Saturday, September 07, 2013
My involvement has been for so many years that it's difficult to communicate my ideas and experiences in short articles and one-on-one discussions. Thus, I've created a web site with a depth of information that any one can use as part of their own personal learning strategy. I created this time line a few years ago to show growth of the non-school tutor/mentor programs I've led since 1974, and to show the growth of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, which I formed in 1993 to help every high poverty neighborhood in the Chicago region have mentor-rich programs like those I had been leading.
The graphic above shows the growth of the tutor/mentor program at Montgomery Ward Corporate headquarters in Chicago from 1965 to 1992. It was in late 1992 when I and six other volunteers created Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection. The original tutoring program at Wards served youth from 2nd to 6th grade and included a few 7th and 8th graders. Parents kept asking us to extend the program further into high school years but since all leaders were volunteers who held full time jobs at Wards and other companies and we were serving 300 pairs of youth and volunteers by 1990, we had our hands full.
A second time line shows growth from 1993 through 2011 and includes milestones such as when we held the first Tutor/Mentor Conference in May 1994, when we formed a partnership with the Chicago Bar Foundation's Lend A Hand Program in 1994, and when we began to organize an Aug/Sept citywide tutor/mentor volunteer recruitment campaign in 1995. This also show when we published the first printed Tutor/Mentor Program Directory, when we launched our first web site, and when we put the Directory in an on-line Program Locator in 2004.
Visit this section on Pinterest to see other graphics showing significant events since the creation of the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993.
I'm no longer leading the Cabrini Connections program (since mid 2011) and I miss that level of involvement with teens and volunteers. However, I'm still spending my time this week trying to attract the attention of volunteers, donors, media and others who will help tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and other cities reach more kids and help transform their lives as a result of the services provided throughout the coming school year. You can find a list of Chicago youth organizations at this link and see the interactive Program Locator map here.
Read more articles in this blog to see how support for these programs needs to be on-going throughout the year and into coming years. If you're involved with this work, participate in the November 4 Tutor/Mentor Conference to be held at the Metcalfe Federal Building. If you're interested in supporting the infrastructure of programs and helping the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC do this work, contact me at tutormentor two at earthlink dot net. Or on Twitter, Facebook, or Linked in.
Sunday, September 01, 2013
Friday's meeting, like many, was scheduled by Mitchel, who has been hosting workshops at Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences for the past two years. Mitchel was introduced to me and the conference via Bishop Steven Braxton,Light of Illinois Diocese, who first connected with me almost 6 years ago, also via the conferences.
As we've built our relationship Mitchel has learned more about how intermediary organizations can help bring people together in a community area to support the growth of mentor-rich tutor/mentor programs that support a growing number of youth as the move from birth to work. We met at my offices at HIGHSIGHT in April, prior to the June 2013 conference, and I provided an overview of resources and demonstrated uses of maps.
Tutor/Mentor Program Locator.
While at first glance, one might think there are many tutor/mentor programs, when you sort by age group served, or type of program, you see fewer programs in each age group. If we had the resources to survey programs to know how many were enrolled, we'd be able to show that a very small percent of all the youth in North Lawndale are being served by the existing programs.
assets in the neighborhood --- banks, faith groups, hospitals, colleges, insurance and pharmacy companies, etc. --- who could be supporting existing programs, and helping new ones form, by engaging their own people, talents, dollars, technology and ideas as part of a community wide collective effort.
All it takes is for a group of people to begin to invite others who are already part of the neighborhood to gather and begin to learn ways they can help make the youth serving programs in the neighborhood the best in the city, and in the country by borrowing ideas from work already being done in non profits and for profits throughout the world! Mitchel is trying to take that role and meeting with leaders of existing community organizations is the first step in building partnership with others already operating in the area.
here, along with many other visualizations done since then.
I support this by mentoring Mitchel and others as they take on leadership roles in their own programs and communities. While I'm able to meet with a small number of people each week, I exchange email communications with fifty to 100 people each week. I share ideas in on-line communities with several thousand each week.
Following the meeting Mitchel set up a profile on the Tutor/Mentor Connection, Ning. forum. If you visit the forum you can connect with more than 450 others who have joined since 2007. If you connect with me on Linked in, Facebook or Twitter you can connect with more than 5000 others who I am friends with, and thousands of others who I connect with in on-line communities.
network building that I've engaged in for over 40 years. It's work that I've been blessed to be able to do full time for over 23 years and as a volunteer for 17 years prior to that.
It's work that many are called to share since so many places need mentor-rich youth serving programs, and an infrastructure of volunteers, talent, dollars and technology to support them.
As you celebrate this Labor Day I hope you'll begin looking for ways you can take on a role in this effort.