Friday, October 13, 2017

Helping Youth Through College - Solving Other Problems

I attended the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute's To&Through Project's briefing this week and shared some ideas on the MappingforJustice blog site. I hope you'll take a look, and take time to get to know the information on the To&Through web site.

In my comments I emphasize the use of maps to show where schools are located, with overlays showing demographics of the neighborhood as well as non-school support organizations and assets, such as business, colleges, hospitals and/or faith groups.

There's a strong emphasis on collaboration on the To&Through Project site, engaging members of the community not just people within each Chicago Public School. That commitment is visualized with this graphic.

To&Through goals are visualized using a time line starting in 9th grade and continuing through high school graduation. The data on the web site for each school shows eight to 10 years of history, showing changes in student success and progression through school from year-to-year.

I use a different set of graphics to show the long-term support kids need, starting as they enter school and continuing past college and/or vocational school, and leading to jobs and adult lives free of poverty.  I use geographic maps and concept maps to emphasize the need for great support systems in every neighborhood. 

I created the graphic below today to illustrate that the commitment, and actions, leaders need to make and take to help youth move through school to adult lives is the same commitment needed if they were focusing on other issues.

Let me break this down for you.  Below is the strategy map shown in the upper left of this graphic. In this blog article I describe this vision and the information shown on this map. 

If you open the links under the yellow box at the top left on this map you'll find a village map, which emphasizes the need for leaders in business, religion, higher education, hospitals, media and other sectors to adopt this commitment and help Chicago's kids grow up safely and thrive as adults.

However, there are other causes people care about, and similar commitments are needed in each issue area.  On the graphic I show above I've enlarged the left part of the Race-Poverty map shown below.

Race-Poverty Cmap - 
Every node on the map represents a complex problem affecting how kids perform in school and affecting people in many parts of Chicago, the US, and the world.  Someone could create a "my goal is" strategy map similar to mine, to show their own vision of steps to reduce these programs and they could share that map on blogs, the same way I do.

In every one of these areas, the "what do I know" and "where can I find more information" and "who else is working on this?" questions are being asked.  In the graphic I started with I show another concept map in the lower left, pointing to a four-part strategy. You can see the map below and find a description in this article.
I have a link to the To&Through project in the research section of the web library I've been building for more than 20 years.  Tha's all part of step 1 of this strategy map. I constantly add new links to the library because new information is being generated all the time. Navigating this is a huge challenge.

To help more Chicago students move through school, college and into jobs and careers many more people will need to dig deep into this information and find ways they can offer time, talent and dollars in many places.  That's step 2 and step 3 on this 4-part strategy.  Too few focus on these steps.  

Step 4 uses maps showing where help is needed, where schools and non-school organizations are located and seeks to motivate on-going actions that draw talent, attention, ideas and dollars to each area of the map where indicators show more help is needed. 

So that leads to one final graphic for this article.  Daily media stories and social media posts remind us of tragedies affecting lives of Chicago youth and families. When people read these stories there are steps they can take to be part of solutions. the ENOUGH graphic is described in this article

Would be great if someone would create a data entry form where people could document good deeds and actions they take, and code them by one of the steps shown on my graphic, as well as what address or neighborhood on the map was intended to benefit. Such maps could be on many web sites documenting who's involved and what they are doing and helping people who are involved find and collaborate with each other. 

Thanks for reading.  If you are interested in these ideas I look forward to hearing from you.

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