December is a time of reflection and celebration. As we look back on the year and plan for 2017, we have so much for which to be thankful and to celebrate.
Here are five things from 2016 that stand out and make us proud of what we are able to achieve with the help of our community. We couldn’t have accomplished these things without the support of amazing partners, volunteers, donors and advocates. Thank you to everyone who has helped us have an exciting and impactful 2016.
1. School on Wheels turned 15 on September 4! Many people who help us impact the lives of children and families each and every day attended our birthday party and helped us celebrate!
2. The Indianapolis community pulled together in a huge way to help School on Wheels win the second annual Gerry Rauenhorst Community Building Award. School on Wheels was nominated by local Opus Group employees and was one of eight national finalists for this award. Over 28,000 votes were cast from around the world for finalists in this competition, and – thanks to all of our supporters — School on Wheels garnered the most votes won $63,000 to support our programs!
3. At the end of the spring 2016 semester, we tallied our numbers and found that during the 2015/2016 school year, we tutored 428 students experiencing homelessness. That was a record number of students impacted and we are so grateful for everyone who helped us meet the growing need for our programs. You can see all of our 2015/2016 successes here.
4. This summer we took a moment to review the impact we’ve had over the 15 years and the numbers were astounding. Just look at all those hours donated by our volunteer tutors to break the cycle of homelessness through education!
5. As always, we are most proud of our students and excited by their accomplishments. Each of their stories and quotes are too plentiful to include in this post, but we make a point of sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and through blog posts all year long. Each year we cheer our students on when they improve a grade, do well on an assignment or finally solve that certain problem that they struggled with all night during tutoring. We also celebrate when they feel safe and supported during tutoring. This quote on a survey this year resonated with staff because it demonstrates to us that what we offer goes well beyond tutoring.
Thank you to everyone who has supported School on Wheels. Together we can look forward to more success in 2017.