our mission.
For me, the best experience was surprising Tasir by coming into the Skid Row Learning Center for the first time, when he didn’t expect it. Everyone in the Center helped me set it up where I got online with him from two rooms over and then pretended that the connection was bad and that we would not be able to continue with online tutoring. I then walked into his room and asked him: “Is this better?” The smile on his face: priceless.
Ian Chan, Digital Learning Coordinator