To Say We are Proud of Darren is an Understatement.

I met Darren in 2004 when he was living at the Louison Center in Brockton with his mom. The Louison was our first family shelter, and Darren was our first student. He was in the 6th grade and failing half of his classes when we first started working with him. He told his tutor Steve “I am just a dumb kid. " His tutor taught him how to play chess to show him he was not dumb; he had simply missed layers of learning due to multiple moves.
Darren moved 8 times in two years and never had a chance to make close friends in middle school. He never played on a sports team, and he was often the only one in his class not invited to birthday parties.  Although Darren moved 8 times in two years School on Wheels of Massachusetts continued to provide support services for him. Darren worked with the same tutor, Steve, at a local library in whatever town he was living. 

darren and steve

Fast forward to Darren’s senior year at Holbrook High School (7 years later). Darren graduated high school June 2012, he played on the varsity basketball team, his team went undefeated for the season, he had a steady job, plenty of friends, even a  girlfriend. He applied to college and was accepted at ‘Year-Up’ a paid college/internship program in Boston for low-income first generation college students.  To say we are proud of Darren is an understatement. Did I mention Darren and his mom have been living in the same apartment for 4 years? 
Darren Graduates Holbrook High

I will never forget June 2, 2012 for as long as I live. I sat in the bleachers with Darren’s mom and his tutor Steve and watched as Darren walked on stage with both fists pumping in the air like Kevin Garnett, and shouted, “I did it” as he was handed his high school diploma. I can’t think of a prouder moment in my life. I knew right then that is why I started School on Wheels out of my basement 8 years ago. My dream was to watch a child who had so little in life conquer his fears, his doubts, his failures, and watch him soar.  Darren is soaring thanks to you and your support for his education. Darren is also a volunteer for School on Wheels and is ‘paying it forward’ for other kids.

Our work would not be possible without all of you. This is a great time of the year to help us continue to expand our reach.

This school year we have given away close to 800 backpacks. We plan on serving over 200 children impacted by homelessness in 12 program sites. We currently have 26 students enrolled in college. How awesome is that! We are breaking the cycle of poverty one student at a time.  I tell you Darren's story to show you what a difference a caring adult and support services can make in a child’s life.

For all you do for kids like Darren, thank you!

With gratitude,

Cheryl Opper
Founder and Executive Director 

School on Wheels of Massachusetts 

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School on Wheels - MA
100 Laurel Street
Suite 121
East Bridgewater, Massachusetts 02333


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