Thursday, November 05, 2009

Network Building - Expanding the Choir

Below is a map I made of people who were in a Chicago area breakout session at the Illinois Drop Out Prevention Summit who I already knew. This map also shows others in the session with me who I did not know. There's a link to an attendee list showing that more than 200 people were signed up to attend the summit from the Chicago region. There were less than 70 in the breakout room I was in, so maybe the rest were in some of the other breakout rooms.

This map also shows the potential of expanding the number of people who look at th is information if we each share this information in our networks. Since my mission is to help tutor/mentor programs grow, and be in every high poverty neighborhood, this means I need the business, media, faith group and philanthropy people to use their own communications to point their networks to the Tutor/Mentor Connection library and list of more than 200 Chicago area youth serving organizations.

See map here.

Kicking off the Summit on Wednesday morning, Ed Rust, Chairman of State Farm Insurance Company make the following statements:

"This is an economic issue for all of us. But most of all, I'd say it is a moral imperative."

"We all must leave (this meeting) with an understanding that we all have a critical role to play to assure that all children leave school ready for careers."

"Assuming that someone else will fix this problem is negligence."

When Alma Powell, Chairman of the Board of America's Promise spoke she said about being a mentor, "don't start unless you plan to be there for the long term"

She ended by saying, "I know I'm preaching to the choir. You need to go out and tell the rest of the congregation what we need to do."

This chart illustrates this role. However, unless America's Promise and the others who organized and participated in this conference point to the Tutor/Mentor Institute, and this essay, too few people will see this and think of ways they can connect people in their network to this information, and to places where they can use time, talent, dollars, technology, jobs and facilities, to help kids move through school safely, and then enter 21st century jobs and careers.

Mrs. Powell said, "Children don't vote" ....

To me this means that the adults we connect to them via tutor/mentor programs need to be advocates and resource providers who vote for them.

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