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.

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