Each month, we’ll be introducing you to a new School on Wheels staff member so you can learn more about the people who make our programs run successfully! This month, we’ll highlight Allie Wier, one of the newest members of our School on Wheels family! She is interning as she finishes up her degree at Butler University – read on to learn more about her!
What’s your role at School on Wheels?
I’m an intern at School on Wheels and I work mainly with the Volunteer Coordinator, Samantha. My role is pretty simple; I show up to the office and help in whatever way I can. Sometimes that looks like entering information into the volunteer database, or making copies, or using the laminating machine (which is awesome), or sending emails. I like what I’ve been doing here. I feel helpful and I feel needed. This is a welcoming and warm place to work.
How does your role fit into the mission of School on Wheels?
My role requires a lot of small things that need to get done. It may not seem like super vital work to someone on the outside looking in, but I really do believe that what I’m doing is important. I think the little things I do, the little tasks and projects, help School on Wheels run a bit more smoothly. And because the behind-the-scenes work is being done, children experiencing homelessness are academically supported.
What are you currently working on?
So far, I have been doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. One project I’ve been working on is related to the Education Champion that School on Wheels recognizes in the spring. The Education Champion is an individual who serves youth in the state of Indiana. It is a person that greatly impacts youth, possibly without recognition. This person receives a $1,000 award to use toward furthering the work for which they were recognized. So far I have been putting together a list of contacts who would potentially be interested in nominating someone for this award. Just from the bit of research I have done, I am blown away by all of the schools and non-profits that are doing great things for youth in Indiana.
Can you describe a time at School on Wheels when you were moved or changed?
Last week, I helped Samantha, the Volunteer Coordinator, with a training session for new tutors. It was moving and beautiful to see so many people from different walks and stages of life who want to see a change in our city. People who want to serve and impact children in need. I just sat there and thought to myself, how cool. How cool that human beings want to love and serve one another. How cool that we get to go out and do things and not just sit around and talk about the problems in our city but actually do something about it. I loved being in that room of people. Every one of them was driven and compassionate and willing to sacrifice themselves for others. I felt lucky and fortunate to be in a room of people like that.
If you could share one thing with those who are new to School on Wheels, what would it be?
Sitting down one-on-one with a child and giving them your undivided attention is the most beautiful work you can do, in my opinion. The homework help and educational support that tutors provide is vital, but on top of that, they get to give these children the gift of their undivided attention. Many families experiencing homelessness are trying to keep their heads above water, and they can’t always give their children the amount of attention they would like to. Volunteer tutors get to offer that, in a small way, once a week. They give children their attention and a space to be heard, and that is not a small thing.