Tutors of the Month – July 2015
Region 1 – East LA to Pasadena
– Liz Reznak. Liz has been an amazing School on Wheels tutor for ten months. Her creativity and passion for teaching have made learning fun for the students. Here is what Liz has to say about her experience as a tutor:
In 2014, I decided to join School on Wheels through the volunteer program at my work. I was encouraged by my best friend Matt Haze who has been involved with School on Wheels since 2009. Now we tutor together, and I look forward to it each week. I’ve always had a passion for education; working with our students and seeing them progress helps me to keep it alive. Thanks, School on Wheels!
Thank you, Liz, for being such a phenomenal tutor and a consistent person in Lariell’s life.
Marisol Farfan, Regional Coordinator
Region 2 – South Los Angeles
– Alejandra Lepe. Alejandra has been with School on Wheels for a short time, but she has been amazing. She joined as a Tutor Coordinator and has contributed tremendously in her two months of volunteering. Alejandra has helped start group tutoring at a L.A.U.S.D. school in Gardena, which was not easy. As a result, we have helped eight homeless students who were significantly behind academically. I look forward to working with Alejandra to identify more students in need in L.A.U.S.D.
As I found myself succeeding in life and education, I knew I had to find a volunteer program where I could give back for all the help I received. I came across School on Wheels through VolunteerMatch. I can’t express how fascinated I was to learn about this amazing organization. We may think that we will be an inspiration for these children, but I believe they are our inspiration. Homeless students encounter many obstacles on a daily basis and still manage to join us for an hour once a week for tutoring.. They have the will to keep trying and not give up on their educational goals. I work with five to six children in a group setting; we have developed a bond that is more important than tutoring. I hope that I can impact their lives in the best way possible. My experience so far has been incredible!
Kenisha Edwards, Regional Coordinator
Region 3 – Westside
– Mahsaw Motlagh. Mahsaw has been so enthusiastic about helping from the very beginning; she comes to her sessions prepared and structured so that her student gets to work on a little bit of every subject. Thanks, Mahsaw, for all your hard work and commitment to your student!
After graduating from college last year, I knew that I wanted to spend more time serving the community in Los Angeles. As a first-hand witness to the disparate nature of education in LA, I started researching volunteer tutoring positions. Now, nearly twelve weeks later, meeting with my student is the highlight of my every week. As serendipitous as my arrival was to this organization, I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to be a tutor. I have cultivated a sincere passion for teaching and am inspired in the presence of my student during our sessions. The feeling of making a positive impact on someone’s life is truly unparalleled — and I am fortunate to experience this every week with Joseph. At the end of each session, we draw together, and I can tell that Joseph is an artist in the making. My favorite moment thus far has been when he drew Pete the Cat for me (and even signed his name at the bottom of the page too)!
Kyle McDonough, Regional Coordinator
Region 8 – Ventura County
– Jennifer Moore. Although Jennifer has only been a tutor for a little over a month, it is already evident that she and her student will be making great strides. After seeing her in action, I admire that Jennifer gives her student a voice and allows her to make decisions about what she would like to learn during their tutoring sessions. Jennifer has really taken advantage of many of School on Wheels’ resources; she will be participating in the Summer Program with her student. When asked, Jennifer says, “I am really looking forward to using the summer program, and I appreciate that School on Wheels offers a structured summer program.” Raising her own child with learning disabilities, Jennifer wants to help other kids who may not have the same resources that her son has. She sees School on Wheels as the perfect fit; and, the rest, as they say, is history!
By far, the best thing [about becoming a tutor] has been meeting Rhianna and getting to know her.
Terrie Soto, Regional Coordinator
Region 10 – South Orange County
– Kylie Toy. Kylie joined the School on Wheels family as a member of the “School on Wheels at UCI Club” last fall and started tutoring in January 2015. Since the beginning of her involvement with School on Wheels, Kylie has always gone above and beyond what was expected of a volunteer and tutor. She genuinely cares about her student and their family and took the lead in making sure that they were receiving the help that they needed. She took the initiative to organize tutoring for all the children in her student’s family. We are thrilled to have Kylie as part of our team and look forward to working with her and the UCI Club in reaching more students next year. Thank you, Kylie!
Tutoring, while initially challenging, has certainly been a rewarding learning experience for me. However, while my time working as a SOW tutor has been short, I have become very involved in the School on Wheels at UCI chapter. I immediately fell in love with School on Wheels’ mission and goals, and took a more active role in the UCI club by planning holiday parties and workshops at winter shelters. I also helped to orchestrate large-scale, campus-wide college tours for Orange County and Los Angeles School on Wheels students. Next year I will be Vice President of our club; I am thrilled to become even more involved in the organization and hope to bring light to more students’ lives.
Lilian Pahn, Regional Coordinator
Region 12 – North Orange County
– InJae Yoo. InJae has been a tutor with School On Wheels for six months. When asked what motivated him to volunteer, InJae said, “I believe in the power of education and want to share the joy of learning. Volunteering with School on Wheels is a great way to give back to my community.” He has certainly met those inspiring goals. InJae is hardworking, committed, and dedicated to helping his student. He constantly goes above and beyond what is expected of a tutor and is incredibly easy to work with.
InJae has tutored the same student throughout his time with School on Wheels. When asked about the effect InJae has during tutoring, his student’s mom said that InJae is like part of their family. Her son is so comfortable with InJae; as a result, his students’ grades and self-esteem have gone up. InJae is truly making the difference, and I cannot thank him enough for everything he does!
Laura Schickling, Regional Coordinator
– Farrah Haddad. I’m having a wonderful experience with School on Wheels. The staff are very supportive and always do the best they can to ensure successful tutoring sessions including tech support, scheduling, tutoring resources, and follow-up with families. Since I started tutoring earlier in the year, I’ve learned that these children are incredibly bright and have many exceptional qualities; it has been a touching experience to interact with them and witness their resilience. My favorite moment so far was with my student Jonathan when he rattled off the “4 “ times table just two hours after doubting that he could learn it. Jonathan’s attitude slowly changed from one of despair and disappointment in his abilities, to one of confidence as he started to repeat under his breath, “Yeah, I’m smart. I can do this!” during our tutoring sessions. Overall, online tutoring introduces a novel and fun way for students to learn; and, it eliminates the time and logistics needed for transportation and space to tutor, which in turn helps maximize the time available for learning. If you’re looking to broaden your impact, online tutoring is a great way to reach students who are most in need all across the country. I am honored and privileged to help School on Wheels students make leaps in their education!
Thank you, Farrah, for all your hard work, persistence and being such an important and consistent part of our students’ lives. Fun fact: Farrah is our first tutor from the State of Virginia!
Ian Chan, Digital Learning Coordinator