Thursday, September 08, 2011

Creating Learning Communities - Role of Interns

The problems society faces are complex and will take the work of many people working collectively for many years to even make a dent in some of them. That's why it is so important to begin to engage young people in this process.

Young people will become old people in a short span of life and if they begin learning to use the internet for problem solving, team building, and advertising they can build skills that will become more and more powerful as they do grow older.

Below is a graphic created by Sam Lee, and intern with me in spring 2011.

This has all the key ideas shared in this blog and the Tutor/Mentor Institute site. It shows people forming into groups, based on what their occupation is, where they went to college, what faith they are part of, etc. These groups use maps to understand where poverty is most concentrated, what assets are in different areas, and what ways they can inspire people every day to provide time, talent and operating dollars for one, or many, tutor/mentor programs to operate in Chicago or any other city.

The graphic below was also created by Sam and shows that our aim is to constantly increase the number of people who are looking at this problem, looking at the research and ideas available on the internet, and innovating actions that make volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs available and more effective in more places.

This type of work has been done by interns working with Tutor/Mentor Connection since 2006. I coach the work in groups on our Ning Forum, such as this one.

To create her visualization Sam Lee used this one shown below, created by Dan Bassill, in the 1990s, to show how the Tutor/Mentor Connection was trying to build a  growing network of people who were looking at the information being aggregated in the T/MC library, and using it in on-going discussions within business, faith groups, colleges, etc., to innovate ways to make well-organized volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs available in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago.
As we start the new school year and reflect on the 9/11 tragedy I hope that sponsors will come forward to help me develop a platform where interns from high schools and colleges all over the world are doing what Sam Lee and our interns have been doing since 2006.

The result can be more people connecting with people and places where poverty created disadvantage and more people working consistently to create bridges of empathy and understanding where people on both sides learn and benefit.

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