Volunteer Appreciation Dinner 2014

The room was packed at SOWMA’s 2014 Volunteer Celebration, held on Wednesday, April 16 at Stonehill College’s Martin Institute. SOWMA Board members, staff, volunteers, friends and donors got together to kick off SOWMA’s 10th birthday, and to thank all of SOWMA’s wonderful volunteers!

 Volunteer Dinner Program

Outstanding volunteer awards were presented to tutors John Hoagland and Cindy Sparks, and community volunteers, Jacqui Podolski and Emily Newman. This year’s outstanding corporate partners awards went to OtterBox Boston, Worldwide Publications Group and Altrusa International of Plymouth County. The Jane Feroli Memorial Tutor of the Year Award was presented to Donald Slovin.

Guests were asked to write their proudest SOWMA moment. Outstanding volunteer John Hoagland wrote, “When my student said ‘My brain is tired because you are making me think.’” John’s student Sem, said, “My proudest SOWMA moment is today.”

John and SemRead more about John and Sem

First-time tutor, Bernard Bendiksen said, “Establishing rapport with my student. Finding a common love for superheroes and reciting the Green Lantern motto. Our friendship started with fun and trust.”

Kerenne PaulKeynote speaker, Kerenne Paul, a SOWMA student and recent college graduate, gave an inspirational speech on the power of family and the importance of education.  Kerenne told us. 'Each and every one of us have traveled a particular journey, each unique in a way but each equally contributive in defining our character and the person that we are today." She went on to refer to our tutors, "You guys inspire me to be great, you inspire me to push past my challenges and my fears and become an asset to the youth in my community. The inspiration that I get from you has helped me throughout my college career and it will continue to fuel in me a passion and a motivation to be great."   Read more about Kerenne.


Here are quotes from some of our volunteers:

"It is both thrilling and satisfying whenever you achieve those moments when your student "get it" and you realize you've added one small piece of knowledge that the student will always have."

Jim K. -  tutor at the Family Life Center

 "Volunteering makes me feel good about myself. It also makes me feel like I am making a difference in the world for someone else."

Zac Z.

"I was never homeless, but I did come from another country when I was 15. I didn't speak English. Many people helped me become what I am today.  Volunteering at SOWMA helps me give back to the community. "

Ana G. 

"Volunteering for SOWMA makes me feel as I am truly making a difference for a student's future"

Jill S.

School on Wheels of Massachusetts (SOWMA) trains community volunteers to provide tutoring once a week for students in grades K-12 whose lives have been impacted by homelessness. Our volunteer tutors come from all walks of life with different backgrounds and professions, yet they share one goal: to help children move beyond homelessness through a quality education.

Tutors meet with the same student each week to provide stability and reinforce grade level learning skills, work on school projects and help boost the child’s self-esteem. Tutors serve as mentors and positive adult role models for students to help them realize their full potential in the classroom and beyond.

Find out how you can get involved with SOWMA

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


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