A huge thank you to the over 400 people who attended our 2014 Education Celebration! We had such a fantastic evening, and were amazed by the generosity of everyone who attended.
We were honored to have so many special guests join us:
Governor Mike Pence and First Lady Karen Pence attended the Education Celebration and presented our Founder and CEO, Sally Bindley, with a fantastic honor – a Sagamore of the Wabash Award. This award, given out exclusively by the Governor of Indiana, was created in the 1940s as a high civilian honor.
Our media partner, RTV-6, attended the event, and we were so honored to have Rafael Sanchez as the Master of Ceremony at the Education Celebration!
Dwayne Allen, tight end for the Indianapolis Colts, attended the Education Celebration and shared his inspiring story about how his high school football coach helped him achieve a college education.
Our speaker for the evening, Miss Sue, portrayed by Kathy Bates in the film The Blind Side, shared her experiences tutoring Michael Oher of the Baltimore Ravens throughout high school and into college. Her remarks reinforced the importance of education and the impact tutors can have on the lives of children.
We were honored to present awards to many individuals and corporations who have made a huge impact in the lives of School on Wheels’ kids and the greater Indiana community:
2014 Corporate Partner of the Year: Royal United Mortgage Throughout the last six years, Royal United Mortgage has supported School on Wheels’ kids in a variety of ways: financial support, educational supplies, snacks for the tutoring hour, a book for every student as a holiday gift, and tutoring teams who have given countless volunteer hours to helps students academically.
2014 Philanthropist of the Year: Cindy Simon Skjodt Cindy Simon Skjodt, a passionate community leader, joined the School on Wheels Advisory Board in 2012, and contributed a substantial gift to the Ignite Learning program last year, recognizing the great value homeless parents play in their children’s success.
2014 Tutoring Team of the Year: Ice Miller LLP Ice Miller has provided volunteers for School on Wheels tutoring teams for the last two years and has many employees that sit on the SPOKES committee, a group of young professionals who care about education in Indianapolis, think creatively about how to address the needs of the youth served and are passionate about the School on Wheels mission.
2014 Tutor of the Year: Tonia Carriger Tonia has been a School on Wheels volunteer since 2011. When additional volunteers were needed this year, Tonia answered the call and added another location and another day to her already busy schedule. Tonia connects to her students’ specific learning needs and brings materials to the tutoring hour that she knows will aid the students’ learning.
2014 Education Champion: Aster Bekele The Education Champion award recognizes an individual who has devoted his or her time, expertise and focus in supporting youth and championing education. Individuals recognized for this award are nominated by community members in Indiana.
The 2014 Education Champion, Aster Bekele, founded the Felege Hiywot Center in Indianapolis to give back to her Hoosier community and to support her birthplace, Ethiopia. The Center’s mission is to serve urban youth of Indianapolis, second generation Ethiopians in Indianapolis and orphans in Ethiopia. Aster received a $1,000 award that will benefit the students with whom she works.
Finally, we were able to celebrate the accomplishments of our School on Wheels students.
Although they were unable to attend the event because it was a school night, we were able to honor them through a video presentation:
Lily, a high school senior, was awarded the Excellence in Education Award for setting goals and planning for a bright future by securing multiple college scholarships.
Corbin, a first grade student, received the Outstanding Scholar Award for obtaining a 3.82 GPA, the highest of School on Wheels’ students.
Tyler, a fifth grader, was awarded the Positive Mental Attitude award for always working hard and acting as a role model for our younger students.
Congratulations to all of our event honorees!
Thank you, again, to everyone who attended the event and helped us celebrate education and the accomplishments of our students, donors, corporate partners, and community members. With your generosity, we were able to raise over $250,000 to support the education of students experiencing homeless in Indianapolis.
Thanks to our sponsors for helping make this event possible: