Volunteers of the Month – September 2022
Rabia has been extremely dedicated to her weekly tutoring session and has built a strong relationship with Kyle and also with his mom. She pushes Kyle to try things that challenge him and continues to support him in his love for poetry. As a result, Kyle has opened up to Rabia about his interests, goals, and his challenges at school.
– Yesenia Ontiveros, Regional Coordinator
When I first heard about School on Wheels, I was immediately interested. I love tutoring and believe education is an important tool to prevent poor life outcomes, especially for individuals lacking the resources to succeed academically. Resource misallocation and homelessness are issues that I am passionate about solving. I believe that systemic issues like these need to be addressed at its root, which is why it’s important to start with the youth.
Seeing Kyle interested in some school work such as difficult math problems and writing have been the most rewarding part of tutoring. I feel accomplished when he feels like he can not only tackle a problem he is faced with, but also enjoy the process.
Kyle and I decided to enter one of his poems in an online poetry competition and he ended up being one of the winners who got their poem published in a book. I remember being so excited telling him the news and I could see the hope, excitement, and possibility that went through his head at the moment. It felt like he really needed that win.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, do it! It is such a wonderful experience working with a student, getting close to that student, and watching them progress and grow with you. You will come to learn that you are also gaining and learning a lot from your student in addition to the other way around.
Riday started as a tutor when he was 13 years old, tutoring with his dad! He is a fantastic tutor, connecting with his students on a peer to peer level and offering consistent enthusiasm, encouragement and excellent academic help. Riday is dedicated to helping his students, tutoring on weekends, and finding ways to make even difficult concepts easily accessible and understandable. He inspires his students and works diligently to make sure that they feel confident in themselves as a learner.
– Chris Walsh, Regional Coordinator
When I heard about School on Wheels I thought it was the best opportunity provided for me to give back and embrace why I started volunteering in the first place. It has been a very rewarding experience. I had volunteered in the past, but I was trying to find an experience where I felt like I was genuinely helping and giving back to the community.
I’ve watched my student Ibrahim’s learning grow from basic algebra to tackling high school geometry. It’s awesome knowing that I played a part in that development, just by giving an hour a week to helping him with his math skills. Over time, it has made him such an excellent learner. I am very fortunate to have such a dedicated student. Our teamwork approach — and the results — really make this experience wonderful.
One experience I remember in particular is when we finished algebra right before the summer break of his school. When we finished the very last lesson, the relief of knowing all his hard work and dedication paid off to a complete mastery of algebra was a very good feeling, especially knowing that I helped him accomplish that. I’m very excited to see what he does next.
Volunteering is one of the best experiences you’ll ever have and is extremely satisfying for your mind. Every week after our hour was complete I felt very happy knowing I had made a difference in someone’s life. I felt that my week was complete. Volunteering is not just about helping the other person, but it’s also about self-building. I cannot stress enough how rewarding the experience can be. I highly encourage anyone thinking about becoming a tutor to go for it and remember that you are making a real difference in someone’s life.
Dylan has built a great relationship with his student Cielo. Cielo’s mom liked Dylan so much that she wanted him to be her other daughter’s tutor. Dylan did not hesitate and he is now tutoring both siblings. Dylan is super flexible and communicative, definitely someone you can count on, despite the short time he has been at School on Wheels.
– Sandy Cervantes, Regional Coordinator
A colleague who knew I wanted to tutor inspired me to join School On Wheels. My interest in working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds was built upon my previous experience at Camp Kesem as a counselor. Caring for the kids in our local communities is something I am very passionate about and want to build upon as a future medical provider.
The most rewarding moments for me are when our tutoring session is paused for a story about my student’s personal life, or for playing tic-tac-toe. Those moments are what make tutoring worth the investment, seeing the trust that is built and the impression it makes on the student for the rest of their educational careers and maybe their lives. One of the most memorable moments with my student was when she told me her state test was not stressful because it felt like it was just one of our tutoring sessions. When she felt unsure how to solve an equation, she said she just asked herself, “What would Dylan tell me to do?”
If you are interested, then I would strongly recommend pursuing it. It is more than just tutoring because you get to be there for your students in times of need providing them with adequate resources to achieve their goals. Not only will you help the students, but you will also mature along the way.
What stands out about Kimi is her dedication. Not only is she constant support for her student Yassein, but she also supports his older brother. She keeps navigating the different circumstances and challenges that the family is going through with patience and grace to make sure Yassein can rely on her support. I feel lucky to have her as one of our volunteer tutors and I am sure her dedication and support to Yessein is making a life-long impact.
– Danait Berhe, Regional Coordinator
I first discovered School on Wheels when I noticed that a chef I follow sponsored an event here in Los Angeles. This was summer of 2020, so I was in a place to seek connection and make a difference. School on Wheels turned out to be a great fit.
My student Yassienis is always happy to see me and I love making him laugh. We really enjoyed our summer enrichment activities. We researched his mother’s favorite Egyptian singer and made a Google slide about him for her to see. She was so happy that Yassein created a project just for her.
Volunteering as a School on Wheels tutor takes about 90 minutes of your time a week, and the time you put in really pays off and is well worth it!