Friday, August 14, 2015

Mayor Emanuel Joins Mayor's Mentoring Challenge

Just received news release saying "Mayor Emanuel and the Illinois Mentoring Partnership today announced the Mayor’s Mentoring Challenge (MMC), a two-year initiative seeking 1,000 residents to serve as new mentors for Chicago’s youth. This call to action will pair at-risk youth across the city with a mentor to provide enrichment and guidance opportunities that are critical to each and every child’s development and success. Mayor Emanuel is urging Chicagoans to volunteer their time, values, knowledge, or a skill – to ensure all of our youth have the tools and support they need to succeed and reach their full potential."

First I congratulate Illinois Mentoring Partnership for securing this commitment. Second, hope this leads to the Mayor digging deeper into articles I've shared over the past 10 years, that would lead to thousands of volunteers joining volunteer-based tutoring and mentoring programs throughout Chicago and the suburbs.

Many of the articles I write point to the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site and library. Others point to articles I've posted on, such as the one below.

Chicago Community Areas_Youth in Poverty Analysis by Daniel F. Bassill

The Mayor and business leaders are making a commitment to mobilize 1000 new volunteers over 2 years. My hope is that they use maps to help distribute volunteers into each of the community areas with between 1,000 and 6,000 youth age 6-17 living in high poverty. Furthermore, I hope they will encourage people to offer their talent and resources to support the growth of existing programs and/or help new programs grow in under-served areas. The essay below focuses on "recruiting talent volunteers".

Recruiting Talent Volunteers for Youth Tutoring, Mentoring, Learning Programs by Daniel F. Bassill

This list shows nearly 200 different organizations that offer various forms of tutoring and/or mentoring in the Chicago region.

Volunteers (and donors) can visit web sites and find programs where they might want to get involved. Browsing this list will quickly show that some programs are more mature, and better organized than others. However, the goal should be to have great programs in every neighborhood. This can mean volunteers help some programs become great, or help others stay great. This requires a long term commitment from the Mayor and other leaders.

These illustrated PDFs are part of an extensive library of information and ideas that I've been collecting for nearly 40 years. The information is available to business, faith groups, universities, political leaders and philanthropists. In the flow of social media it's easy to highlight commitments like the Mayor's Mentoring Challenge. However, unless people form learning communities, and dig deeper into web libraries like the one I have been building for 20 years, responses will be superficial and short term, and the systems of support that need to be put in place in every high poverty neighborhood won't result from the involvement of these extra reinforcements of volunteers.

I'm available to help you and your team find and understand these ideas.

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