Mar 27

Volunteers of the Month – March 2023

Alex Vu

Alex is one of the most committed volunteers, and truly cares about his student Michael. Alex is very responsive, scheduling meetings with us outside his tutoring sessions to discuss ways to make sure Michael receives the best tutoring possible. Alex also asked to be matched with a second student he can meet in person, in addition to helping Michael, and also makes time to attend meet-ups. Alex is kind, passionate, considerate, and truly cares about our mission and about helping his students. 

– Lara Akl, Regional Coordinator

Teaching has been a goal for me ever since I developed a passion for sharing my knowledge when my cousin began school. Growing up in an immigrant family, education was stressed as the key to success, but being a first generation Asian American meant I had limited academic support to help me advance in life, so I want to provide the academic support that I did not receive. As the oldest in my extended family, I always felt it was my responsibility to support my siblings and cousins in their academic and life goals. I expressed this responsibility through tutoring my younger family members to prevent them from falling behind and taking care of them when our parents were working. Tutoring also gives me a sense of joy because I feel that when I help someone succeed, I am succeeding by extension. 

An aspect of tutoring that I have found most rewarding is seeing my student make progress. When my student makes progress, it makes him feel optimistic and proud of himself. As a tutor, I experience a lot of joy when my student makes progress because progress builds a student’s confidence and encourages them to take on more challenges. I am also happy to be at all responsible for aiding in my students’ education.

The most memorable experience I have had working with my student was during our third tutoring session. We had just gone over 30 minutes of various math topics on Khan Academy but decided to just relax for the remainder of time because we both have had a hectic weekend. We sketched many pictures of animals and just talked about life. I learned a lot about his goals in life, his favorite hobbies, and his favorite football team.

Tutoring is a wonderful experience that everyone should try at least once in their life. There is nothing more satisfying than being responsible for the “Aha!” moment when your student understands a concept. In addition to that, you will forge a strong, unforgettable bond with your student.


Mana and Lukas have been working very diligently since Nov 2020. They have built a strong relationship and have gotten the chance to know each other on a personal level. They do more than just academics, they talk about their hobbies, interests, and more. They both actively participate in the Academic’s Program and have been completing the assessments that come with it. With the support of Mana, Lukas has improved his overall math scores. Mana also has a good relationship with Lukas’s mother which is such a crucial component of their successful tutee/tutor relationship. Mana keeps up to date with organizational updates and logging her tutoring hours. 

– Yesenia Ontiveros, Regional Coordinator

I became a School on Wheels volunteer tutor because I wanted to contribute to my community. When I saw the website and learned about this program, I was intrigued.

Having been tutoring online for a couple of years now, I can definitely see the value. Working by remote has kept an ongoing dialogue with kids that wouldn’t have had that opportunity otherwise. Seeing a child excited and curious about learning is a joyous experience, and being part of it makes it so special.

I sometimes feel inept as an academic teacher, but I keep trying and learning to teach more effectively. I feel that deep caring and patience is key to the success in having a connection with my student, Lukas.

Karen Steen

Karen provides exceptional support and care to all the children in the shelter where she currently volunteers. When I had the chance to visit the facility and meet her, she was very kind and welcoming. I saw how all the children gravitated toward her and looked to her for guidance. Even though many children come and go from the shelter, Karen strives to make a difference in each of their lives whether it’s short or long-term. 

– Ivan Gutierrez, Regional Coordinator

During the pandemic, I had spare time and felt inspired to help my community in some way. Homeless kids are so vulnerable and I thought maybe I could help there. I love reading a beautifully illustrated book with a young child.

I remember working with a child who was learning to count. Over two or three weeks, she progressed and was so proud.

If you are interested in volunteering as a tutor, give it a try. Remember, some sessions are better than others. Don’t give up!