Tutors of the Month – October 2015
Region 2 – South LA
– Amanda Daoud. Amanda made a video describing her tutoring experience with School on Wheels. In the video, Amanda describes how Damian used to throw temper tantrums at the very beginning of their tutoring sessions. After a few weeks, Amanda says he now wants to do his best and make her proud.
Skid Row Learning Center
– Christine “Chris” Goodman. In April 2014, a mother/son tutoring duo joined our team. I had no clue on that first day what an inspiration they would be to me and the students. Since she began, Chris has helped students of all ages. Her expertise as a law professor came in handy when she developed multiple worksheets to implement a program where the students engage in lively debates involving real life scenarios. She also helped a first grader (who consistently resisted reading) learn to love to read! To this day, he still asks for his favorite book: Go, Dog Go!
When asked about her experience, Chis stated, “I love to read and reading continues to be a significant part of my life. I try to motivate children to first learn and then love to read by finding stories about things that matter to them, whether it be cars, robots, friendships, super heroes, or even dogs. Making learning fun is the key to inspiring life-long learning habits, and I like using props, like the abacus with its colorful beads for math homework.”
Allison Maldonado, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor
Region 1 – East LA to Pasadena
– Brenda Ramirez. Brenda has been an outstanding School on Wheels tutor since 2014. During this past year, she has gone beyond “the extra mile”; she tutors in a group setting twice a week, organizes field trips and implemented creative activities during our summer program. Her creativity and passion for teaching have made learning fun for the students. Each week Brenda provides consistency and uses ingenious techniques to engage the students in learning. Here is what Brenda has to say about her experience as a tutor:
The students I work with make this experience so wonderful. They test you, challenge you and love you. In the beginning I wanted to volunteer because I felt a duty to serve others; now it has become a spiritual practice for me. It has revealed patience, dedication and goodness in others. It has motivated me to do better and become a better individual. There is always work to be done and we all must work together to restore our communities.
Thank you for your dedication; you are such an inspiration, Brenda!
Marisol Farfan, Regional Coordinator
Region 4 – South Bay, Long Beach
– Ben Philpott-Matson. Ben has been tutoring with School On Wheels for about a year and a half. In that time, he has shown dedication, care, and patience to his student Antonio. Ben always brings energy and expertise. Week after week, he has a smile on his face and a new, creative activity perfectly tailored for Antonio that inspires him to learn. In his words:
When I began tutoring at School on Wheels, I knew I would meet children who face incredible odds. In my experience, these children tend to have such big hearts and a will to succeed despite setbacks in their lives because of the way their extraordinary experiences have shaped their character.
Louis Mena, Regional Coordinator
Region 5 – Hollywood, Silver Lake, Highland Park
– Gabriella Maynetto. Gaby is an amazing tutor, mentor, and volunteer! Besides being an amazing tutor, Gaby has helped out by volunteering to represent School On Wheels at one of our informational booths. Thanks so much, Gaby, for all your hard work and being a great School On Wheels tutor! In her own words:
After graduating from the university and after acquiring full time employment, I decided to look for ways to become engaged in my community and especially the underserved communities in Los Angeles. I found School on Wheels online and think their work is very progressive and compassionate. Being a tutor and mentor is valuable and is important to me because it is a way to give back to the community and to invest in the education of the most vulnerable students. It is a pleasure to represent School on Wheels as a tutor and an honor to work with the students we serve. I would encourage others to consider spending one hour once a week with a student and becoming a positive role model in a student’s life. It is a rewarding experience and a powerful investment in education.
Lancella Hunter, Regional Coordinator
Region 7 – San Fernando Valley
– Mary Silver. Mary has made a great difference in the lives of her students since February of this year! She has been an amazing tutor for Bonnie and made a big difference in her education. Shelter staff have told me repeatedly how impressed they are with the hands-on educational activities she brings for Bonnie. Mary continually goes above and beyond her role as a tutor in her lesson planning, logging and communication. I really appreciate Mary and Bonnie for all of their hard work and dedication to learning and growing together!
Brianna Grothe, Regional Coordinator
Region 10 – South Orange County
– Heather De Felicis. Heather is a long term volunteer for School on Wheels. She truly is a volunteer that goes above and beyond.
In her own words:
I tutored for School On Wheels in Los Angeles County for over a year, but when I moved to Orange County for work, I unfortunately had to take a break to focus on my new job. I missed tutoring so much! I believe that the key to ending poverty and making a better world is through education. There is nothing more satisfying than helping someone learn something new– seeing that light click on is so magical!
Lilian Pahn, Regional Coordinator
– Katrina Jiang. Katrina joined us earlier this year as an in-person tutor at the Skid Row Learning Center. Since moving to Berkeley to attend college and despite her busy schedule, Katrina continues to tutor with us online and has had the opportunity to reconnect with her former students on Skid Row. Thank you so much, Katrina, for your continued dedication. We are very proud and very lucky to have you on our team!
In her own words:
I immediately seized the opportunity to continue working with School on Wheels as an online tutor. Through the online tutoring program, I kept in touch with Angie, one of the students I formerly worked with in person at the Skid Row Learning Center, and I guided her through learning the fundamental concepts of Computer Science. We began developing a practical understanding of basic coding, a skill that I wished I had picked up earlier in life and that I hope will help her in her academic career. It made me genuinely smile to see her engaged in an important subject that commonly is not (but should be) taught in regular school curriculum. I now tutor Alex, a student at the School on Wheels Digital Learning Center in Compton, and I have equally high hopes for him to succeed! Whether tutoring online or in person, I can truthfully say that I proudly align myself with School on Wheels and am truly making a difference for homeless children. Since tutoring with School on Wheels, I found that as the children I worked with were growing into well-rounded individuals, I grew with them, developing greater compassion and patience not only for the students, but also for myself. My students and I, we’re not that different; we can still learn so much, together. Thank you for the opportunity, School on Wheels!
Ian Chan, Digital Learning Coordinator