March 2015






There is such tragedy and sorrow in our world.  Every day, we learn of murder and mayhem, of war and hateful acts.  There is also much beauty and joy.  Our beloved Founder, Agnes Stevens, died last month.  She was a visionary and the most positive person I've met. She saw beauty everywhere. She did not let anything stand in her way when it came to helping homeless children.

Emily Austin, a young woman at the beginning of life's journey, also died, killed tragically in a car accident.  Out of this heartbreak, came hope for our homeless students.  Sue Taylor, President of OMD Entertainment, established a memorial fund in her honor and over 50 of Emily's colleagues are volunteering to tutor our homeless students in her honor.  This is what Sue said about Emily:

"When our friend and co-worker, Emily Austin, was killed so suddenly, our company looked for a way to channel our feelings of love for her and our grief at the tragedy to do something good in her honor.  School on Wheels was an answered prayer. It allows us to give back to children, upended by circumstance, who are asking for help.  Helping homeless children was always a passion of Emily's and her family. The flexibility, training, organization, and reputation of School on Wheels has provided a tailor-made solution for us to give back in memory of our dear Emily."

What wonderful legacies these women have left.  They will continue to inspire us to help our students succeed in their number one job as a child:  going to school and learning.


Catherine Meek
Executive Director 

In This Issue
Agnes Stevens
Donor of the Month
Star Tutors
In The News
Agnes Stevens Memorial Fund


Agnes was an extraordinary woman who made a lasting difference in our lives and this world. If you would like to make a donation to the 'Agnes Stevens Memorial Fund' you can do so by clicking here.

The  Emily Austin Project 


A native of South Carolina and Florida, Emily Austin found her way to the City of Angels through her passion for the arts, film and television. She lived her dreams while working in entertainment marketing for studios such as Paramount, Sony and Disney. She was extremely smart, a skilled artist, and most importantly a wonderful friend. She was fascinated with the "possibilities" around her and craved learning new things every day. It was rare to see her without a book in hand, or a Film/TV series playing.


Emily had a great compassion and empathy for people in need, especially homeless families and children. In honor of this glorious girl, "The Emily Austin Project" has been created. Already, $8,000 has been donated in honor of Emily, and over 50 people have applied to become School on Wheels tutors as a result of the Project! 

We will continue to honor her memory through the Emily Austin Project until the end of the year. 


Donate here  in memory of Emily. 
Presidential Service Awards
Made by the Boys Republic Group Home in Chino

Some days our tutors get surprise cakes (as pictured).  
Other days they might receive a letter from the president!  Both are great ways to show appreciation for the amazing volunteers of School on Wheels.    
If you are an active tutor and have logged over 50 hours between March 2014 and March 2015, you never know what surprises are in store!  
Click Here to log your hours
Digital Learning Center Grand Opening - March 13  

In the new Digital Learning Center at our Skid Row Learning Center, students
will have access to laptops, chromebooks and tablets. This will allow them to keep up with their peers in school and learn new technologies. This was made possible by a grant from the Gesner Johnson Family Foundation. 


The opening of the center coincides with Digital Learning Day, which is a national day to celebrate Innovative Teaching and Learning Through Digital Media and Technology.  We will be having a small ribbon cutting ceremony and then the children will be invited to explore the new equipment. 


We are planning on the ribbon cutting ceremony to start at 3.30 pm.  Light refreshments will be served beforehand. 

Ventura St. Patrick's Day Parade - March 14 
School on Wheels is participating in Ventura's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 14 in Downtown Ventura!

Participants will rec
eive an exclusive t-shirt.  
To join us and show your support, meet us in the School on Wheels parking lot at 83 S. Palm St., Ventura at 9:00 AM, and please RSVP to reserve your t-shirt.


  Star Student

Ulysses, 11th Grade


When I first met Ulysses I immediately realized how kind, considerate, and caring he was. And my first impression of him stuck. The more I got to know him, the more I was impressed with his dedication and desire to learn. I will never forget the moment I heard him saying he couldn't believe our session was already over. He was actually enjoying... math! He was motivated and confident. And soon his grades significantly improved.


Unfortunately, he moved to a different location. I couldn't continue tutoring him, but I am sure that School On Wheels has made a difference in his life. He is now applying to college. I am very proud of him. Ulysses, I wish you all the best and hope your dreams come true. 

- Raquel Abreu, Ulysses' Tutor

Read more about our star students.
Star Tutor
Daniela Flores, Region 8 

Daniela just celebrated her one year anniversary of becoming a tutor. She has been working with Briana since then! Although they took a break from tutoring during the winter holiday, as many students do, Daniela stayed in contact with the family and coordinated when they would resume tutoring. Once school started again, Daniela and Briana jumped right back into tutoring mode, without skipping a beat. It is evident that Briana looks up to Daniela, not only as her tutor but as a female, Latina, role-model. It is these lasting relationships between our students and tutors that make the most meaningful impact on the lives of the students we serve. Congratulations and thank you, Daniela, for reaching the one year mark and keeping your volunteer commitment to our students at the forefront.

- Terrie Soto, Regional Coordinator


Click here to read more about our Star Tutors.
In the News  


Some very kind memorial articles were written about Agnes in the past few weeks, including features in the LA Times and the Santa Monica Daily Review


Like us on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter     View our profile on LinkedIn     Find us on Pinterest     View our videos on YouTube