Monday, October 03, 2011

Tutor/Mentor Conference, Nov. 4, 2011

I've been building a Directory of Chicago area tutor/mentor programs since 1993 and have hosted a networking conference every six months since May 1994.

The article below is one of many that have been written as a result of this strategy. This one was from the Daily Southtown. It includes a message (see pdf) that I've been delivering consistently for 18 years of mobilizing resources to support high quality tutor/mentor programs in all poverty neighborhoods of Chicago, not just one or two high quality programs in a few places. In 1995 I was optimistic that I could find enough philanthropic investment to build and sustain the Tutor/Mentor Connection. Due to economic factors, the 9/11 tragedy, wars on terrorism, etc. we've not been able to raise consistent funding for operations and innovation. This past summer I had to create the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC as a new strategy to find the revenue, partners and investment to do what I've not been able to do as well as needs be for the past 18 years.

Yet, we're still here. If you search for "tutor mentor" on Google or Bing our web sites come up on the first page and are a resource to people all over the world.

The Nov. 4 conference has a great agenda. If we can attract 75-100 paying participants (we keep fees low, give group rates and offer scholarships at $20....and all speakers attend at no cost), we can cover our expenses and provide some money to support the data collection, web sites and other costs of hosting the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

Yet we won't thrive until we find an investor willing to put his/her name on the conference, or the mapping site, or the Tutor/Mentor Institute itself. That would take a multi-year commitment of several million dollars. Yet it would do more to help inner city kids to careers than much of the billions that have spent so far over the past 20 years.

No comments: