Jun 22

Volunteers of the Month – June 2022

Emily DeArkland

Emily DeArkland

Emily is a dream of a tutor. It is a pleasure to see how dedicated she is and how consistently and passionately she supports her student. She works hard to come up with engaging lessons each week, and always contacts me if she thinks her student might need anything. Emily provides a warm and fun atmosphere for tutoring, and keeps her student’s parent informed and involved in the progress they are making. She is also getting ready to celebrate five years as a School on Wheels tutor. Congratulations Emily!

– Chris Walsh, Volunteer Coordinator

I was introduced to School on Wheels years ago through my dad. I have always tried to give back, especially to children, but it usually came in the form of a donation. I wanted to do more and give my time.

My favorite part of tutoring is forming a connection with my students. I have been very fortunate to have two long-standing students during my time with School on Wheels. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a student actually wants to spend an hour a week tutoring, but there has always been a moment with each of my students when it becomes very clear that our time together is meaningful to them. It is very fulfilling to know our hour together is something they look forward to.

During COVID my student didn’t have much homework. While we spent a lot of time working on multiplication, we couldn’t just work all the time, so I would often ask how she would like to spend the last part of our session. Usually, she would either like to share her art with me or sing songs or tell me stories about her and her friends. I love seeing her be so open, honest and vulnerable! She is such a strong, confident and capable young lady.

Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll

Paul has always been deeply invested in his student’s education. He prepares for each session by reviewing School on Wheels material, and is very consistent with his sessions. Paul advocates for his student when they need support or materials to have a successful tutoring session, and makes sure his student is acknowledged for showing up on time and ready to learn. 

– Yesenia Ontiveros, Volunteer Coordinator

Before I retired, I often thought about volunteering to tutor math and science, perhaps at a local school. Unfortunately, the schools were either closed or were not considered the safest places due to the pandemic. I still wanted to teach, so I did a search for online tutoring. I was immediately attracted to School on Wheels because I had also dreamed of helping underprivileged students.

The most rewarding aspect of tutoring is seeing improvement from the student. It tells me I am actually making a positive impact. My most memorable experience was seeing the dramatic improvement in my student’s 2nd assessment scores. I was very surprised to see this much difference; every category showed improvement, and in some cases, his score almost doubled. It was a great experience to be able to share this with his mother and hear her reaction. She even noted that Joshua’s grades had improved in all his subjects, not just math.

I recently shared my tutoring experience with a friend from church when he said that he liked to teach. I mentioned the tremendous need for more tutors and the rewarding experience that I had, and I hope he will be able to join me in this endeavor soon.

Tim Knapp

Tim is such an amazing tutor. His dedication to his student is remarkable. He makes learning fun and does a great job at building a rapport with his student and his student’s parent, working as a team to ensure that learning is fun. Tim encourages curiosity, and both he and his student explore all kinds of topics in addition to academics. Tim is a true champion for his student and carries so much passion and dedication for ensuring that his student has what he needs for success.

– Stephanie Swenseid, Volunteer Coordinator

After retirement I wanted to give back to the community in some way. I looked at a volunteer site online and they recommended School on Wheels.

The satisfaction of seeing a student grow educationally and as a person is incredibly rewarding. Recently, my student was having trouble understanding a certain math concept, so we used YouTube videos that helped expand on and reinforce the central idea. The very next week, he passed his math test, which included questions on the very same concept we’d spent extra time on. I was so thrilled for him! Volunteering as a tutor for School on Wheels can be very rewarding, both for your student and for yourself.