Friday, December 28, 2012

Keeping Attention Focused Throughout Year

I worked in retail advertising for a big company in the 1970s and 1980s and we spent millions of dollars every week to keep potential customers coming to our stores. If we want to do more to help kids in poverty we need to find ways to keep expanding the number of people who are offering time, talent and dollars to support schools and non-school tutor/mentor programs in thousands of locations.

In the social sector we don't have millions of dollars for advertising, thus we need to find other ways to build and sustain public support and the flow of needed operating resources to all of the places where people are working to help kids move through school and into careers. I created this video to illustrate the need for 12-month strategies that repeat from year-to-year. I hope you'll find time to view it and share it with others.

As you view the video, keep in mind the following two images:

Birth-to-work is a 20 to 25 year journey. It's difficult for most kids, but much more difficult for kids born into neighborhoods of highly concentrated, segregated poverty. Kids only grow a day and a year at a time. There are no quick fixes. Thus, we need to find innovative ways to keep attention focused and support available in thousands of locations.

Instead of focusing on single solutions, focus on the big question: "What are all the things we need to be doing to assure that youth born in 2013 are starting jobs and careers by 2038?" This question needs to be asked over and over, by leaders in business, politics, universities, faith groups, philanthropy, and by individuals who are concerned with the future of our democracy, our economy, and the millions of young people born in high poverty neighborhoods every year.

As you talk with others, read books and articles, and come up with information that supports this "birth to work" goal, find a way to share your thoughts by posting links or ideas in web libraries, blogs or social media forums. Below is a map of the information library of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, which has been growing since the late 1970s.

You can find this graphic here.

Collecting, organizing and drawing attention to this information on a regular basis is a huge job. It cannot be done by a single person, or a single small organization. Other owners are needed to support this strategy. Sponsors are needed to keep it going in 2013 and 2014.

View this page to learn more of ways you can help.

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