Tuesday, January 05, 2010
January is National Mentoring Month . It's intended to celebrate mentoring and hopefully encourage more people to be volunteers and donors who help make mentoring programs possible.
This picture shows me in 1973 with the first boy I mentored. He's now an adult, raising his own family, and we're still connected on Facebook...36 years later! Leo is one of more than 4500 Cabrini Green area young people I have met since 1973. I'm connected to many of these former students via the Internet, along with many of our former staff and volunteers.
We make a statement when people join Cabrini Connections. "Once in Cabrini Connections, Always in Cabrini Connections." It was hard to make this a reality in the past because we've never had enough money to support the 7th to 12th grade student/volunteer pairs with us each year, let alone reach out to maintain the network of alumni. Now Facebook and Linked in are making this easier than ever. In 2010 and beyond we hope to be offering networking and career support activities that help strengthen our alumni network, while keeping our promise to "do all we can to assure that our kids are in jobs and careers by age 25."
We can't do that unless our volunteers and donors also "do everything they can" to help. Thus, when you see a TV ad talking about mentoring, I hope you'll immediately be motivated to search for Cabrini Connections, or another tutor/mentor program where you can give financial support so that program is able to maintain it's connections between kids, volunteers and alumni.