Program Coordinator Ieva Grundy has spent her career giving back to her community. But as a ten-year-old, she was more interested in playing with toys. One day, young Ieva complained to her mother that her toys were too old and worn out. Her mom asked Ieva to box up her toys; to trade them in for new ones. To Ieva’s surprise, her mother drove her and the toys to a local homeless shelter. Once there, Ieva met children just like her who just happened to be homeless. She instantly forgot about her desire for new play things and instead enjoyed sharing her toys with the children. “It was so cool that I could make those kids happy,” an adult Ieva reflected.
Through experiences like her visit to the shelter, Ieva grew up with a passion for public service, leading her to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Ball State University. Following her education, she went on to hold positions at many non-profit organizations, including Christamore House, Girls Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana, and The Children’s Museum. Throughout her career, all of Ieva’s positions have held one thing in common: They are centered around her passion to help children reach their full capability.
But when Ieva first heard about the position of Program Coordinator at School on Wheels, she thought “This is perfect for me!” The job, which consists of overseeing tutoring at two shelter locations, makes use of Ieva’s extensive social work background while allowing her to work closely with the children being served. “It is truly a faceless population,” she says of the students School on Wheels tutors, “and this program gives them an opportunity to bond with caring adults.”
Ieva enjoys working with School on Wheels students and tutors. Her favorite part of the program is the way it works to provide stability in these children’s lives. “Children need at least 3 caring adults in their lives, and through School on Wheels, tutors can provide that asset in just one hour a week,” says Ieva; “You can see the difference almost immediately.”
From her first day helping homeless children as a ten-year-old, to her current role working with smart and eager children in shelters every evening, Ieva has come full circle. Thanks to well-experienced Program Coordinators like Ieva, School on Wheels ensures a productive learning environment for students and an engaging volunteer experience for tutors.
Join our Program Coordinators and Tutors to make a difference in a homeless child’s life. Become a School on Wheels tutor today!