Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Our promise: Do all we can to assure inner-city youth are in jobs and starting by age 25

When a youth joins Cabrini Connections at 7th or 8th grade, we say "we'll do everything we can to assure that you're starting a job, and career, by age 25". We show this on our web site.

We also say, "We're only limited by how much our volunteers, donors, and the kids themselves, are willing to do to make this happen."

I use graphics, like this one, to illustrate this commitment. If kids are in 7th grade today we need to provide six years of consistent support, just to help the finish high school. Then, it will take another 4 to 6 years before they are nearing age 25. This could be after finishing college, or serving in the army. It could also be after spending time in jail.

A wealthy person asked me once, "when do we quit?" He had led one of these programs where donors promise college money for kids who make it through high school. His kids were seniors, not ready for college, when he asked me this question. I said, "If they were your kids, when would you quit?"

Today I was pointed to an article in the Wall Street Journal, showing how teacher's unions often work to the disadvantage of students as they promote the interests of teachers.

I used an image of the Marine Corps War Memorial with this article. That photo conveys the idea of men and women sacrificing everything for their country. How much are our volunteers, donors, teachers and other leaders willing to sacrifice to help inner city kids move through school and into jobs and careers?

I'm constantly reaching out to find donors to help me pay the bills. If donors want the same goals as me, what keeps them from looking at my web sites, or those of other tutor/mentor programs (see list) , and basing their giving decision on what they see on the web site?

Every August school starts and for the next six years Cabrini Connections needs to be here, if the 7th graders entering this fall are to have tutor/mentor support from us until they are seniors.

We'll be here if enough donors find us and share our commitment through their role as the banker for this work.

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