Tuesday, December 04, 2012

CNN Article Questions Quin's Anti-Violence Program

I saw this article on CNN today, titled "Questions surround $55 million program to cut violence in Chicago"

As I read it I was reminded of a video one of my IIT interns did a couple of years ago to illustrate the need to build infrastructure to support mentoring and tutoring and extra learning programs so they could sustain long-term connections with youth and have a greater impact. You can play the video at this link. Below I've posted some images.

This project was created by Sam Lee during the May/June 2011 internships. I support interns on this portal and provide some articles for them to look at and convert into new visualizations. Sam did several visualizations over a six week period. This graphic is the introductory frame on the animation.

This next image is the beginning of a sequence where some of the things that you expect to see in a tutor/mentor program are shown as "building blocks".

One of the most important points I try to communicate through the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC is that it takes a tremendous level of support and infrastructure to connect inner city youth with volunteers who live in more affluent areas and can model different jobs and careers as well as college and other education achievements that are not frequently modeled in high poverty neighborhoods. Introducing the youth and volunteer is just the start. Keeping them connected for multiple years so that strong mentoring relationships develop is the on-going challenge of any tutor/mentor program.

It's the piece most often overlooked by planners, evaluators, and donors.

Thus, the second part of the animation uses a cartoon figure with a magnifing glass to encourage viewers to think of the infrastructure needed to support high quality, long-term tutor/mentor programs.

The image Sam started with was this one of an iceberg and these articles. You see a bit of ice above the water but the mass of an iceberg is below the water line. It's invisible. That's the case in a tutor/mentor program. When you see a youth and volunteer
sitting together you're not thinking of all of the costs and talent required to make that happen.

If the Governor and others who launch quick fix, highly expensive, prevention programs would think about this perhaps we could innovate better ways to support the infrastructure and on-going operations of tutor/mentor programs and get better impact over a period of years.

The January-February 2013 internship will include two new students from IIT and Korea. I've posted an introduction here. I'd like to encourage youth from other colleges and high schools, and other cities, to join in on this project, working from where you live, and parallel to the students who will be working at my office in Chicago. If more people are spending time thinking of the details of building and sustaining youth tutoring/mentoring programs, we can build a network of new leaders with a deeper understanding of what it takes to make them available in more places, and make them have a greater impact.

1 comment:

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