Sunday, August 03, 2014

Look in your Google mirror!

Occasionally I will do a Google search for "tutor mentor" or "Bassill" to see where my web sites show up on the search and to find others who I don't yet know who may be pointing to my sites. When I do this I also click the "images" button to see what types of graphics show up. Below is a graphic that was among many that I found yesterday.

If you and thousands of others around the world search for "tutor mentor", you'll find my sites on the first page. That means the ideas I share are available to people anywhere in Chicago, or in the world.

In the Google images you can find a page reference for each image, thus you can see how the image is being used. I've put over 100 images on my Pinterest page with links to one page where the image has been used, but this is pretty limiting. I've used some of these graphics over, and over, to illustrate the need for youth mentoring and tutoring programs to be in many places, and for them to have long-term strategies that engage volunteers from diverse work backgrounds.

In the graphic above, I point to stories and media interviews from the early 1990s, showing that I've been giving a consistent message for almost 20 years. In this I'm sort of like John the Baptist, saying "there's a better future" and trying to survive at the same time.

If you're involved in youth development, mentoring, tutoring in any way, I encourage you to search for names of people you feel are leaders in this movement. Look at the images with their profiles. Do you see maps and graphics showing strategy or do you see pictures of them with youth or with other leaders and celebrities?
If you search for my name you'll find some photos of me, like from 1999 when I received the Publisher's Clearing House Good as Gold Award on a year end Montell TV Show. You'll also find photos of me with Leo Hall, who was my mentee in 1973 when I first became involved. He's still my friend today.

However, most of the images are going to be similar to this, showing the role of intermediaries who connect people from their network with programs serving youth in high poverty areas, and with a library of information they can learn from so they are more strategic in how they use their time, talent and dollars.

I've often been told I'm so far out in front that no one can see me. When I look at the images of most people, I see a self promotion, and an emotional appeal. I've not done that and perhaps that's a problem. Unfortunately, too few people are interested in long-term solutions. They want to feel good now.

Yet, as this Huffington Post article about the high costs of high school drop outs shows, we pay a huge price for short term solutions.

The image at the top of the page is from this page, where I'm asking for financial support, partners and investors to help me do the work I do. I'm not operating as a 501-c-3. Thus your support is an investment in reducing the high costs of poverty.

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