Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Who is in Your Network?

I did a quick concept map today to illustrate the different workshop and speaker expertise that will be represented at the May 17 and 18 Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conference in Chicago.

If we're talking about helping kids from poverty reach jobs and careers we should be learning from workforce development, or diversity pipeline experts. We should be learning from college and career networks.

If we want to build more and better volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs, who better to learn from than people who lead such programs, such as the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, or Chicago Youth Programs, Inc. If we want to learn ways to evaluate programs, why not learn from the YMCA of North Lawndale, or Highsight?

The May and November Conference draws attention to volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs and enables participants to expand their network to include people and organizations who approach youth development from different perspectives, such as violence prevention, or academic tutoring, or mental health.

You can expand your network by participating in the conference. You can stay connected to this network by participating in on-line forums, blog exchanges, and other on-line learning and networking strategies.

It really does take a village to raise kids. In poverty neighborhoods we need to expand the number of partners from business, faith communities, philanthropy and higher education who are working with schools and community based tutor/mentor programs.

We need to learn from others to better understand the challenges poverty puts on education and familes.

Map your own network and compare it to the concept map above. Are you learning from this range of people as you map your own strategies for workforce development, or workforce diversity?

Maybe you should come to the conference in May and share what you know as you expand your own network.

No comments: