Monday, October 26, 2020

Tipping Points, Influence and more

I created this graphic in 2011 as another attempt to communicate visually what I had been trying to do since 1993, in fact all the way back to 1975 when I first started leading a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program in Chicago.  The beliefs I posted then are still valid in 2020.

I firmly believe that connecting a youth with a non-family adult in a structured, on-going tutor/mentor program is a good thing
. It has an influence on both the youth and the adult but in so many different ways that it is difficult to quantify. I'm not trying to recruit those who don't believe. I'm trying to connect with the thousands of people who have already been part of tutor/mentor programs at some point in their lives and already know how they have been enriched in big or small ways as a result.

In order for these programs to reach youth in high poverty areas of big cities like Chicago and to involve volunteers who work full-time jobs
in many different industries the programs need to operate in non-school hours and in places where youth and volunteers feel safe participating. In such places the program/organization itself becomes part of the mentoring process. It sets a tradition that connects past, current and future participants of that program.

In a city like Chicago with close to 200,000 youth living in high poverty neighborhoods there needs to be hundreds of small tutor/mentor programs
serving k-12 youth. For such programs to grow in more places teams of leaders need to step forward who act as a 'virtual corporate office'. They do things that people in the corporate offices at WalMart, Sears, McDonalds and other big companies do everyday to support multiple stores in many locations.

If we know who the existing programs are then we can lower their costs of operating and we can enhance the quality of their work
if we can influence the flow of operating dollars directly to each program and if we can influence the flow of manpower and talent to each program. If programs have access to capital for innovation and if they have talented people learning ways to get better by learning from what other programs are already doing, then we can also enhance the quality of every program by collecting and sharing ideas that can be used by any program at any time. 

I created the graphic below in 2013 to visualize this thinking. Here's a 2015 article where I explain it more.

Every big city in the world has areas with high poverty where the gaps between rich and poor are growing wider every year. That means there could be teams and leaders in every city trying to collect information about existing organizations and trying to influence the flow of dollars, talent and ideas to all of the programs in their cities.

I hosted a Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference every six months between May 1994 and May 2015 to help stimulate the sharing of ideas among leaders of programs and to build greater visibility for tutoring/mentoring that would drive more donors and volunteers to each of the programs in the city. I've not  hosted the conference for the past few years due to lack of funding and partnership from others.  Yet, I still support the learning goals of the conferences. 

The map below (find at Debategraph site) shows the goals of the conference.

I share these eLearning goals on this page, too. 

For the past six months the nation and the world has been dramatically reshaped by the Covid19 pandemic.  Site-based tutor, mentor and learning programs have not been able to maintain face-to-face connections with youth and volunteers. While many have moved to virtual connections, there are huge obstacles to be overcome.  I think it's more important than ever to connect programs, volunteers, youth and supporters in the type of eLearning that I was trying to stimulate via the conferences.

Ten years ago I was just beginning to use Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.  Now they are my primary means of connecting and sharing ideas with others.  If you're reading this, I encourage you to share it.  If you know of others hosting similar discussions please share the information with me.

If you are someone who already believes in the logic model I've been sharing and sees that you could take a role in influencing the flow of resources to tutor/mentor programs in Chicago or your own community, let's find a way to connect.

I created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011 to be able to continue leading the Tutor/Mentor Connection in Chicago and to share the ideas with other cities. 

I depend on contributions to help fund this work. If you're able, please go to this page and use the PayPal to offer your support.

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