May 11

Volunteers of the Month – May 2022

Kierstin Perkins

Kierstin brings such a sweet and nurturing spirit in her tutoring. Her student’s family has nothing but glowing things to say about her. She truly does everything she can to help her student do his best and enjoy his sessions.

– Emma Gerch, Regional Coordinator

Last semester, my Spanish professor informed my class about School on Wheels and everything the organization was doing in the LA area. The message greatly impacted me; during the lockdown, I came to appreciate how many students weren’t receiving an equal education. I believe every student deserves the opportunity to be seen, helped, and acknowledged, and I recognized that through SoW I would be able to help do this.

Tutoring my student has been extremely rewarding in every aspect. The student I work with is very dedicated, kind, and patient, and has taught me a lot about the importance of having a positive attitude and being open to feedback. Being able to see the student’s progress makes me realize how much of an impact an hour a week can have.

Some of the most memorable times I’ve had with my student are during our check-in activities; he often gets super excited to draw me a picture or tell me a story about an experience that he had. When he learned that his reading score had improved by an entire letter grade within a few months, I got to see his joy in knowing that his hard work had paid off. 

If you are considering volunteering as a tutor, do it! I was nervous to begin because I felt like I wouldn’t do a good enough job, or wouldn’t be able to help my student enough. The truth is, just you being there makes a big difference. You’ll receive training from School on Wheels to make sure you know how to lead tutoring sessions. This volunteer experience is extremely rewarding and will benefit you and your student.

Kathryn Quiralte

Kathryn takes the time to get to know her student, not just academically, but also in a social and emotional sense. She has done a fantastic job at creating a safe space for her student to open up and be herself. 

– Eden Ettenger, Regional Coordinator

I was inspired to volunteer as a School on Wheels tutor when I saw an old classmate post to their social media about their experience with the organization. I was feeling unfulfilled in my job and wanted to get involved with volunteering. 

The most rewarding aspect of tutoring has to be seeing my student succeed in their academic achievements, but it is also very rewarding when they are excited to see me. Tutoring is something I look forward to every week, and it makes me happy to see my student reciprocate those feelings. 

One memorable experience I had while working with my student was participating in the Social and Emotional Learning program. Instead of focusing on homework, we took one full session to focus on our feelings that day. My student was worried that they had anxiety, and during our session we took the time to really explore those feelings. Together, we came to the conclusion that having feelings of anxiety did not necessarily mean that she is an anxious person. I realized my student might not always have the space to talk about her feelings in her everyday life, and this made me appreciate even more the importance of the social and emotional learning that School on Wheels allows tutors to facilitate. 

Michael Allen 

Michael is a patient, empathetic, and understanding tutor who fosters a supportive and comfortable environment for his student to learn and flourish. He has also provided amazing support as his student embarks on life’s journey after high school! 

– Maxine Faustino, Regional Coordinator

School on Wheels is such a great opportunity to help the local community. I especially love seeing a concept that was confusing or unfamiliar “click” with my student. It’s so rewarding to see all their hard work pay off. 

Jalen’s been working on a semester-long project. One of the things this has helped him appreciate is just how much growth has happened over the past months; it has been very noteworthy! If you’re on the fence about becoming a tutor for School on Wheels, don’t hesitate!

Mahesh Desai 

Mahesh has been a dedicated School on Wheels tutor for several years. He is always willing to jump in and help wherever he is needed. He and his current student are a great team; they’ve been working so hard together to accomplish academic success and now his student is thriving. They are a dynamic duo! 

– Kristina Rakosh, Regional Coordinator

The mission and vision of SOW really spoke to me. As a Long Beach resident, I felt I could have a direct impact on the community by helping tutor some of our younger residents.

The progress I have seen in my students over the years has been so rewarding. Whether in a test or just general aptitude, when I hear about how I have been able to make an impact on their progress, it really makes it all worthwhile.

Once, one of my students was very nervous about a test. We worked hard on it together, and the student did well. Afterward, this student brought a couple of friends and family to thank me for my help, and it was such a humbling experience.

Volunteering as a tutor with School on Wheels is very rewarding. You are directly impacting the life of a child, and making important contributions to the community. The staff is also one of the best, always available to help you through anything that comes up.