10th Birthday Gala

School on Wheels celebrated its 10th birthday on Friday, September 12 at Showcase Live in Patriot Place, Foxboro, MA. Latoyia Edwards, NECN news anchor, enthusiastically emceed the gala for a sold-out crowd of almost 400 guests who came out to support SOWMA's mission to provide educational support services for children impacted by homelessness in Southeastern MA. 
High School Plus student Marc-Daniel Paul introduced his older sister Kerenne Paul, SOWMA's first college graduate, who shared her experience overcoming homelessness with the help of School on Wheels. The first in her family to earn a college degree, Kerenne now plans to pursue a graduate degree at the Harvard Extension Business School. Kerenne wowed the crowd with a beautiful a cappella rendition of "Happy Birthday," before turning the mic over to Founder and Executive Director Cheryl Opper, who thanked the guests and SOWMA team for their unwavering support of SOWMA's mission.  Cheryl then presented Dave Howe, President of The J. Derenzo Companies and Evolution Sports Performance with SOWMA's first "Champion for Our Kids" award. 
Following the program, guests participated in a spirited live auction which included two private dinners for 20 at The Farmer's Daughter in Easton, a "Farewell to Jeter" Red Sox package that included premium seats at the final game of Derek Jeter's career, and a "New York, New York" package including a portrait photo, dinner and one night's stay in New York City. Guests enjoyed passed appetizers and desserts from Cupcake Charlies, personalized celebrity People magazine covers by FUN Enterprises, and danced to the sounds of The Soul Ambition Band for the rest of the evening. 
The event exceeded the gala committee's fundraising goal, raising nearly $114,000! Opper was truly moved and thanked everyone for being part of SOWMA's 10-year history, saying "None of this would be possible without the ongoing support of our donors, supporters, volunteers, staff and students. We couldn't do what we do without you!"

Kerenne is now working as a program assistant for the Harvard Medical School.
Click here to read a transcript of Kerenne Paul's speech at our 10th anniversary gala.

View photos of our gala

School on Wheels HonorsDavid Howe
David F. Howe
at 10th Birthday Gala

David Howe, president and owner of J. Derenzo Company and Evolution Sports Performance, has been a true friend to SOWMA for several years. His support has been invaluable to our success in providing and increasing our services to children impacted by homelessness.

Thank you, Dave, for being a Champion for our kids!

The Boston Globe - September 2014
Easton Man Honored for Charity Work

Wicked Local Easton - September 2014
SOWMA's Decade of Service Celebrated at Gala


Jen With Backpacks

This month over 1,000 children impacted by homelessness in Massachusetts will receive a brand new backpack filled with supplies to start the school year! Jenn Gold, our Education Director, helped deliver backpacks to our students at our Norwell site, Friends of the Homelessness. Tomorrow night we will be delivering over 100 backpacks to the children in the Brockton motels.

Louison Family Center
"What an amazing night at the Louison!!!  There was a line of children following me to my car to help bring the bags in.  We had almost every student sign up for tutoring.  The kids sat in the living room with their bags and tore through them to see all the great things inside.  It was so awesome to see their smiles!"

Jenn Gold
Education Director


The Summer Reading Odyssey travelers enjoyed their journey this summer! The program set sail at four sites: Family Life Center, Louison, Rodeway Inn (formerly Quality Inn), and Lincoln Tech. About 50 students and tutors were on board for the trip. A wide variety of books were read, from Country Mouse, City Mouse to the Bluford High series.

Our thanks to the Ames Free Library in Easton for their donation. The children loved the books, and were thankful to their tutors for coming to read with them. Both students and tutors enjoyed the wonderful stories and warm weather. Says tutor Tracy Ciulla, "I wasn’t sure what kind of impact I’d have one hour a week; but one hour a week, when given on a consistent basis, is plenty of time to build a relationship. And once the relationship was built, the academic piece seemed to fall into place. It was often the best hour of my week. I always looked forward to my Tuesday nights!"

Will Shopping for Dorm Supplies

Will is going to FSU!!!

Will is going to Framingham State University this fall. He is excited to live on campus with his peers and play on a competitive Division III football team. He is ready to begin a new chapter in his life after experiencing homelessness as a teenager.

Will's family moved into a motel after losing their housing. It was at the Holiday Inn in Brockton that Cheryl first met Will, while delivering backpacks to kids in the local motels.

Will credits his new backpack from School on Wheels with changing his life. He said after opening his backpack and seeing all of his new school supplies including a scientific calculator, he decided to get serious about school. He also decided to play football for the first time in his life, which he found he was good at. Although he was homeless, Will was making the best of his situation. (read previous article)

Will is grateful for the support he received through our program, which provides college access and assistance for students who have been impacted by homelessness.

Cheryl Opper joined us as we kicked off our Yoga Math program.   The students connected yoga to school by learning how to focus and balance.  They then learned how to take those techniques and make symmetry yoga poses.  It was a great time had by all and we look forward to doing more YogaMath in future months.

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


Federal Tax ID 20-1020880