Friday, December 30, 2011

Sharing ideas. World-Wide Network-Building.

This year has been one of disruptive change for me and the Tutor/Mentor Connection. I turned 65 on Dec. 19 and while many of my peers are retiring soon (or already retired) I'm launching a new business to support the growth of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in high poverty areas of mega cities like Chicago.

I created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in July after the Board of Cabrini Connections voted to discontinue support of the Tutor/Mentor Connection in April 2011, after 18 years of operating as a local-global non profit. The change left me with a vast network and a library of resources but without an organizational structure or nonprofit status to recruit talent and dollars that had helped me grow the T/MC since 1993.

While my focus has been Chicago, the maps below show that my network and sphere of influence is the world.

This first map shows participants in the Jan 15-21, 2012 JellyWeek co-working event organized by a group from Germany. I've been contributing ideas to this group and on Jan 19 I will be part of this group's event. I've posted my own vision for a Chicago-based Jelly Week team/project here.

I met David Price, Co-founder of Debategraph in September and with his help launched this planning portal. Anyone who is interested or involved in helping kids born in poverty get the support needed to move through school and into jobs ---over a 20-25 year period, can add their ideas to this platform. They can also take these ideas into work spaces such as JellyWeek or the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum on Ning.

I was a speaker at the National Drop Out Prevention Conference in October 2011 and will be attending the National Mentoring Summit in January 2012. I use maps to show how these efforts should be connecting and working collectively to assure that all young people in poverty or distressed economic situations can get the support systems they need to grow up and thrive as adults.

While I've posted my ideas on this blog and in the sections of the Tutor/Mentor Institute site, I keep looking for more ways to share these ideas and find partners, volunteers, sponsors and benefactors to help me do this work. I began posting essays at in October and already have recorded over 2,000 reads. That number can grow to over 10,000 in 2012 alone.

While I build this network of world-wide partners and friends I look forward to continuing to find people who will help grow this network and apply the ideas in Chicago.

I keep looking for new ways to attract sponsors so that I can stay in this game. If you value what I'm doing and want to associate your brand with my efforts, why not become a sponsor?

Every major city in the world has areas of concentrated poverty and needs a new operating system to engage those who don't live in poverty with those who do. Out of this world of need I hope that I can not only offer ideas that others can use but fund people who will help me develop these ideas in 2012 and 2013, and then take responsibility and ownership of them in future years.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Walk alone to create a vision. Work together to achieve it.

Below is an article I wrote on Dec. 28, 2007. As I look back this week on articles I wrote during New Year's Week in previous years, this one is really relevant to my current situation.

After working within the Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection organizational structure from 1993-2011, with more than 160 volunteers and teens participating each year, I'm entering 2012 as the sole leader of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC.

Yet, I'm still carrying on the vision and network-building strategy that has been growing for the past 35 years. It is a lonely role sometimes. Yet there I'm meeting many people along this journey who can help me, and who I think I'm helping in their own work.

Hopefully in the next few months I can formalize some of this effort into a new team of people working with me.


The image of the lonesome warrior is one that reminds me of the men and women who are fighting overseas to make this a better world. As we count our blessings, let's pray for the young people in our armed forces.

However, this image is also one that I think of when I think of the people leading social benefit organizations around the world, mostly in isolation, mostly with too few resources to do everything they are trying to do.

Those who lead small non profits, or are struggling to get social benefit ideas launched, may related to this One-To-Many graphic. We're constantly reaching out in many different directions, trying to find the help we need. We're like fish in a bowl, competing with thousands of others for a limited amount of dollars and volunteers. Unless you've got a powerful marketing machine, or are well connected in donor circles, you succeed some of the time, but not most of the time, and you spend tremendous amounts of emotional capital and energy all of the time.

Through the Tutor/Mentor Connection, I'm trying to change this. I'm trying to recruit leaders in many places who lead strategic thinking process in their organization that aligns social benefit with corporate and organizational strategy. Such leaders will use their own advertising, visibility and resources to support the growth of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs that lead kids to careers, because it's a core business strategy.

I've been saying this for a long time, but last week I found an article on the Harvard Business Review that reinforces this concept. The article is titled Strategy & Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility. Written by Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer.

Education and workforce development are of strategic importance for most industries. Thus, if leaders of business, health care, law, journalism, sports and entertainment, etc. are strategic, they can use tools like the Program Locator and Chicago Program Links to choose what part of a city they want to support, and what programs they want to help grow from good to great.

This isn't a strategy to support just one tutor/mentor program, or one brand name like the Boys and Girls Clubs, it's a strategy to help every high poverty neighborhood have comprehensive programs that are one end of the pipeline to jobs and careers for businesses that are strategically engaging their corporate resources to help grow their future workforce.

Over the next seven days millions of people will make charitable decisions, either for good will, or for tax deductions. Choose a program like Cabrini Connections, or one of the others listed in the Links Library, and this will show the impact of Many to One.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

National Mentoring Month - Who Mentored You?

On December 26, 2006 I wrote this article. I've updated it as we head into the 2012 National Mentoring Month.

During January the attention of the nation will be focused on mentoring
through the 4th Annual National Mentoring Month campaign. During the month many celebrities will talk of how important a mentor has been in their lives.

A few months ago I heard a former US Attorney for Northern Illinois, Anton Valukas, talk about how his years as a mentor to 3 inner city boys was more important than the years he was the powerful US Attorney.

I've been a leader of a tutor/mentor program for more than 30 years, and I agree with how important mentoring is, to the youth we've connected with adults, and to the youth connected to mentors. I also know, that mentoring alone, is not enough to help kids living in high poverty, inner-city neighborhoods stay in school and move to jobs and careers. That's why I coined a term "Total Quality Mentoring, TQM", which describes the type of mentor-rich program we lead at Cabrini Connections in Chicago.

In a TQM program we surround youth with many adults, not just the primary one-on-one mentor, and we provide a range of learning, enrichment and skill building activities. This is a village of adults, all focused on helping raise the kids to reach jobs and careers by their mid 20s.

2011 note: Recent research based on social capital theory shows the value of expanding the network of adults and learning experiences surrounding inner city youth.

Good mentoring, regardless of the format, depends on an effective system of coaching and support for mentors. In a TQM program, that system of support requires funds to rent space, provide computers, and offer learning activities in addition to mentoring. Every tutor/mentor program in Chicago shares the same common needs. Leadership and innovative marketing strategies need to be developed to motivate donors and volunteers to support all of these programs, not just a few high profile groups.

That's why I hope that during the final days of 2006 (now 2012) you will think of who mentored you and look for ways to make a financial donation to support one or more of the programs included in the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Links list.

That's why I also hope investors, partners and donors will also support the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC so we can keep Tutor/Mentor Connection available to Chicago and help similar intermediary organizations grow in other cities.

My hope is that some of the lawyers and stock brokers who are making multi-million dollar bonuses this year will think of how a mentor has helped them have their success, and they will make major gifts to tutor/mentor programs, rather than the IRS, as a way of celebrating their success.

With such help some of our teens can be successful business leaders in the future. Can you help make that happen?

Thanks to everyone who has helped us connect inner-city Chicago youth with volunteer tutors and/or mentors during the past year. Your donations will help us do that again in 2012.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Creating a Service and Learning Organization that Mentors Kids to Careers: 2012 Resolution

If you've read some of the messages I've posted to this Blog you'll see that between 1975 and June 30, 2011 I led a small non profit that seeks to connect workplace volunteers with children and youth living in neighborhoods of highly concentrated poverty.

I've been using this blog to share this message since mid 2005. I used an email and printed newsletter to share this in previous years. Following is an update of a message I First wrote in late December 2005

Our goal is to create an organized framework that encourages volunteers to serve as tutors, mentors, coaches, advocates, friends, leaders in on-going efforts that make a life-changing difference for these kids. By life-changing, I mean that the kids will not be living in poverty when they are adults because they will have the academic, social/emotional and workplace skills needed for 21st century jobs, plus a network of adults who can and will open doors to jobs and mentor them in careers.

I have spent time almost every day for more than 30 years trying to figure out better, more efficient, and lower cost ways to accomplish this goal.

I have learned to mine the knowledge and experiences of others to innovate strategies for tutoring/mentoring, rather than trying to develop my own solutions to problems. Using T/MC web sites, on-line networking and regular face-to-face training and mentoring, I am trying to share what I know, and the process of learning and service that I apply in my own daily routine, so that there are more people in more places accepting this role and responsibility.

So how do we make this vision a reality? We create a "learning organization", which is also the ideal of many of the best businesses in the world. We also create a "service culture" modeled after the work of heroes like Cesar Chavez, whose core values included sacrifice and perseverance, commitment to the most disadvantaged as well as life-long learning and innovation.

In a learning organization, everyone is engaged. In the world of Cesar Chavez, everyone is willing to make huge commitments, and sacrifices of time, talent and treasure to help disadvantaged people move to greater health, and greater hope and opportunity.

Our goal is to find ways to draw a growing number of our stakeholders into this learning process and to build an on-going commitment to service (as opposed to random acts of kindness). This process is intended to include students, volunteers, staff, donors and leaders, and members of the business, education, faith and media in the communities where our kids live.

It also aims to engage leaders and volunteers from other tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and in other cities, plus people and organizations in the communities that don't have high poverty, but benefit from a world envisioned by Dr. M. L. King, Jr. as well as a 21st Century America where there are enough skilled workers to meet the future workforce needs of American industry.

The Internet is our meeting place. It's a virtual library of constantly growing knowledge. On Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and Tutor/Mentor Connection web sites we collect and host information that shows why kids in poverty need extra help, where such help is needed, who is providing help, and what volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring programs can do to connect adults, kids and learning in an on-going, constantly improving process of mentoring kids to careers.

If we can find ways to increase the percent of our kids, our volunteers, and our leaders and donors who are drawing from this information on a weekly basis, and reflecting on this information in small and large groups, the way people in churches reflect on passages from the Bible each week, we can grow the amount of understanding we all have about the challenges we face and the opportunities we have. We can innovate new and better ways to succeed in our efforts.

This process has already started. We need to nurture and grow it in 2012.

Can you help?

Visit the various web sites at the left and start your own learning. I encourage you to read the Power Point Essay titled, Theory of Change which is one of several illustrated essays I've produced to illustrate our goals and the community that we seek to engage.

I'm no longer operating under the Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) non profit umbrella, due to strategic changes made in April-June 2011. I've created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in order to continue to support the growth of the T/MC in Chicago and similar organizations in other cities. I encourage you to read about this change and look for ways you might help me in the coming years.

Thank you all for reading my messages. I hope you share them with others. May God Bless you all with peace, good health and happiness in 2006.

Daniel F. Bassill
Tutor/Mentor Connection, formed 1993
Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, formed 2011
Cabrini Connections
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Happy Holidays!

I hope you all are enjoying this holiday season and that we can find ways to connect our efforts in 2012.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Expanding networks is benefit - social capital theory

I read a couple of articles today that support the role of information intermediaries like myself, but support my vision of helping mentor-rich tutor/mentor programs reach more youth in high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago and other cities.

A Social Capital Framework for the Study of Institutional Agents & Their Role in the Empowerment of Low-status Students & Youth is a paper written by Ricardo D. Stanton-Salazar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California.

The article also introduced the concept of ‘empowerment agents,’ who "not only understand the power of institutional support and social capital in the lives of youth and students from historically-oppressed communities; they carry a vision of a more just, humanistic, and democratic society, deeply committed to an enlightened and fair distribution of societal resources, and to dismantling the structures of class, racial, and gender oppression."

Volunteers and staff in mentor-rich programs can take this role if they are trained to do so and if they have the resources to stay in place to support this process for many years.

The marketing and information-sharing needed to make this happen has been the focus of my work for the past 20 years.

That leads me to the next article, which is much shorter than the first. This is a paper titled Strategic Network Formation with Structural Holes. The paper claims that "people who occupy bridging positions between groups in a network are at higher risk of having good ideas".

This is what I do and why I have so many ideas for ways we can make mentor-rich programs more available. However, it's also what could be the goal of "empowerment agents" in hundreds of tutor/mentor programs. If we can teach young people and volunteers to build networks and understand how to use them effectively, they are more valuable in the 21st century marketplace and have more people to help them overcome the barriers of poverty and the challenges of adult lives.

The graphics on this page illustrate the goal of expanding the networks of youth and volunteers who become part of tutor/mentor programs and part of city, state and national networks that connect hundreds of tutor/mentor programs to each other. I've created a workspace where interns, volunteers and others can help me develop network analysis tools that could be used to demonstrate the growth of personal networks within programs, and program networks within cities.

If you know of others who are doing social capital research or who show the mission of their volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring programs from a social capital perspective, please share the information.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Win the Race for the Future. Sponsor a Driver?

In August I posted an article offering Naming Rights to anyone who would want to provide three to five years of funding for the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC or a component, such as the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator.
Today I want to offer a different suggestion. Think of me as a Race Car Driver.

Look at all the company logos on this racing uniform. Companies aren't doing this for charity are they? They get some visibility for supporting these drivers. Why not think of people like me who share ideas freely with others throughout the world as Race Car Drivers competing in a race to save Democracy through education. Isn't that something that you'd want to associate your brand with? Maybe I can get some clothing company to create a sport coat that I can wear to conferences or speaking engagements, with the company logo right on the front and with other sponsors on the cuffs, sleeves, back, etc. I can wear this anywhere and even put it in my profile picture on Facebook and Linked in.

Maybe one of the major auto companies will donate a car that I can drive to meetings and park in the lots of conferences that I attend, with their logo in big letters along with the logos of other sponsors on the hood, top, back, fender, etc.

Do you think I could find $200,000 to $500,000 worth of sponsors to keep me in this race each year? Maybe a law firm, or dental office, or book company would want their logo on my jacket. Who else?

Can you be the first sponsor, or help me communicate this idea? Maybe others who have ideas to share could get sponsors to support them so they could help all of the people who need their ideas, not just those who can afford to pay.

What do you think? Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!

It's my 35 years of experience and ideas that are valuable. That's what I have to sale. Most of the people starting programs don't have the money to pay enough to keep the Tutor/Mentor Institute growing, or even to keep the web sites updated. If I can fill this sport coat with annual sponsors, I can raise nearly $200,000 and not only continue to share my ideas freely, but do more of the work to build greater understanding of volunteer tutor/mentor programs and how they differ, and to draw volunteers and donors consistently to all of the different programs operating in Chicago and other cities.

Read about ways to contribute.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Keeping Track of 300 Chicago Tutor/Mentor Programs

I've been collecting information about Chicago area non-school tutor/mentor programs since 1993 in an effort to make better information available so more people would be doing the marketing and capacity building needed to make constantly improving tutor/mentor programs available in more high poverty neighborhoods.

I use this term "constantly improving" instead of "evidence based" or "high quality" because no program starts as a "great program" and hopefully they are are looking at what other people do well and building their own programs based on what they see. If they have the needed resources each program should constantly learn from their own efforts, what other people do, and what research is telling us and applying what they learn, along with what resources they have, to get better from year to year.

That's what I mean by "constantly improving" and it can't happen without a consistent flow of resources into programs and without the ability to retain talented people for multiple years.

So I've been building this database and trying to keep it updated. I also share the information via a map-based program locator, that also requires constant update.

The problem is, I've never had enough manpower on a consistent basis to do this as well as it needs to be done. There are more than 400 listings in my database who need to be contacted every year just to determine if they still offer any form of volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring. That in itself is a huge challenge. There are many more questions I'd like to be asking, but just maintaining the basis core of information has proven to be an almost impossible task.

Even if I could be collecting this information in all the ways I want, it would do little good unless I had a massive advertising and public education budget that enabled me to be sharing this with all the people who needed to know it. I don't have such a budget and never will.

And furthermore, I don't think any single person or organization should be depended upon to be the master library of tutor/mentor knowledge in a city. I think that information needs to be part of the organizational history of many different groups, not just tutor/mentor programs, but of schools, colleges, churches, mosques, businesses, etc.
Helping kids grow up takes 20 to 25 years in the best of circumstances. If kids live in neighborhoods of high poverty they face many challenges kids in more affluent areas don't face. The adult support system needs to be broader and it needs to last longer.

That means that the knowledge I'm collecting needs to continue to build for decades, not just years. I won't live that long. Small non profits will have trouble lasting that long. Thus, I'm looking for "bricks and mortar" partners who have a long-term investment in a neighborhood. This could be colleges, high schools, faith groups, businesses, etc. It could be a different lead organization in every zip code. Each could have teams of people collecting and updating information about tutor/mentor programs in their area, and sharing this via on-line portals and a master directory like the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator.

I created this PDF essay to illustrate this problem and the opportunity for students in service learning programs or teams from local business or civic groups to take ownership of this process for a single zip code or community area.

I hope you'll take a look and will contact me to volunteer to take on this information hub role for your own community.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Connecting DropOut Resources

I created the concept map below in October 2011 after attending the National Drop-Out Summit. I updated it today after attending another Drop-Out prevention event in Chicago last week.

Until the people organizing these events build some sort of internet portal that connects participants with each other so they can find ways to share ideas, strategies and work collectively toward solving this problem, we'll have too little action following powerful data that should motivate more of us to do more to solve this problem.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fighting Dropout Crisis – Building Public Will

In the article I wrote Friday, title We All Pay a Price for the Dropout Crisis, I provided quotes from some of the leaders who spoke at events held in Chicago this week. The basic message was “High School Drop Outs Cost All of Us, not just the young people who face a “miserable life”.

(This map was created by Learning Point Associates. See this and other maps here.

I’ve attended dozens of events focused on poverty, public education and the dropout crisis. I’ve read all sorts of research on how to make youth programs and schools more effective.

They all have a point where they say “if we had the money” and if we had the “public will” to create policies and funding strategies to support better schools and better workforce-development activities.

But then they don’t go further to say “how do we achieve this?”

That’s what I focus on. I’d like to suggest two strategies in this article, which I’ve written about often in the past.

1)Using maps for accountability, resource distribution and to obtain the 51% of votes needed to enact new legislation. I suggest that leaders and voters could use maps to build understanding where this problem is most severe, build public support, and to hold elected leaders accountable for what they do. The map above shows locations of high drop-out schools in Illinois. They are mostly concentrated in urban areas but they are scattered throughout the state. The map below shows state legislative districts. The third map is from the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator and shows legislative districts in the Chicago area, with overlays showing poorly performing schools, poverty, and locations of existing non-school tutor/mentor programs.

Using maps like this, leaders could determine what districts have high drop out schools. These are districts where elected leaders (and businesses) should be held accountable for what they do to bring resources to the district to combat this problem. The Tutor/Mentor Program Locator map does not show all schools, or have a layer of data showing dropout schools. We could build this if we had the resources. However, such a map may be already available from another sources. If it is, let me know and we can point you to it.

If such a map does not yet exist, then it could be created through a service learning or graduate school project at a local high school or university. I outlined this map-building process in this PDF essay.

Once the map is available on the Internet we can determine how many votes are available from representatives with drop out schools in their districts. If it’s not 51% or more of needed votes, then the next step would be to look at surrounding districts where people and businesses are paying part of the costs of youth not finishing school. We could also look at districts with schools where a large number of youth are not finishing school, but which are not as bad as those in the “high” drop out category.

The goal is to identify enough representatives in the house and senate to get 51 to 60% of the votes needed to pass new legislation.

2) Expand the number of people who “care” enough to vote, volunteer and donate. This is equally important. At Wednesday’s dropout event, Andrea Zopp, President of the Chicago Urban League said “We’re tired. We don’t vote”. We need to get more people into the voting booth.

However, just getting more people in districts with high dropout schools to vote won’t assure 51% of the votes needed to change legislation, unless there are that many legislators representing districts with high drop out schools.

We need to find a way to build empathy and support in more affluent areas where they don’t have a lot of poorly performing schools. We can do that through an effort to increase the number of volunteers who connect with inner city youth in volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.

We can do that if we focus on transforming the volunteer, not just the youth. In October 2009 I wrote an article titled Transforming Adults Involved In Volunteer-Based Tutor/Mentor Programs

This article was converted into this animation by an intern from the University of Michigan working with one of our one-year fellows from Northwestern University. Then it was converted into a video with the help of a volunteer from the United Kingdom.

The point of this article is that volunteers from many parts of the city and suburbs are connecting with inner city youth in non-school and school based tutor/mentor programs. If those volunteers are well supported and stay involved for multiple years some will build a personal bond with the kids, and an empathy for the problem, and will be willing to do more to help the kids move through school and into careers….if they are well-supported in their programs and encouraged in an on-going public education effort.

If we were to have 100 mentor-rich programs in the Chicago region with 50-100 volunteers each, that could be 5000 to 10,000 volunteers who actively advocate for public and private sector policies that help them in their own efforts to help kids to careers, and help schools and others do more of the work that needs to be done.

If in the other big cities throughout the state there were another 100 programs with 25-100 volunteers involved, that could double the number of potential advocates working to change the number of votes available to support new policies that reduce the dropout rate and help more kids through school and into careers out of poverty and contributing to the tax base and the democracy we cherish.

If we keep volunteers connected to kids and programs in years after they do direct service, the total number of potential voters would be even larger after 10 or 20 years. If we also are showing young people what it takes to help them move from poverty to jobs and careers, young people who graduate from these programs can also become voters and advocates.

This represents an army of not-yet-organized potential!

Take time to review these ideas. Share them with people in your own network. Support the infrastructure that leads to a growing number of volunteers connecting with kids in neighborhoods with high-dropout schools. Build map-based accountability and resource distribution strategies that assure that a full range of birth-to-work programs reach kids in neighborhoods with the highest dropout schools.

Instead of paying $200,000 a year to keep a youth in juvenile detention or paying $50,000 to keep an adult in jail, redirect this money to an education and enrichment system that moves more of these young people to jobs and careers.

It can be done.

Friday, December 09, 2011

We all pay price for high school dropouts

In this article I’m providing quotes from some of the speakers at two events I attended this week in Chicago. On Wednesday the event was “Re-Enrolling Out of School youth: A state, County and City Action Blueprint". On Tuesday the event was “Connecting Communities for the Common Good” and was advertised as “Conversations and Partnership Opportunities with the Obama Administration’s Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Office.”

I ran into some of the same people at both events. Many I've known for more than a decade.

This weekend I’ll post an article showing how maps can be used to build partnership and accountability and possibly to get the 51% of votes needed to affect legislation in the Illinois House and Senate. I’ll also show how volunteer-involvement in tutor/mentor programs can provide the extra adult support youth are calling for and can also build the extra political advocacy needed to gain needed legislative support.

But in this article I want to share some quotes and hopefully get more people thinking about this pipeline to jobs and careers. It's clogged.

Wednesday’s event drew much more media attention than Tuesday’s White House Partnership event, even though the Mayor was a speaker.

The editorial pages of the Chicago SunTimes and Chicago Tribune both had articles showing the high costs to society of young people dropping out of high school.

In the December 8 Chicago SunTimes, Alejandro Escalona wrote “I’ve covered Chicago as a reporter for almost 20 years and every now and then, a new study6 comes along that presents the dropout rate among minority students as an emergency situation with catastrophic consequences for minority communities.” Then he writes “So I find it refreshing that the latest report looks at the drain on city and state resources. Reducing the dropout rate would lower the costs of some enormously expensive social problems and, quite simply, be good for city and state finances.”

A star-studded cast of education and political leaders addressed the crowd on Wednesday at the Union League Club in Chicago. Here are some quotes:

Jesse Ruiz, Chair, Ill. State Council on Re-Enrolling Students Who Have Dropped Out.
“We know what we need to do. We just need a collective effort to do it.

Andrea Zopp, President & CEO Chicago Urban League
It’s not just the right thing to do. There is 20% difference in people going to jail between high school grads and youth who dropout. The cost per year to keep someone in prison is nearly $50,000 per person.

Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President
The failure of our public school system feeds our prisons.” “The US has 5% of the world’s people and 25% of the world’s prison population. We’re doing something terribly wrong.”

Andrew Sum, Professor of Economics, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern Illinois University …author of the research discussed on Tuesday and in media editorials.
Everything has gotten worse over past 25 years.” “You can no longer make it in Illinois without a high school diploma.” “We can’t have a strong democracy if we tolerate this problem”.

Gery Chico, Chair, Illinois State Board of Education
Kids tell us what the problem is. First is ‘No adults in my life to motivate me.’ “

Jean-Claude Brizard, Chicago Public Schools CEO, and a Panel of political leaders also spoke but I did not get quotes from them.

While the "Re-Enrolling Dropouts" event was Wednesday, on Tuesday an event at the UIC Forum attracted nearly 1000 guests, with Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel kicking off the event. It's goal was to show faith based and community organizations ways they can build partnership with the Federal Government.

Some quotes from Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Too many families are falling through the cracks….. Government cannot do it alone."

Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator, Small Business Administration was the noon keynote speaker. She said “We’re all given gifts and are responsible to use those gifts to build a better community.

As Alejandro Escalona wrote in the SunTimes, this is not new news. Even talking about the costs to society is not new news. Unless we find a way to build public willpower to build and sustain comprehensive, mentor-rich school-to-work programs in all neighborhoods with high drop out rates this story will repeat over and over in the coming years.

View the tags at the left to see the hundreds of articles I’ve written about these problems since 2005. Here are a couple:

On October 23, 2007 I wrote a summary of a Chicago Public Schools meeting led by Arne Duncan back in 2006 where he called for High Schools of Excellence…Consequences of Dropping Out of School in Illinois

In September 2005 I wrote a summary of an Illinois High School Summit hosted by the Illinois College Access Network and Chicago Public Schools. The discussion at the Summit was framed by the question, “What is the future vision and what must be achieved systematically for high schools to be successful in the 21st century?” During this Summit one man brought up issue of political will.

He said “Are the right people involved to make significant change? Are the people driving the process the ones in charge of crafting the solutions?

This question was not answered in 2005 and it's not yet been answered in 2011. I've been focusing on this problem for 20 years and I've shared my ideas with Gery Chico, Jesse Ruiz, the Alternative Schools Network, and the past CEOs of Chicago Public Schools and the Mayors of Chicago. They've been available on the internet since 1998.

Yet, I'm still just a whisper in the wilderness. Too few are taking the time to understand how maps and mentoring can be used to expand support for inner city youth and kids attending high school dropout factories.

Visit this blog over the coming weekend and see what I suggest is a strategy for building the public and political will needed to bring more resources into areas with high dropout schools so we can get the pipeline working for more kids.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Faith Leader Seeks Support in Area Teen Killed

Rev. Corey Brooks, pastor of New Beginnings Church in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago has been camped out on top of a vacant hotel to draw attention to the violence in the Woodlawn neighborhood and raise money to build a new youth center. The map above shows where the church is located and also shows where a 16-year old teen was shot and killed last Saturday.

I've written about Woodlawn in the past and have offered the ideas of the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC to help build a year-round strategy that draws attention, volunteers and dollars to youth programs throughout the Woodlawn neighborhood.

I offer that service again today. I encourage you to read some of the essays I've posted on and use these in discussion groups this week at churches, congregations and mosques throughout the Chicago region. There is no more unifying activity than people from different faiths working together to help young people have the support system they need to grow up safely.

Visit the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator and learn to create your own maps.

Share your Talent!

This video was created in June 2011 by an intern from Illinois Institute of Technology. It shows what can be done to help non profits by students using their talent and technology skills.

Since June the Cabrini Connections and Tutor/Mentor Connection have split into two organizations. Cabrini Connections continues to operate under a non-profit tax status while the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC was created to support the continued operation of the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

The strategy I've been developing for 18 years is based on retail advertising principles learned while working with the Montgomery Ward corporation.

a) we have created a map/ directory showing more than 150 tutor/mentor programs in Chicago, with links to their web sites.

b) if we can create more videos like this, and news stories like these, we can attract volunteers and donors to the programs in the directory the same way retail stores attract shoppers each week.

To do this we need thousands of students working in groups like our Ning forum so that every day a video, animation, blog article or some similar form of communication is reaching out to evangelize the tutor/mentor message and draw volunteers, donors and youth to web directories where they shop for where and how to get involved.

As we build traffic through these efforts we hope to also attract sponsors who will help pay for this work and provide prizes and awards to encourage even greater participation of the talent needed to communicate these ideas.

Can you become one of the early-stage sponsors and investors in this idea?

Friday, December 02, 2011

What Would Drucker say about "Evidence Based"?

Over the past 15 years there has been a growing movement in philanthropy to document outcomes and to support grant requests and program development with "evidence".

I found this article on the Stanford Social Innovation Review today titled "Why Peter Drucker Distrusted Facts"

At the same time I've been following a few blogs on Innovation around the topic "Innovation is Messy". Here are a few that you can find on a Google Search

Innovation is Messy - "Innovation isn’t a race. First isn’t always best. Use the tools that are available right now and build on the work of others as necessary to improve incrementally."

Innovation Will Always Have Messy Parts: Wisdom from IDEO's David Kelley and 3M's Bill Coyne - "... one element of the process is tougher for many people to accept than the rest -- that it is a messy and uncertain process and efforts to make the early messy stages more rational, safer, and generally neat and clean comforting get in the way of the process."

Spaghetti & Social Innovation: What should stick?"the emerging field of social innovation is like being in a kitchen where the recipe for social innovation is still uncertain and perhaps always will be. While there is definitely a case for articulating core ingredients (e.g., novel solutions that tackle social problems in ways that significantly shift the way the social problems are understood and managed), a wonderful part of social innovation is the openness to variety in how that might be approached and organized."

These are just a few of the articles that I've looked at on this topic. I'm interested in this because my vision of volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring requires the involvement of volunteers from beyond poverty along with youth and families living in poverty who are constantly looking for better ways to build youth career aspirations and learning habits along with a network of adults who can help youth in high poverty neighborhoods move through school and into careers where they fulfill those aspirations.

I don't think anyone has a magic solution yet, or a pill you can give any kid and turn them into a motivated, disciplined learner. Kids in poverty have a lot more external distractions and a lot fewer family and community role models to show them jobs and careers they might aspire to and get them there.

Thus, we're in a process of innovation and we need a lot more people involved. I created this "Operating Principles" pdf many years ago to show how we want to engage everyone in a tutor/mentor program in this learning process.

In a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program the volunteer is in direct contact with the youth so the volunteer must be involved in this innovation. However, volunteers don't come to this work with 35 years of experience that I now have. So that means the staff who coach this process need to be passionate about learning and innovation and need to lead and coach youth and volunteers to grow into this role.

But I don't know of a university teaching this skill and I've never had staff people come to me already "hard wired" with these innovation habits. And due to funding and the work/stress of being employed in a poorly funded non profit, we can't keep young people involved for 10-15 years so they become experienced, visionary older people!

How do we innovate solutions to this problem so such leaders are in thousands of locations? That's the innovation and process the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC is focusing on.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

'Good To Great' Philosophy

"Good to Great" & the development of Great Volunteer-Based Tutor/Mentor Programs

How many of you have read the Jim Collins book titled "Good to Great and the Social Sectors"? If not, you get a copy from your local library or and read it.

Here are some links to blog articles where the writers summarize this book


"Good-Great: Social Sector"

Read this Tactical Philanthropy series of articles and reflect on the resources needed to grow from good to great, and to stay great for many years.

I’ve applied Good to Great concepts in the leadership of Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection (and before that in my leadership of the Montgomery Ward/Cabrini Green Tutoring Program) since 1977 when I learned about Total Quality Management (TQM) while working as an Advertising Manager at Wards.

I was lucky to have many mentors during the early years and one said “If you don’t write you plan on paper, you don’t have a plan.” Thus, every year since then I’ve written the plan, and made an effort to share it with others in the organization who needed to be the people who embraced the plan and made it a reality.

I now share that plan via our web sites and this wiki with people from around the world.

Since Good to Great is a new way to understand process improvement, I am embracing it, and think this can really help us focus the board and all of our other volunteers on the mission of any single tutor/mentor program and the Tutor/Mentor Connection type citywide strategy rather than just the fund raising.

Below I’ve listed what I feel our our Hedgehog values. Do you agree with these? Are there others that you might add to the list, or that you feel are more important than these?

Do these ignite your passions and make you want to sacrifice as much as our soldiers in Iraq to end poverty through mentoring kids to careers? Maybe that’s an extreme example of commitment, but what would it take you to make a sacrifice that is even 10 or 20% of what’s represented by the “ultimate sacrifice”?

Hedgehog Roles

a) Getting a youth and volunteers is only the start of the tutor/mentor process. A program needs to keep youth involved and connected from when they first connect at least through 12th grade. We've tried to do this since 1993 for youth living in the Cabrini Green area of Chicago, giving more than 580 youth the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive, long-term tutor/mentor program (Cabrini Connections), which connects them with a diverse base of adult mentors and learning experiences. From 1975 to 1992 we applied the same concepts in a program serving younger 2nd to 8th grade youth.

If we were not providing this, no one else would be.

Just keeping a non-profit organization like Cabrini Connections funded and operating from year to year, is a tremendous accomplishment

b)We maintain a database of Chicago area non-school tutor/mentor programs and an understanding of where they are located, vs where they are most needed in the Chicago region.

No one else in the Chicago region is providing this type of information, at this level of detail

No one else (in Chicago or in any other big city) is using maps or internet-based databases the way we are to draw resources directly to existing tutor/mentor programs

If we were not providing this, no one else would be.

c) We use the database to invite program leaders and stakeholders to gather on a regular basis for networking/learning and capacity-building activities that benefit ALL programs, not just a few highly visible programs.

If we were not providing this service, no one else would be. (No one else can without building and maintaining the type of database we own). What we are doing is providing a form of community information, which is described in this white paper by Peter Levine of Tufts University.

d) We focus on building strategic involvement and long-term commitment from the business community, which uses company resources (people, dollars, jobs, etc.) to build great programs that PULL kids to careers.

Most others focus on what government, teachers, parents need to do. We focus on what business and private sector needs to do because we recognize that there is not enough government money to fuel the operations of programs like Cabrini Connections in all the places they need to be, and for all of the years they need to grow to be good, then to be great.

e) We use Internet to connect people and ideas from around the world, and to stimulate the flow of resources directly to t/m programs throughout Chicago.

In the volunteer section of the Cabrini Connections web site we hosted a "resources to help you" sub-section. This includes links to the volunteer handbook, homework help, and other materials that we hoped all volunteers will read and use as a constant resource. Another sub section focuses on additional web resources to learn from and incorporate in your tutoring, mentoring and advocacy for Cabrini Connections.

This information is what unites us as a community of purpose. As more of our members understand this information we create many owners and many leaders. We can withstand any changes in leadership. We can constantly get better at what we do.

One of the articles I point to is a pdf from the UCLA Center on Mental Health in Schools. The title is School Engagement, Disengagement, Learning Supports, & School Climate. This focuses on motivation, which is the fuel that drives student learning and aspirations. I encourage volunteers to read this, think about this, discuss it with others, and try to find ways to help tutor/mentor programs motivate students, volunteers and leaders to do more each year to help us achieve our mission of helping kids to high school graduation, college, then careers.

f) We are a learning organization. The information we share on these wikis and our web sites is available to any member or supporter. We need to find time to read, reflect and use this information on an on-going basis. This is a lesson I have tried to teach staff, volunteers and partners of Cabrini Connections since we formed in 1993. It's also the core idea we share through the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC see web site which was formed in July 2011 after the Board at Cabrini Connections decided to downsize and no-longer support the T/MC strategy.

Leaders, volunteers, students, donors and supporters of programs like Cabrini Connections need to become active network weavers, people who use search engines like Google to find places where other people are offering tutoring/mentoring, or discussing issues related to effective tutoring/mentoring. In these groups members need to participate, sharing information from what they do at their own programs, and providing invitations for people in these groups to use our web sites, or join in the activities that we do.

I do this every day, and if you search Google for 'Bassill', or ‘tutor mentor’ you will find numerous places where I am actively networking. Each person in a tutor/mentor program and a tutor/mentor community should set a personal goal to be active in 5-10 places each month, over the course of a year. If 50 people are doing what Dan does, we can dramatically increase the influence of the ideas we all share, and the number of people who are helping us achieve our mission.

If we were not doing this, no one else would be (and no one else can unless they maintain a database, and lead a resource building effort)

g) I have more than 35 years of knowledge about how to involve volunteers in a non-school tutor/mentor program, along with the accumulated knowledge of hundreds of other people and organizations, and we use this to

1. help parents, teachers, social workers, volunteers, donors, etc. find existing tutor/mentor programs near where they live/work

2. help individual programs grow from Good to Great, while helping new programs fill voids

3. help networks like T/MC grow in other cities and in other social service sectors (which network with the Chicago T/MC in a shared effort of helping programs grow from good to great)

h) We have innovated a knowledge-based innovation and networking process that can be applied by people in other cities, or in any other social benefit sector.

i) We have piloted innovative network-building tools using maps, graphics, video, animation and interactive on-line databases. These can be applied in other cities for the same purpose as we use them in Chicago, or in other social benefit sectors.

Few other organizations in the country can claim this many years of continuous learning and application of knowledge to build and sustain a volunteer based tutor/mentor program.

However, we have not communicated these ideas effectively to enough people and have not built the leadership team and organizational strength to be able to expand our influence and fully develop and share these ideas. That will be the goal of Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC over the next five to ten years.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Newsletter sent today - pass it on

For nearly 35 years I've been collecting information about volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs, why and where they are needed, and how they can be supported consistently by business, faith, professional and philanthropic groups.

I share this via the Tutor/Mentor Institute and Tutor/Mentor Connection web libraries and the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator maps.

While more than 800,000 visits and six million page views have been recorded since 1998 by people from all over the world, I also share information from this library in monthly email newsletters and via the May and November Tutor/Mentor Conferences held in Chicago.

The November 2011 eNews was sent this morning to about 3,000 people and can be viewed at this link.

If you want to help kids in poverty move through school and into jobs and careers or increase volunteer and philanthropic involvement from your company, faith group or family, the articles I point to can be used as group reading and reflection. This graphic illustrates that the information we collect and share on our web sites can be used by numerous groups of people in Chicago and in every other part of the world.

Take a look at blogs written by interns and volunteers and how they share what they are learning from this information. You don't need to be in Chicago to do this type of learning and communications. Just join the Ning group and offer your talent.

If you want to subscribe yourself or others to the newsletter, click here.

If you can become a sponsor, investor, partner, intern or volunteer to support this strategy read more at this link.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Growth of the middle-man in non profit sector

I've used this graphic for many years to illustrate the role of the Tutor/Mentor Connection as an intermediary connecting those who need help (non school tutor/mentor programs and the young people they serve) and those who can help (business, volunteer, donor, etc).

From 1993-2011 I did this role as a non-profit and did not charge a fee to either side to support my services. Furthermore, I built an extensive map-based information system and a year-round schedule of activities intending to draw volunteers and donors DIRECTLY to individual tutor/mentor programs the same way advertising draws customers to retail stores. Let the zip code and the web site of the program provide information the volunteer, donor, parent use to decide about getting involved.

In recent years I've seen the growth of consulting firms who "tell you how to do it" but leave you without the manpower, talent and resources to apply their ideas. I have seen very few consultants acting like the T/MC, using their articles and blogs to draw volunteers and donors directly to the organizations they are trying to help.

A few days ago I saw an article on Facebook titled "The Philanthropic-Consultant Industrial Complex . . . editor notes issue #74". I was not able to comment at that time. Then today as I read Charles Cameron's introduction to a Social Edge forum discussion titled Philanthropic Advisers: Experts in Successful Generosity, I saw a link to a blog by philanthropic consultant, Lucy Bernholz, titled The Business of the Business of Good which pointed me back to the original article that I'd seen on Facebook!

I think the intermediaries like philanthropic advisers can be a good thing. I was given $50k in late 2007 to rebuild my mapping capacity because an advisory was doing research on funding tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and he came to me for information. As I showed him how to use the Program Locator to find programs in the West part of the city I said "If your donor really wants to make a difference, give me some money to rebuild this capacity." He did.

I never would have connected to this donor otherwise.

However, the opposite side of this conversation is that I don't think the consultants and experts, including researchers, are doing enough to drive needed operating resources and talent directly to all of the small and mid-size places who need flexible, on-going resources to build talent, knowledge, experience and human capital within their organizations. Without this there are too few programs reaching too few kids.

Due to my inability to connect consistently with enough philanthropic investors over the past 18 years I've not been able to maximize the potential impact of the Tutor/Mentor Connection. In the end the strategy was dropped in April 2011 by the Board of Directors at Cabrini Connections. I had to create Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in July 2011 in order to keep the T/MC going.

I've always been a consultant, but I gave all my ideas away for free. Now I'm trying to find ways to get paid for sharing some of these ideas.

Part of my strategy is to earn consulting fees from cities, businesses and others who want to duplicate the T/MC concept in their own cities, without the costs of starting from scratch.

I'm committed to finding the dollars and talent to do this, but will never change from the philosophy of using my own time and talent to draw needed resources to the programs on the front lines of the war on poverty who must have these to win.

I encourage you to follow these discussions over the coming weeks and think of ways you can be an intermediary who connects "those who can help" with "those who need help".

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shining Spotlight on Tutor/Mentor Programs in Chicago

From July 2007 through April 2011 the Tutor/Mentor Connection was fortunate to have four graduates from Northwestern University serve one-year fellowships supporting the two-part strategy of Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

Each of these students were asked to build an understanding of the Tutor/Mentor Connection and share that in blog articles they wrote while also writing stories to support the youth and volunteers of Cabrini Connections. This concept map was created by Chris Warren at the close of his 2008-09 year of service. He diagramed the stories he wrote and divides them into "local" Cabrini Connections and "global" Tutor/Mentor Connection. Click this link and go to the live map and read stories Chris wrote.

The four part strategy of the Tutor/Mentor Connection was 1) to collect information about tutor/mentor programs and why they are needed; and 2) increase the number of media stories and public attention focusing on these programs.

We've organized conferences, volunteer-recruitment events and a number of other activities to do this. This Chicago Tribune article from 1994 illustrates this goal.

One way we've generated media attention is by organizing an annual volunteer recruitment campaign each August since 1995. At its peak 150 organizations were participating in volunteer fairs all over the city. Mrs. George Ryan was the honorary chair for the campaign in 2000 and 2001 and Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallis was a speaker at the press conference kicking off the campaign.

Another way we've tried to draw attention to programs is by doing site visits and then writing articles about the programs on blogs. This list has links to stories about many different programs.

If you forward this list of stories to friends, family and co-workers some may choose to send holiday donations to one or more of these programs. That's our purpose in doing this.

However as you look at this we also want you to look at the Talent Needs of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and the Tutor/Mentor Connection. We have not had the money to keep our NU fellowship in place or to keep a full-time staff person supporting research needed to maintain a directory of Chicago programs and to do site visits and write stories. Hopefully some of our readers will become investors and help us rebuild this capacity.

However, this role could be shared by journalism students from different high schools and colleges and by volunteers from PR and advertising firms. Using the Program Locator maps groups could divide up the city and spend time getting to know each program in their area and writing regular stories that would help educate the broader public so more people provide the dollars and talent each program requires.

It takes a Village to Raise a Child. It also takes a Village to make sure high quality mentor-rich programs are available to K-12 youth in every poverty neighborhood.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Raising Funds for Tutor/Mentor Programs

This photo was taken almost 12 years ago during a November 1997 event hosted by the Chicago Bar Foundation and the Lawyers Lend A Hand Program. It's purpose was to raise visibility within the legal community that would help raise money directly for individual tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and for the Lend-A-Hand Program's pool of funds which it drew from each spring to award small grants to 15-20 tutor/mentor programs in Chicago.

At the right is an article from the Daily Law Bulletin of the Chicago Bar Association, telling about a collaborative effort of the Chicago Bar Foundation and the Tutor/Mentor Connection, intending to raise visibility for tutor/mentor programs in November that would lead to more contributions in the December holiday period.

This was all part of a strategy developed in 1994 where the Tutor/Mentor Connection would host a conference in November, the CBF would host a fund raising event, and we would create a "Tutor/Mentor Week" to generate greater visibility for all tutor/mentor programs in Chicago that would help recruit volunteers and donors at that time of the school year.

We're approaching the Holiday Season again and volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs still need operating dollars to do their work. From 1994 to 2001 the Tutor/Mentor Connection published a printed directory that people could use to search for different tutor/mentor programs in Chicago.
We never had much money so we were only able to send 300 to 400 copies of this to foundations, media, libraries and the programs listed in the Directory. Thus, it was a big deal when we found a way to put this directory on line in a searchable program locator back in 2004. Then in 2009 we launched a new interactive map version where you could look at a map of Chicago and see where tutor/mentor programs were most needed, based on poverty or poorly performing schools, and you could see icons on the map representing existing tutor/mentor programs in our directory. In both of these versions you could sort by age group and type of program and zip code to narrow your search to find contact information on specific types of programs.

This service consistently has recorded 500-600 visitors a month for over eight years. The chart below shows funding available to the Tutor/Mentor Connection in the past decade to do everything it does, including creating and hosting this map based program locator. You can see that we've had less than $150,000 a year which is less than what it would cost to purchase one full page ad in the Chicago Tribune on a single day!

The T/MC operated as part of a combined Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection non profit since formed in 1993. We split money each year between the site based tutor/mentor program and the T/MC, yet the time spent on the T/MC always was secondary to the time needed to support the 70-80 pairs of students and volunteers in the Cabrini Connections program. Due to the financial challenges of the past decade the Board of Directors finally decided that they could no longer support this dual strategy from a single small program, thus voted to discontinue the T/MC in April 2011.

I "retired" from my role of President, CEO in July and created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in an effort to find new ways to generate revenue and partnership to continue to offer the T/MC to Chicago and to help programs like Cabrini Connections get the volunteers, donors and ideas each program needs to thrive. I did this without any financial commitment other than my own meager savings account.

The Lend A Hand Program received a $2 million award in 2006 and has made grants totaling nearly $240,000 per year since 2007. If we can encourage other businesses and professions to launch similar programs it can generate money and volunteer talent from every industry to support tutor/mentor programs in different parts of Chicago. It's a strategy that can duplicate in other cities if an intermediary group like the Tutor/Mentor Connection is available.

I want to help make that happen but I need your help to do this. I've never been successful obtaining sponsorships for the conferences from a charitable standpoint and I have no experience approaching venture capital people for the type of investment we need to build out the features and services of the T/MC or to fund an aggressive advertising campaign to raise money for tutor/mentor programs in the Directory. Thus, my first request is for volunteers to step forward and fill the different roles visualized on this talent chart. You can see this live at this link.

At the same time I need to raise money for monthly expenses such as hosting the web sites, organizing the next conference, etc. I'm not asking for a charitable donation and I don't have a 501-c-3 structure to offer you a tax deduction for a gift. Instead I'm asking your to help me offer hope and opportunity to inner city youth, and an opportunity for volunteers and donors to be enriched by being part of the lives of these kids.

When Jonathan Kozal talked about his book "Amazing Grace" he said the "Amazing Grace is not what we do for them, but what they do for us."

You can help me by contributing dollars to help me continue to build the Tutor/Mentor Connection and by helping me find sponsors and investors who might want to put the "name" on the Program Locator or on the Conferences or on our Links Library, just like US Cellular puts their name on a baseball field or rich alumni put their name on college buildings, hospitals and sports stadiums.

Associate your name with a vision of helping more kids from poverty move through school and into jobs and careers and you'll have a legacy that can last many years into the future.

Email me at tutormentor 2 at earthlink dot net or send your contribution to:

Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
Tutor/Mentor Connection
Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303
Chicago, Il. 60654