Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nobel Prize. Earn it.

Here's an article I wrote three years ago about earning awards and recognition like a Nobel Prize.

Like any other achievement, hard work, perserverance, creativity and innovation, are required. I have led a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program for 34 consecutive years, which I think is probably longer than most other people in this country.

Thus, I've spent more time thinking about the problems involved in changing the thinking and aspirations of kids living in neighborhoods of high poverty, where the community around them models different aspirations. I've also spent lots of time thinking about how to get adults involved in tutor/mentor programs, and how to convert some to leaders, who will spend much more time than one or two hours a week, working and thinking with me, on ways to make our programs effective.

I've also spent loads of time trying to figure ways to keep such programs funded, well led, and sustainable over many years, because it takes six years for a 7th grader to graduate from high school, and another 4 to 6 years for them to be in the early stages of a job and career.

Finally, I've been accused of being a habitual visual and spatial thinker, because of the way I use maps and focus on helping all poverty neighborhoods of Chicago have great, and constantly improving, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.

You can follow my thinking if you want to spent the time, by visiting the links and tags on this blog, or by browsing the sections of the Tutor/Mentor Institute.

In fact, so can President Obama, Mayor Daley, or any other leader, including the student council at a local high school. Furthermore, you can use the same graphics tools to create your own vision, and blueprint, and use your own blog to invite people to look at your ideas and use them in their own efforts.

Maybe YOU will earn a Nobel Prize because of how you apply this thinking, or of how you lead others into this information.

Time will tell. Let's see if you're still involved five, ten, fifteen, or even 35 years from now.

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