The Education Celebration is one of our favorite events each year. It’s when we celebrate the achievements of our students AND honor people and businesses making a huge impact on education in Indianapolis.
We want to offer a huge thank you to the over 350 people who attended our 2018 Education Celebration, presented by BMO Harris Bank and Defenders, and to all of our sponsors who made the night a huge success! We enjoyed a fantastic and inspiring evening!
Below is just a glimpse of some of the most memorable parts of the evening, thanks to our friends at M.Rinaye Photography.
Brad Brown of RTV6 was our emcee for the third year in a row, and he was joined by a record number of special guests. The First Lady of Indianapolis, Steph Hogsett, welcomed our audience to dinner. We also heard from our Education Champion, Megan Thomas, about the first hand results she’s witnessed School on Wheels have at Cold Spring School. In addition to hearing inspiring stories, 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 Indianapolis community.
2018 Corporate Partner of the Year: FitzMark
As a supporter of School on Wheels for the past three years, FitzMark has demonstrated a complete corporate partnership. Not only do they support our programs with cash donations, but they are actively engaged in our #PackaPack back to school supply drive, have team members who serve as tutors, and amplify our message on social media.
2018 Philanthropists of the Year: The Witchger Family
The Witchgers are a family who has supported School on Wheels for nearly a decade and have been friends of the organization since our founding. Their family was honored for a decade of leadership, support, endorsement, and friendship.
2018 Tutoring Team of the Year: IU School of Medicine
In addition to training to be physicians at one of the top medical schools in the nation, IU School of Medicine students provide tutoring support AND school supply drives to benefit our students.
2018 Tutor of the Year: Hardeep Dhillon
Hardeep Dhillon has been tutoring with School on Wheels since 2012. She recently graduated from IUPUI with degrees in Neuroscience and Biology. During Hardeep’s time as a volunteer, she has tutored over 100 hours at multiple sites. In addition to tutoring, Hardeep also volunteers in the office to help with curriculum development and the many behind-the-scenes tasks required for our programs to run seamlessly.
2018 Education Champion: Megan Thomas
The Education Champion award recognizes an individual who has devoted his or her time, expertise and focus in supporting Indiana youth and championing education. Individuals recognized for this award are nominated by community members.
Megan is the Social Worker at Cold Spring School. Megan works closely with community partners to develop programs that support at risk students and their families who are experiencing difficulty with accessing food, housing, uniforms and clothing, and dental, vision, and mental health needs. She works with students on developing their social and emotional skills and facilitates school wide initiatives to promote kindness and service learning.
Along with this honor, Megan’s school receives a $1,000 cash award that will benefit the youth with whom she works.
Although our students couldn’t attend the event, throughout the evening, attendees were connected to the kiddos. From videos featuring our students and parents, to table cards featuring student writing, our students’ voices were heard. We even heard from one of our most expressive students about the thing he wants to change most about the world — Plastic Pollution!
We showcased our students’ artwork which was popular with our attendees. To create this beautiful art, our students used tissue paper to layer on wood to create new colors and dimension. The pieces were stunning.
Thank you, again, to everyone who attended the Education Celebration and helped us celebrate the accomplishments of our students, donors, corporate partners, and community members. With your generosity, we were able to raise $250,000 to support our programs. This funding is critical to running our programs and helping children and families get the education they need to escape the cycle of homelessness.
Thanks to our sponsors for helping make this event possible. We had a record number of new sponsors this year and couldn’t have raised the money we did without their support!
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP
CIBC Bank USA
Katz, Sapper & Miller
Managed Health Services
Want more Education Celebration information? Be sure to like us on Facebook so you can check out all our pictures from the evening!
The Education Celebration may be over, but there are many ways you can get involved! Apply to tutor during the 2018/2019 school year, collect donations of school uniforms for the kids in our program, or consider making a gift to help us start the 2018/2019 school year strong!