Most of the children at the shelters where we tutor say that they want to be a lawyer, doctor, or teacher. 12 year old Chandler has different aspirations. He wants to be a professional voice actor for television and movies. Think Finding Nemo or The Lion King.
Chandler is bursting with natural talent and a positive attitude. He’s a lovable child with the genuine ability to make others laugh and a natural charisma. During one tutoring hour, he charmed his tutor with his impressions of an alien, a pirate and Golem from the movie Lord of the Rings. However, no one has ever taught Chandler how important his education is to fulfilling his dream.
Chandler, a sixth grader, has been in Indianapolis his entire life. He lives with his mom and younger brother Landen and hardly ever sees his father or younger sister. His family situation, and his experience moving from shelter to shelter, have a strong effect on him. “I’m always moving, here, there, here, there, here, there, and back again. It’s really annoying,” said Chandler.
All the stress that Chandler endures not only inhibits him from understanding the importance of education, but affects his school performance as well! Chandler is a bright kid, but he is struggling in all of his subjects. Since tutoring, his grades have started to rise a little, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
At School on Wheels, Chandler gets more than help with his homework; more than a backpack full of school supplies and new uniforms to wear to school. He gets advice from adults and other students and learns about opportunities that education can provide– opportunities he never knew existed.
Chandler couldn’t believe it when his tutor told him that he should consider getting into a theater program to amplify his skills in voice impersonation. “That would help me?” Chandler asked in wonder. Regardless of his situation Chandler deserves to receive help and guidance, to know his options and what education he will need to achieve his dreams.
Now that he understands the connection between his passion and his education, Chandler is eager to do better in school. He’s reading more, and is well on his way to obtaining the knowledge he needs to succeed.
Wouldn’t it be a great story if one day we could turn on a TV and see Chandler’s smile?
You could be part of getting him there.
Chandler’s interest in an unusual career led him to realize the importance of his homework and classwork.
What event led you to understand of the importance of education? Leave a comment or email us your story.