Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mayor wants Business to raise $50 million to support kids

I saw this article in today's Sun Times and posted my own comment to it, encouraging the Mayor to use some of the ideas I've shared on this blog so he supports constantly improving tutor/mentor programs in every high poverty neighborhood, not just the traditional high profile programs that attract the most support.

My first suggestion was to use maps, such as provided on the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, to identify and support programs in every high poverty neighborhood, and to encourage new programs to support where none exist.

My second suggestion was to support programs that show a strategy that supports youth for multiple years and engages volunteers from the business community as tutors, mentors, tech support, organizers, communicators, advocates, etc. Look for a "theory of change" or a "logic model" on the organization's web site with graphics and history that demonstrates this commitment.

My third suggestion was to encourage every industry and professional group to build a strategy that provides volunteers, operating dollars, technology and other needed support to volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in every part of the city, such as the Lawyers Lend A Hand to Youth Program has been doing since 1994.

This ROLE of LEADERS PDF is one of many created by the Tutor/Mentor Connection since 1994 that the Mayor could share to encourage leaders in business to support the growth of mentor-rich programs.

This STRATEGY MAP is one the Mayor could adopt and put on his own web site, and that he could encourage other leader in business, religion, higher education and public health to adopt as part of their own commitment.

In a few years will we look back and see a few million dollars distributed to a small group of organizations or will we see a "virtual corporate office" created where volunteers and leaders from every sector are taking roles that support the growth of mentor-rich youth programs in every zip code of the Chicago region where kids have economic disadvantages that most kids don't face?

Or will we see a model of support that is being duplicated in every city in the country?

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