Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Follow Up to May Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conference

The measure of a successful Tutor/Mentor Conference is how much people work together after the conference to help build more and better tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and other cities. Ellen Ingram, Director of Institutional Relations, University of Toledo (left in photo) and Anastasia Mirzoyants, MA, PhD candidate, (right in photo), were two of our speakers. They showed the planning process that they are leading from the University of Toledo which intends to support the growth of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in the city of Toledo.

I'm the one in the middle. Anastasia and I began talking last November via the Internet, as she was doing research for their project. After several idea exchanges over a few months, the Tutor/Mentor Connection now is an active contributor to this planning. That's our goal. While we can help the University build more tutor/mentor programs in Toledo, we also want to help one or more universities set up leadership development programs that prepare students and alumni to be leaders of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in every city, including Chicago. In such training, we're aiming for alumni who will lead businesses and philanthropy, not just those who will operate tutor/mentor programs.

The work we're doing with the University of Toledo is just one example of how we share the T/MC knowledge with others. We're also participating in a Learning to Finish wiki hosted by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change. In addition, we're mapping our strategy and sharing it on the T/MC web site.

Our aim is to engage students, faculty and alumni of universities from all parts of the world, who each will take a role in creating a better support system for volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs, aimed at helping these programs have a greater impact on youth moving through school and into jobs and careers. In another wiki, you can see how we're reaching out to MBA students attending business schools throughout the country.

If you join this discussion, you can help us engage more universities, businesses and others who need to be involved in helping recruit volunteers and donors this fall, as kids living in poverty are starting the 2007-08 school year.

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