Monday, June 27, 2016

I'm Pointing to the Past So We Can Change the Future

I have been spending time over the past year going through my archives and scanning photos and reports to my PC, then saving them to my Drive and web sites.  At the left is a photo of Arne Duncan, former Secretary of Education, and former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, speaking at a 2001 Chicagoland Tutor/Mentor Volunteer Recruitment Campaign press conference mobilizing volunteers to be tutors/mentors in Chicago area youth serving organizations.  If you visit this link, you can see PDF reports from 1995-2003. Scan through these to see who all was involved, the media attention, etc. 

I started building a list of Chicago tutor/mentor programs in 1993 and published the first printed Directory in 1994, then launched the volunteer recruitment campaign during August/September, in 1995. I began piloting uses of GIS maps in 1993 and have continued to focus on maps and visualizations through 2016.  

This was all part of a master plan intended to help great k-12 youth serving programs be available in all high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago...and to help each get a more consistent flow of volunteers, dollars, ideas, technology, etc., that each needs to sustain their efforts and constantly improve their impact.

The campaign was supported by the pro bono efforts of a Chicago PR firm from 1995-2001, and grew in 1999-2003 because a single foundation provided $25,000 a year to pay for a part time professional to work year-round on the campaign.  That funding ended in 2002 and no foundation filled the void.  This was part of a 2000-2003 financial meltdown when we lost many donors, including our major sponsor, the Montgomery Ward Corporation.  This page shows print media stories generated as a result.  This PDF shows a 1998 version of the "master plan". 

So why am I sharing this information in 2016?

Because the conditions that motivated us to create the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 are still present in Chicago and other cities as we head through 2016.  And I created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011 to try to keep the T/MC alive in Chicago. 

Because there still is no master plan that works like the "corporate office" to help great  youth serving organizations and schools be available in every high poverty neighborhood.

This newspaper story is from 1993.  I wrote about it last April and I've been posting stories like this on this blog since 2005. 

I think leaders in Chicago, or any other city, could dig into my archives, and web library, and find a wealth of ideas they might apply to create a new Tutor/Mentor Connection-type commitment and strategy, with the involvement of leaders and volunteers from every segment of business, education, religion,  politics, entertainment, media represented.

For that to happen one or two universities will need to form programs, where students dig into my on-line archives to understand 40 years of thinking, just as these interns have been doing for short periods of time since 2005.  They will also need to dig through my file cabinets and binders and catalog and share the rest of this archive so that what I did every day to build and sustain a Tutor/Mentor Connection is shared as a lesson and motivation for others.. 

We need to learn from the past in order to not repeat mistakes made by past leaders.  We also need to learn from the experiences of the past in efforts to innovate better solutions for the future.

Since 2011 I've continued to support the Tutor/Mentor Connection via the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC. I'm available to help anyone who wants to dig into this least for a short while longer.

1 comment:

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Here's a 2008 blog article which includes a quote from one of the tutoring program leaders who participated in the volunteer recruitment campaigns.