Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Follow up to #ChicagoIdeas, #ToAndThrough, and more

Yesterday I attended one of the Chicago Ideas Week events, titled "2 Miles, 16 Years: Chicago's Death Gap is a Crisis".  Below is a Twitter post that shows the map shared at the start of the panel discussion, to show how where you live makes a huge difference in how long, and how well, you live.

This is a map showing far Chicago's West side neighborhoods. As I listened to the presentation I said to myself, with considerable frustration, "they are preaching to the choir" and "why have I not been able to get into these conversations at the planning stage?"

I Tweeted out a string of post during and after the presentation, attempting to connect participants with information and ideas I've been sharing for the past 25 years. Here's one Tweet:




Since this discussion focused on Chicago's West side, I want to call your attention to a few maps I posted in recent stories, that also focused on the West side.  Here's one:

Chicago West side
This map shows non-school tutor and/or mentor programs on the West side. It's part of this article, where I point to roles hospitals and universities could be taking to help give kids greater hope and opportunity, by helping well organized,  long-term, volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs reach k-12 youth throughout the map area.

Mt Sinai Hospital - Chicago West side
Here's an article I wrote in 2008, focusing on roles that Mt. Sinai Hospital could be taking to help youth tutor/mentor programs grow in the area served by the hospital.  I've had conversations with various staff from Mt. Sinai since the late 1990s, but never have been able to forge anything strategic that would have helped them implement the strategies I've been sharing.

Below is a concept map that I created in December 2017, to point to various public  health networks and resources that I've been pointing to since late 1990s.  One of these is the Hospital Youth Mentoring Network, that operated from the late 1980s until the early 2000s.

Open concept map in this article, then click on links

T/MC 2001 newsletter
In this Feb/March 2001 Tutor/Mentor Connection newsletter you can see a photo at the top of the page, showing how members of the Hospital Youth Mentoring Network participated in one of the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences that I held in Chicago from May 1994 to May 2015.

Prior to starting this blog in 2005, I  used email newsletters, and web sites, to share ideas and strategies. Prior to that I was able to send a printed newsletter to about 12,000 people three times a  year, from 1996 to 2002. When funding ran out I had to discontinue this. 

Finally, here's a map story from 1997.

This shows all of the strategies I've been trying to incorporate into our map stories for more than 20 years.  

It follows a feature story in the Chicago Tribune. Thus, reader attention had already been built. We just needed to tell "the rest of the story."

Using donated ESRI software we were able to create a map showing the location of the school featured in the news article, which was located on Chicago's West side. In that map we showed indicators, such as poverty, which contribute to failing schools.

We wrote a story to go with the map.

We built a list of youth tutor and/or mentor programs located in the area. We also built a list of assets, businesses, hospitals, faith groups, colleges, etc. who could be helping youth tutor/mentor programs grow in the area.

In 2008 I received a generous donation of $50,000 which we used to rebuild out desk top mapping capacity, then to build an interactive map directory that people could use to create their own map stories.  In this wiki page you can see what this was intended to do.

Map views created using Program Locator
Unfortunately, we had almost no money to share these map stories or to keep updating the Program Locator. We put some in our printed newsletters, but the reach was limited. The Program Locator has not been working properly since 2013.

Yet, this is still the strategy I've been following for 25 years and which I share with the goal that students in high schools and colleges, and in existing youth programs, will duplicate my efforts and create map stories focusing on their own neighborhoods or adopted sections of the city.

Open tabs for media, maps, violence and public health on this blog, and then browse articles on this blog, and on the MappingforJustice blog to find many examples of this strategy in action.

Almost every week there is a group of people meeting some place in Chicago, or in other cities, to talk about poverty, violence, inequality, etc.  Last week it was the Chicago To & Through Project annual meeting, held in Chicago.   I can only attend a small number of these, and even if I'm in the room I'm barely able to have a conversation with the one or two people sitting next to me.

Are participants sharing info from events?
The only way to connect such a large ecosystem of people and ideas is through the Internet and platforms like Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.

Yet, if organizers of these events created a network analysis map of their events to see who is engaging on one of these platforms, they'd find that it's only a very small percent of the total.

Among all of the other challenges, this is one more that needs to be addressed.

Here's one more. I'm starved for money pay my bills and keep writing this blog and hosting my library on line. If you value what I'm writing about you can help me in three ways.


1) visit my FundME page and send a contribution; or become a sponsor of one of my sites;

b) add me to your staff as a consultant, and on a retainer, then use me as a resource to help you understand all that I've been collecting and sharing;

c) share my articles with people in your network


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Visit Tutor/Mentor Video Library

I'm not a professional video producer but with help of volunteers and interns and emerging technologies I've created a library of videos that share ideas from my 35 years of leading a single tutor/mentor program in Chicago, and helping similar programs grow in all high poverty areas of the city. Here's one.



I created this Tutor/Mentor Videos page several years ago to show the full collection of videos that I and interns have created since early 2000s.

As you look at my videos and the layout of the collection I'm sure many will say "I can do that better".  

Yes you can!  

I invite others to create their own versions, just as interns working with me have done. I invite people to offer their time and talent to rebuild the video theater page. And I invite people to send dollars to my FUNDME page to help me keep doing this work.

If you'd like to have your name/logo put on my web sites, pdf presentations and videos, become a sponsor/partner. Let's talk.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Building non-school support systems for kids in poverty

Click photos to enlarge
I'm going to share some graphics in this article. At the end, if you believe in what I do, I hope you'll help me.

The kids shown at the left, and the adult, were part of the Cabrini Connections program I started in 1993 and led until mid 2011. The kids were in 7th and 8th grade at the time this picture was taken in 1994 or 1995. The adult is Claucia Crilly Bellucci, who started as a volunteer in the 1980s and became one of the first paid staff members of Cabrini Connections in the fall of 1993. 

At the right I'm shown with one of the kids in the photo on the left, when she came back in the late 2000s, after college, to speak at our year-end dinner. I'm connected to her, Claudia and many of these kids on Facebook.  I'm still connected to the boy I was first matched with in 1973! He's on Facebook, too.

Long-term relationships and support systems. That's the goal.

My experiences leading a single tutor/mentor program, starting in 1975, led me to a belief that these programs are a form of social capital, connecting inner city kids with people, experiences and opportunities beyond what is modeled in their neighborhoods. Such programs need to be in many places, led by highly motivated people, and consistently funded, if they are to build and sustain long-term involvement of youth and volunteers.

The school day has three time frames. Kids need support in each of these time frames. The third time frame, in the early evening hours, right after work, is when workplace volunteers are more consistently available and able to make long-term commitments.

That leads me to this next graphic.

click to enlarge
I've posted a number of sports-themed articles showing that it takes a team of fans, investors, coaches, players, trainers, sports companies, etc. to build and sustain great football, baseball, basketball and/or soccer teams.  It takes the same range of support to  help each tutor/mentor program in the city become great at what they do.

The graphic at the right illustrates the football team. The graphic at the right illustrates the need for teams of support helping great tutor/mentor programs reach kids in every high poverty neighborhood, with support that starts early and continues through high school, college or vocational school, or the military, and into jobs and careers.

Mentoring Kids to Careers
Below these two graphics is a first grade to first job timeline, showing some of the age appropriate supports kids need at each age level as they grow up.     The concept map at the right shows these supports in a different format.

Actually the support that kids and families need is far greater than what I show on this map. Open this concept map and see many other issues that need to be addressed in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago and other cities.

Look beneath the surface


Are you still with me?  

Now look at this "iceberg" graphic. I wrote about it here.  The part above the water is what you see when you look at a photo of a youth and volunteer connecting at a tutor/mentor program, or in an enrichment outing.

What you don't see is what's below the water line. This is the program infrastructure that helps great programs become great. It's the same infrastructure that helps great sports teams become great, or that helps great businesses grow.

I used the word "great" five times in that paragraph. That's because I keep emphasizing the need for well-organized, well-funded, long-term, mentor-rich programs in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago, it's suburbs, and other cities around the country....and in rural areas and on reservations, too!  They all need to be great, or at least trying to be great!

Read - Logic Model
So here's the logic model that I'm talking about.

If you believe that connecting kids with extra adults and expanded learning opportunities is a good thing, then you need to accept that well-organized youth tutor, mentor and learning programs are going to be needed to help those connections begin, and last, for many years.

If you accept this as truth, and look at a map of Chicago, and the number of high poverty youth in the city alone (over 200,000), then you need to accept that many great programs are needed, and they are needed in every high poverty community area.

Dig into strategy map
Many leaders need to share this commitment.

If you are willing to work to help build the infrastructure needed to make great tutor/mentor programs available throughout the city, spend time looking through this concept map. Then create a version, putting your photo and/or company logo, in the blue box, and put it on your web site or blog, signalling your commitment to the goals and the strategy.

I've been sharing this message, along with a library or resources, and list of existing programs operating in Chicago, since 1994.  Yet, I find almost no leaders using a collection of graphics similar to those I've put into this article, to share their own commitment to this same goal.

Ideas bursting in air!
I launch my ideas on blog articles every week, then spread them, like fireworks via social media. As you and others pass them on in your own feeds, we reach more people, and maybe convince some to take on leadership roles in this effort.  Such leaders can be from any city in the USA, or from other parts of the world!

Learn more.

I encourage you to read more of my past blog articles. Or browse sections of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site to build a deeper understanding, and commitment to what I'm writing about.

Subscribe to monthly e-mail newsletter - see exampleClick here to sign up.

Thank you for reading this entire article.
For me to continue to do this I need your financial support. Visit my FUNDME page and send a small, or large, contribution.


Monday, October 08, 2018

Celebrate. Reflect. Indigenous Peoples Day

In many places school is out and people are celebrating the Columbus Day Holiday. However, in a growing number of other places, the name of this holiday has been changed to Indigenous Peoples Day, to recognize that America was already full of people with a rich civilization before settlers from Europe invaded the continent and took their land.

Here's one of many Tweets with links to articles that I invite others to read and reflect on:



Here's a Tweet with a map showing cities that are changing from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day



Here are some hashtags you can use to find more Tweets and links.  #indigenouspeoplesday#IndigenousPeoplesDay2018  You can do a Google search and find many articles and resources. Here's a site with many links embedded.

resource links
I've been working with inner-city youth in Chicago since 1975. Since most of those in the programs I've led were African American and Latino youth my web library has tended to include many more articles that show how actions taken from the 1600's through today have created the racial barriers and cultural divide we're struggling with in this country. 

The cMap at the left points to one sub-section of the Tutor/Mentor web library. This section includes articles about race, poverty, inequality, social justice, prevention, etc. that are available to anyone who wants to build a deeper understanding of these issues. 

If someone is building a similar library, focusing on other US cities or the rest of the world, or focusing on Indigenous Peoples or Latino, Asian and other minority groups who have been discriminated against by the majority in America, send me links and I'll add them to my own library.

Note: I depend on contributions to help fund my work. Please visit my FundMe page and help if you can.


Friday, October 05, 2018

Use time, talent, dollars to help youth

Below is a graphic I created to show ways I've been trying to draw attention to youth tutor and/or mentoring programs operating in the Chicago region.
Browse this list of Chicago programs. Create your own graphics.
This is actually a montage of three different graphics that I shared on Twitter and Facebook several times over the past year.

Below is another graphic, visualizing my role as an intermediary, connecting people who can help with tutor/mentor programs in places where extra help is needed.

The list of "who can help" includes almost everyone.  With so much daily attention focused on national and local politics, international issues, natural disasters, along with sports and entertainment, it's important to keep in mind that kids take 20 to 25 years to grow from birth to work, which they do one day at a time!

That means that programs giving these kids extra support need to be in place in every high poverty neighborhood and they need consistent support from volunteers, donors and the public, to sustain and constantly improve their efforts.

View photos from conferences

This photo visualizes my efforts since 1975 to get people involved in youth tutor/mentor programs, and to get people to talk to each other about ways we can make great programs available to youth in more places, and what "great" really means.

If you look at the list of tags on the left side of this blog, imagine each as a topic of an on-going conversation involving people from many sectors, many places, and many cities.

I just don't see enough of this happening, with maps and concept maps serving as guides to where programs are most needed and what program designs and support systems need to look like.

You're welcome to use my articles as thought starters in any conversation.  You're welcome to create your own versions of my graphics.  You're encouraged to duplicate my efforts, to help kids in the Chicago region, or kids in other places.

Visit my FundMe page
Finally, you're invited to provide small (or large) contributions to help FUND ME so I can continue to do this work, and do it better.

That means you're also invited to become a partner and not only help me, but build your own knowledge so  you can take on this role in future years, and /or in other places.

If you're doing this work on a daily basis, as I am, or want to learn how, let's connect on Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIN.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Use information in Tutor/Mentor web library to support involvement

I've been using concept maps as a form of blueprints since 2005. Prior to that I was using power point and other desk top publishing to communicate ideas and strategies that I've been developing and sharing since launching the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in 1993.

Here's one that shows how the information I've been collecting is intended to be used by others.  View this map here.

Information flow - cmap

Now here's the same map. I posted it on an article in 2016 and Terry Elliott, who I met through the Connected Learning MOOC added comments to it, using his blog article.  In this follow up article, which I titled "Build with Me" I added new comments to the graphic that Terry had put on his blog.



The visuals that I've been creating are intended to influence what non-profit youth organizations and for profit businesses and resource providers do to help make youth support systems available in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago, its suburbs, and other cities, and constantly support them so more k-12 kids go through them and into college then jobs, over a 20 year period of continuous support.

I've posted concept maps in dozens of articles. You can scroll through them by clicking this link.

Building teams - cmap
My vision is that teams of volunteers/staff/students from many places, including businesses, would be looking at my graphics the same way Terry Elliott, Kevin Hodgson and others in the #clmooc group have been.

For instance, here's an article that focuses on workforce development which uses some of my concept maps. 

What does this graphic mean to you, your company and/or your community? What does the knowledge flow graphic mean?

Create your own version and share it with me and others.

If you feel this article has value, click here and add your financial support to help me keep writing articles like this.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Connecting with IWU on LinkedIN

Scrolling through my Linkedin groups today and opened this Illinois Wesleyan University alumni group and saw that no posts had been made in quite a long time. So I decided to enter one.

I graduated from IWU in 1968, so this is my 50th anniversary. In August 2001 Minor Myers, Jr . who was President of IWU at that time, called me and asked if I'd come down to IWU in early September. He said they wanted to honor the work I'd been doing with inner city kids. That turned out to be an honorary PHD. You can see me in my robe in the montage of other awards and recognition I've received over the past 50 years.

While I started leading a Chicago tutor/mentor program in 1975 and informally started drawing program leaders together for idea sharing and relationship building, i formally started my network building in 1993 when I formed the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

Since then, I've been trying to build a network of business, education and professional leaders who work to make well-organized, on-going, non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs available to k-12 youth in all high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago and other cities. What I find is that while many people support individual programs, or well known programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters, few are looking at poverty maps and asking "how do we make the talent and resources available so that we fill more of these poverty areas with great programs?"

Furthermore, how do we help programs learn from each other so they are borrowing ideas that help them become great, then stay that way for many years as kids join their programs, then move through school and into adult lives and jobs, perhaps with IWU a stop along the way?

If any of you are part of tutor/mentor programs, as alumni, volunteers, donors, board members, researchers, etc. I hope you'll introduce yourself and read some of the ideas I've been sharing on this blog, the MappingforJustice blog and the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site

I'm not attending homecoming and my 50th reunion because I've not been able to raise money to pay myself, or the costs of the work i'm doing, since 2011. Thus, driving from the Chicago area to Bloomington, Il.  and getting a hotel room, is an expense beyond my budget.

That does not prevent me from connecting with IWU and it's alumni via forums like the IWU group on LinkedIN, or on Twitter or Facebook. Let's connect if this is something you're interested in.

If you want to help me pay the bills, just visit this page and make a contribution.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Expanding Networks. Deeper Learning.

If you skim through some of the many blog articles I've posted since 2005 you'll find many graphics used to visualize and communicate complex ideas.  I'm not certain how effective this is, but I feel a picture can do more than several pages of words.

Below is a graphic I'm working on.  I'm going to include it in my monthly eMail newsletter.


I use a "wheel" graphic to visualize the need for youth to be connected to volunteers from many work/career backgrounds who can model different opportunities and open doors as kids grow older. As volunteers from different industries get involved in a program, many informally share what they are learning with people in the work/social networks.

The second graphic is visualizing a strategy intended to draw more people to the information available in the Tutor/Mentor web library and on the web sites of the various youth programs and researchers that I point to. Each person involved with a tutor/mentor program formally, or informally, can be telling others about their experiences and recruiting others to take a role.

The maps are intended to show a need for great tutor/mentor programs in every high poverty area of the city, not just in a few places.


Imagine this photo from a Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference as a gathering of your volunteers, where they are sharing ideas for being an effective tutor and/or mentor, or for helping find resources to support your organization.

I'm sure this is happening in many places. But are you writing about it on your blog or web site? Are you pointing to a library of articles for people to read?

Here's a page on the Cluster Tutoring Program web site, where they point to articles their volunteers can read.  Look through the list of Chicago area tutor/mentor programs that I host. How many do you find that share information like this?

It would be great if people who read my blog actually looked at these programs, then posted comments telling about programs who are sharing information like Cluster Tutoring does.  

As volunteers from different industries get involved in programs like this, many informally share what they are learning with people in the work/social networks.

View video
I've described this as an "adult service-learning" process. In on-going programs it repeats every week and the longer a volunteer is involved the more he/she has to share with other people who might also become involved.

How can we make this intentional? Are there ways to motivate some volunteers, and students, to take this role, and use social media and face-to-face interactions to draw more people to our libraries of information, help them understand it, and help them use what they learn in one or more ways that helps a tutor/mentor program help kids move more successfully through school?

Why is this so important?

Birth to work challenges

While making mentor-rich non-school programs available in more places is critically important, the challenges facing kids and families in high poverty, highly segregated, neighborhoods of Chicago go beyond schools, education and mentoring.

I created the cMap at the left to show what some of these challenges are.  Each needs a movement of people who dig deeper into the issue and look for solutions which they apply in many, many places, for many years. 

Unless we dramatically increase the number of people focusing on these problems we'll never do enough to assure that more kids born in poverty are living adult lives free of those challenges.

The service-learning loop video that I point to above was created by an intern from South Korea. I originally communicated this idea in this PDF essay.  Between 2005 and 2015 many interns spent time looking at my blog articles and graphics, then created their own interpretation.

I invite others to do the same. Try creating your own version of the graphic I posted at the top of this article. I'm certain that many could communicate these ideas better than I do.  Or they can reach more people than I do.  Give it a try.

Want to help me? Visit my FUND ME page and send a contribution to help me keep doing this work.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Learning from Others. 25 Year Goal of Tutor/Mentor Connection

My mentoring email group today included a message from Graig Meyer, who led the Blue Ribbon Mentoring Program in North Carolina for 16 years. Graig and George Noblit have written a book,  titled "More than a Mentoring Program" and used the email to introduce it to the research community. He also pointed to a series of videos and podcast interviews. Below is one of the videos.



Here's what Graig wrote about the book:

"My hope is that this can act as a guide for both practitioners and researchers. I believe that the field of mentoring needs more examples of effective programs, and we were able to build a model that did some interesting things:

-Support youth beginning in 4th grade and until they completed college
-Provide community based mentoring while being embedded in a school system
-Utilize volunteer mentors and keep costs low
-Attain a 97.5% high school graduation rate and send 100% of those students on to post-secondary education

Perhaps more importantly, we tried to use our program to create leverage for attacking institutionalized racism within our local school system. In the book, we explore Blue Ribbon's anti-racist approach through a wide variety of stories, many of which should be familiar to anyone who is working at the intersection of mentoring and education."


I've had a link to Blue Ribon Mentoring and hundreds of other  youth programs in Chicago and around the USA in my web library since late 1990s, with the goal that people would learn from each other as way to constantly improve every program, and that new start ups would borrow from others to shorten their journey to becoming a great program.

Furthermore, my goal has been that donors, business leaders and policy makers would be learning from the same resource, and using the information to be more proactive in helping great programs grow in more of the places where they are most needed.

However, what really interested me about Graig's post is the effort the program made to attack institutional racism within the local school system.

I've created dozens of visualizations and concept maps that encourage people to dig deeper into all of the issues that influence the lives of people living in high poverty areas.  Furthermore, in my leadership of a single tutor/mentor program between 1993 and 2011 I attempted to share the research in the Tutor/Mentor web library with volunteers so they would dig deeper and get more involved in helping reduce the institutional barriers and other challenges that kids and families face.

I don't know how many programs do this as a strategic part of their program design. I can't tell very well from looking at program web sites.  Below is a concept map showing an ideal "volunteer growth cycle".

View in this article
In this video you can see an animation created by an intern in the late 2000s to explain this.  I've annotated it to highlight some features and to demonstrate a way others can engage with videos like mine. I hope you'll take a look.

Every year there are 50,000 to 100,000 volunteers working with high poverty youth. If every supporting organization were doing what Blue Ribbon Mentoring was doing imagine how many more people would be giving time, talent, dollars, leadership, votes and other support to help such programs reach k-12 youth in more places, and help these kids move more safely through school and into adult lives.

If you're doing this, share your links.

If you value the ideas I'm sharing please visit my FUND ME page and make a contribution.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

#Never Forget

This being the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, my Twitter feed is full of powerful, emotional, and motivating posts. Some use the #NeverForget tag. Not all focus on the 9/11 tragedy. Some focus on other tragedies, including US interventions around the world that have resulted in the loss of life and unimaginable suffering of millions of people. 

We are not alone in our suffering and our memories.  I encourage you to click on the link and scroll through some of the comments.

ChicagoSunTimes 10-1992
This Chicago SunTimes front page, from October 1992, is my own #NeverForget message. As with many other times before then, and since then, the editorial writers were eloquent in saying "it's everyone's responsibility" to solve this problem.

Unfortunately, that never was sustained.  Other than a few days, to a year, of editorial indignation, these headlines did little to bring people together, develop solutions to complex problems, and generate an on-going flow of talent and dollars into every high poverty neighborhood, and to all of the organizations needing those resources to help kids and families overcome poverty.

Furthermore, few news stories about urban violence, or poorly performing schools, pointed readers to a library of articles that showed the institutional racism that has existed in America since before the Declaration of Independence, and which has continued up until today.

View map
In one section of the Tutor/Mentor web library, which I show in this concept map, I point to many articles that point out these injustices.

Thus, when I say #Never Forget, I'm reminding you of Dantrell Davis and calling on you to do your homework to learn more about the problems we face and more about ways you can use your time, talent, dollars, votes and voice to bring about solutions.



Here's one more reminder, from today's ChicagoSunTimes.  It's a story of three innocent people killed by gun violence in Chicago.  If you click on the image and enlarge it you can see that I drew a red line around the last paragraphs of the story, then wrote that text in the yellow highlighted box.  It's a quote from the father of one of these three victims. He said,

"This has been going on for 20 or 30 years, and has been evolving. The teens and young adults caught up in the cycle of violence need additional funding for education and jobs programs to get them off the streets.”

“I haven't seen anyone with that kind of leadership. I don't have a lot of hope."


Share this with others.
I've been trying to draw people to a growing information library that people could use to build and sustain these types of  youth development, tutor, mentor and jobs programs. Too few have seen these stories or chosen to respond.

Share my articles with people you know and you become part of the solution.

Visit my FUND ME page, and make a contribution, and you help me continue to keep the memory of Dantrell Davis and others like him alive through my on-going efforts.

Scroll through articles I wrote during the second week of September,  in past years, to see other ways I've remembered this tragedy.

Monday, September 10, 2018

You get up every day and do what you can with what you have

Today I've been looking at articles I posted on this blog in September of past years and am sharing these via my @tutormentorteam feed on Twitter.  Here's an example.


I started building an information library that others could use to build and sustain mentor-rich, non-school programs, in 1993 when we created the Tutor/Mentor Connection.  In 1998 I began putting this on the Internet, dramatically expanding the range of information I could point to and the number of people who could find and use it.

Using this library, and the list of Chicago tutor/mentor programs that was part of the library, I began to invite people to gather in Chicago in May and November for networking conferences.  I continued doing that until 2015 when I no longer was able to raise enough money to fund these (I'm still paying of credit card debt from hosting these in the past), so I've not hosted a conference since.

I posted this article on Friday, asking for contributions to my FUND ME campaign, to help me pay the costs of keeping Tutor/Mentor Connection resources on line, and keeping my own bills paid. Thus, I've had fewer resources to attract people to the information I've been collecting.

Yet I've continued to work daily, using social media, Skype and face-to-face events (that don't charge a fee), to connect with others who share my concern for the well-being of youth born or living in high poverty areas of Chicago and other cities.

When we created the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 we developed a four-part strategy to help programs grow in more places. While step 1 focused on gathering information and step 3 focused on helping people understand the information, step 2 focused on getting more people to visit the library, conferences, etc. and step 4 focused on motivating people to use what they learn in on-going actions that help tutor/mentor programs grow in more places.

I'm still doing what I can to collect and share this information with others who have greater ability to use it effectively. I continue to see financial support, but also seek partnership with universities, hospitals and public schools who could create a Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy within their own organization, focused on the geography surrounding where they are located.

Can you help me do this?  

One no-cost way is for you to look at past articles, just as I do, and then post them, with your comments, on various social media channels, or in your church bulletin, company or school newsletter, or on your blog. Here's another example to guide your own efforts.



That's the way a movement grows.



Thursday, September 06, 2018

Can you help Fund the Work I'm Doing?

Below is a screen shot from an updated FUND ME page that I posted on my web site today. The one I had been using has not been attracting contributions, so I thought I'd try a new look.


Since 2011 when I created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC to keep the Tutor/Mentor Connection (founded in 1993) operating in Chicago I've been operating at a loss and self funding the deficit from my own savings. I've not drawn a salary so my only income has been Social Security.

You can see that this is not a very smart business, or personal well-being,  move on my part. Yet I am deeply committed to building an information base that others use to become more strategic and on-going in what they do to help kids living in poverty connect with volunteers in organized tutor/mentor programs, that help them move more successfully through school and into adult lives.

So, if you've been reading this blog, or are one of the people who has said "Thank you, Dan" for what I'm doing, now I'm asking you to reach into your pocket and send a contribution to help me keep doing this.

Here's the link to the full page with a PayPal button.  http://www.tutormentorconference.org/2018_Fund_TMC_TMI_Campaign.htm

I am not organized as a 501-c-3 non  profit, so cannot offer a tax deduction for your contribution. I can promise to use the money to continue to do all that you see on my blogs and web sites and social media sites.  If I'm lucky enough to find a major benefactor ($300k or more) I'll actually update all of my platforms, get the Program Locator working properly and do even more to try to help youth tutor/mentor programs grow in Chicago and other cities.

If you want to dig deep and really understand what I've been trying to do, what the current challenges are, and what some opportunities are that I've never been able to develop, visit this wiki and read through all the sections.

Monday, September 03, 2018

The Day after Labor Day - Network Building Continues

 I did not stop working on Labor Day. I continued to reach out via social media to people in Chicago and around the world who are concerned with the well-being of people and the planet.  I've been building a web library that points to some of these people since 1993 and spend time every day trying to connect them to each other and to myself, while increasing attention and support for everyone in the network.

Here are two Slideshare presentations that show what I've been trying to do.

This one focuses on the process of network building



This one shows role of intermediaries, consultants and others who could be doing the same as I'm doing, or helping me do it.



These are just two of 46 presentations I've placed on Slideshare since 2011.  I started creating visual presentations in the late 1990s to explain work of the Tutor/Mentor Connection and the youth tutor/mentor program I was leading.

In 1998 we created the www.tutormentorexchange.net web site and I started putting the PDFs on line.  Now in the Library page on the site you can see a long list of presentations, including some I've place on Scribd.com as well as on Slideshare.

Read about this - here

Between 2006 and 2015 interns who worked with me in Chicago created many new versions of articles that I first launched as PDF essays and/or blog articles. My hope is that students and volunteers from many places will continue this work, as part of their own effort to expand the network and help other people get strategically involved.

I've used many visualizations over the past 20 years to communicate ideas. Some I've embedded in presentations. Others in blog articles. I've put some of those on Pinterest. Others can be found by doing a Google search for "tutor mentor" than adding any of the words from the column of tags on the left side of this blog. Once you do the search, look at the images. You'll find many of mine.



Of course, to keep doing this work I must find a sponsor, benefactor and/or a whole lot of people willing to make small contributions to fund me.

If you're one of those people, visit this page and use the PayPal to send a contribution.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Using Maps in Planning - Chicago West Side and Healthy Chicago 2.0

West Side of Chicago
Tutor/Mentor map
I used this map of El Stations on Chicago's West side in an article I posted yesterday.  Today I'm going to add some more maps and resources you might include in doing your own planning.

Below are three images that I created from pages on the Healthy Chicago 2.0 Health Atlas web site.   These all focus on the North Lawndale area which is included in the map I show above.

On the RESOURCE page of Healthy Chicago 2.0 you can learn about hospitals available in different community areas or zip codes of Chicago.  You can see the page below, showing North Lawndale. 


I have written several articles in the past showing roles hospitals, as anchor organizations, could take to help volunteer based tutor, mentor and learning programs grow in the area around the hospital. If a team from any of these  hospitals were leading the planning process I have recommended, they'd first create a map showing the area around the hospital.

Then they'd want to know what tutor/mentor programs already exist. The map below shows YOUTH SERVICES included in the database of Healthy Chicago 2.0.


This database does not focus specifically on non-school tutor/mentor programs, and does not include some in the Tutor/Mentor Connection/Institute database, so you'd need to also use the library I point to in this link to create a more focused, comprehensive map. The map at the top of this article was created using this.

Next you want to understand the need for non-school tutor/mentor programs in this area. I created the graphic below using information from the INDICATORS section of Healthy Chicago 2.0


The area has a very low Child Opportunity Index and a very high economic hardship index with 12,833 young people between age 5 and 24 in the area.  You can supplement this with the information I provide on the map at the top, showing 4100 high poverty kids, age 6-17 in North Lawndale, and 7100 in South Lawndale.   If you look at each youth program and ask how many kids they serve, and what age group, you'd find that in total a very small percent of kids in the area have access to organized, on-going, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.

You can find another set of indicator maps on the SCY Chicago web site. I point to it in this article.

Invite people to look at the
information and meet to discuss.

With this information the hospital can take a role of convener/network-builder, inviting people from the community to gather and look at this information, and begin to talk of ways they can draw more continuous support to help the existing youth programs constantly improve, while also help new programs form, borrowing ideas from existing programs in other parts of Chicago and other parts of the US and the world....all available in sections of the Tutor/Mentor web library that I've been building since 1998.


Since the late 90s I've been trying to motivate hospitals and universities to create Tutor/Mentor Connection type planning teams that would do the type of analysis I've just described, and the on-going work that leads to more and better programs helping youth in the service area surrounding a hospital move more safely and successfully through school and into jobs, including jobs in the hospitals themselves.  Here's one article with that invitation.

Unless a wealthy benefactor steps forward and provides the money to make this happen, I don't think I'll make much progress on this goal since leaders in these institutions are already doing their own things to solve these problems, and that reduces their ability to step back and ask "are there other things we should be doing?"

Who else could be helping?  I'm not suggesting that a hospital or university spend their own money to build and sustain well-organized non-school tutor/mentor programs. I'm saying they should use their visibility to draw business people into the conversation and motivate them to take this role.  In this section of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site if focus on role leaders in business need to take to help pull kids through school and into jobs and careers.

Find maps like this on
MappingforJustice site
At the right is another data platform that a planning team could use. It's a US Small Business Administration Business Locator site, which I describe in this article.  Using information like this teams in any neighborhood can build a list of businesses who also share the same geography who should be involved in building and sustaining  youth development programs that lower the costs of poverty in the area while increasing the pool of workforce talent and customers.

This article and the one from yesterday, as well as others that I've written over and over since 2005, are templates that could be duplicated on web sites of different organizations in various parts of the Chicago region and in other cities....all with the same goal!

I'd like to help you develop this strategy. Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIN

If you value the information and ideas I'm sharing, please go to this "fund me" page and make a contribution.