Monday, January 26, 2015

Birth to Work Requires New Thinking on Resource Flow

This is National Mentoring Month, and the final event will be the National Mentoring Summit being held in Washington, DC. I've attended in the past and there are great speakers and many valuable workshops.

I'm not able to attend this week, but hope to still influence some of the thinking that goes on, with articles like this and others I've posted for many years.

In the graphic above I show a photo of kids from Cabrini Green in Chicago who I met when they were in elementary school and just starting participation in the tutor/mentor program I was leading. I also show the photo of one of them many years later as a alumni who has finished college, is working, and has taken time to speak to current students. The photos are part of an image showing the work some people, like parents, teachers, mentors and tutors do to "push" kid through school. I can't tell how often I've said to my own kids, "If you'd just listen to what I'm saying your life would have many more opportunities."

The graphic also shows what I feel business leaders need to do to "pull" youth through school and into jobs and careers. All youth need this help. Some kids who live in more affluent areas have more people opening doors to them as they grow up. They also have fewer people modeling negative career aspirations.

While many businesses will receive recognition as outstanding leaders in support of youth mentoring during this week's National Summit, I'm not certain how many devote dollars to "research and development" efforts aimed to support the actions their companies do to help youth from multiple locations move through school and into jobs and careers, or to understand how their encouragement and support of volunteer involvement helps develop and retain the talent of their current employees. Thus, my hope is that this and other articles stimulate that thinking.

I posted an article on the Mapping for Justice blog, titled, R&D for Business Support of Tutor/Mentor Programs, and included this map, along with two others, to guide business leaders as they dig deeper into this information.

I hope you'll share this with people you work with, who are mentors, or who are decision makers within big and small companies. In the ROLE OF LEADERS pdf shown below, I encourage company leaders to appoint a "get it done" person to lead their R&D effort, since that is someone who looks for opportunities rather than someone who might be protecting a limited philanthropy budget.

Role of Leaders - How CEOs can help inner city youth from birth to work by Daniel F. Bassill

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