Friday, November 16, 2018

Helping Youth Through School - Do These Ideas Interest You?

If you do a Google search for "tutor mentor connection" then look at the images page,  you'll see dozens of graphics that I've put in articles on this and other blogs over the past 15 years.  You can click on any of those and go back to the article where they were used. Ideally, thousands of people would be doing that.

In this article I'm going to show a progression of ideas, visualized with graphics.  I hope you'll follow along.

The goal: Reaching k-12 youth in all high poverty areas of Chicago, or other regions, with mentor-rich programs that help kids through school and into adult live, jobs and careers.

This graphic is part of this Slideshare presentation

This graphic combines the understanding that building and sustaining great programs in thousands of places is not easy.  Drawing youth and volunteers into these programs and keeping them involved for many years is also not easy. It requires persistence and constant innovation.  It also requires a constant source of funding, to attract and keep talented people involved in this effort.

Comprehensive response to indicators of need, such as high levels of violence in some neighborhoods. 

See this graphic in this blog article
It was just announced that the Youth Guidance Becoming a Man Program, in partnership with Thrive Chicago, and Chicago Public Schools, received a major grant from the Obama Foundation.  That's part of a huge effort that focuses on youth and young adults who are in a high risk "opportunity youth" profile category.

However, unless investment is made in programs that reach youth earlier, to help them through high school and into college or other post HS education, help them aspire to jobs and careers, and help them avoid the negative influences surrounding them, there will always be a new wave of youth coming into the high risk pool. 

Planning needed, in Chicago, and in every other city.

This graphic has been used in several blog articles - take a look
This concept map contains a lot of information.  At the right is the same graphic that was included in the first graphic shown above. Then there are maps, showing high poverty areas of Chicago. All of these areas need great programs reaching kids from first grade through first jobs and on-going careers.

In the middle is a chart that shows stages of planning. Steps 1 to 7 are shown in this article.  Step 7 talks about the need to build and sustain public will, for many years, to mobilize needed resources to make great programs available in many locations.

Maps are a key part of all of the strategies I've shared for the past 25 years.

Open maps, media and violence tabs to see uses of maps
A map shows all of the places in a city where kids, families and schools need extra help. It can also identify potential partners to support youth development and education efforts. And, maps can be used to show the distribution of needed resources, so that planners can adjust marketing activities to draw more resources to under-funded, and under-served areas.

Influencing actions of resource providers, not just non profit organizations. That's the graphic shown at the far left of the planning map, and also shown below.

Steps in this Influence graphic shown in this article
Without providing a consistent, on-going flow of talent, ideas, dollars and other resources to EVERY youth program operating in Chicago and other cities, it will be difficult, if not impossible to build and sustain the needed programs that result in far greater numbers of youth born in poverty areas being in jobs and starting careers by their mid to late 20s.

In one section of the Tutor/Mentor web library I point to articles that show challenges facing the non-profit sector. Toward the bottom left side of this blog I point to a few of the web sites that are included in my library. 

One is the From Poverty to Power, a UK blog, which featured stories yesterday, and today, that show challenges of building comprehensive solutions to complex problems, along with some suggested improvements on the existing system.

I've been trying to find a champion that would support my innovations in this effort ever since launching the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993.   Here's an article posted on PCWorld magazine in 2009 by someone who had spent time getting to know me in the previous years. He included me in a list of people he recommended for MacArthur Foundation Genius Awards.

Not only did I not get nominated, but that was the second year of the financial meltdown of the late 2000s. It's the primary reason that I had to create the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011 to try to keep the Tutor/Mentor Connection available to Chicago.

If you like the ideas I'm sharing, visit my FUNDME page and send me some financial support.  If you're one of the 1% and want to become my benefactor, to assure that these ideas go forward past my own lifetime, then look in your mirror and decide  how, and  how much, you want to help. 

I'm on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN and can be reached at tutormentor 2 at earthlink dot net. I hope to connect with those who understand how important these strategies are.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

12 Months Until Next Veteran's Day. Make Good Use of That Time

While this year's efforts to honor veterans is past, we've 12 months till we do it again. How will  you use that time? 

I spent three years in the Army in the late 1960s, serving in Military Intelligence. I'd studied history in college prior to joining the Army, so I understood the role of collecting best available information for leaders to use in making decisions. Over the past 40 years I've amassed a large web library, that anyone can use to build and sustain volunteer-based programs reaching k-12 youth living in high-poverty areas of big cities.

Every November since starting this blog in 2005, and in the months in between, I've posted articles that call on veterans and active duty service men and women to use the skills they have learned to support an "intelligence-based" effort that fills high poverty areas with needed programs, and helps each program get the on-going flow of resources each needs to constantly improve their ability to help youth overcome the challenges of poverty as they move through school and into adult lives. 

I invite others to do the same.

This map visualizes this process. You can find an explanation of the graphic here, and here.


On the right hand side of this graphic I emphasize the use of maps. Unless leaders use maps to show all of the places within an urban area where poverty is concentrated, and where other indicators show a need for extra support, it's likely that strategies will only reach a few places, not every place where help is needed.

Step 7, on the far left, is equally important. Unless we focus on ways to build and sustain public support for this strategy, the flow of resources to all of the programs that need to be involved will be too small and or discontinued too soon. Here's an article I wrote about building public will recently. I hope you'll look at it.

Steps 2 through 6 are on-going, but they involved building a deeper understanding of the complex challenges of reaching youth in all parts of a geographic region with a wide range of supports that help them move through school and into adult lives. This deeper learning extends far beyond understanding how to be a tutor or mentor, or how to organize and lead a youth serving organization.

I encourage you to look at this graphic which shows that affluent people face many of the same challenges as people living in high poverty.


In this book titled "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis", Robert Putnam, see my article, shows that kids living in affluent communities have many more resources available to help them and their families overcome their challenges. Youth living in high poverty communities not only have extra challenges, but have far fewer resources to help them and their families overcome those challenges.


When I describe a Total Quality Mentoring program, I'm thinking of programs where some volunteers take on many roles beyond acting as a tutor or mentor. This PDF focuses on the extra roles volunteers might take to help youth and families overcome more of the challenges shown on the graphic above. There is no limit to what things a team of planners might look at.

TQM programs are learning organizations where youth, volunteers, staff and leaders are constantly reading research and looking at work being done in other programs, with a goal of constantly innovating ways to help youth stay in school and move toward jobs, which means they also are looking for ways to engage a wider range of volunteers who can model different types of careers, and who can open doors to part time jobs, internships, vocational training and college as youth grow up. A TQM program offers a network of support, via the Internet, that can last a lifetime. A TQM program also shares its own ideas, strategies and challenges on its own web site so others can learn from them while they are learning from others.

I don't know how many programs in Chicago, or around the country, actually fit this TQM Program description, and have never had the manpower to do the on-going searching to find out which programs already operating in Chicago have the vision and strategy that heads them in this direction. It's the type of program I led between 1993 and 2011.

Understanding where services are needed, and what types of services need to be available within a geographic area is one challenge that planners and "intelligence gatherers" need to focus on. However, another challenge is to understand the infrastructure that is needed to support effective on-going learning and mentoring within every organized tutor/mentor program. Understanding the different functional roles that need to be filled enables intermediaries, donors and third party supporters help provide this talent, and keep it in place for many years.

I want to end with a though that addresses the talent and manpower needs within the youth serving world. I encourage you to view this presentation and think of how veterans could fill many slots, in many different tutor/mentor programs, and how other veterans working in various industries and professions could support them on an on-going basis.



As planners look for ideas the articles I've posted on this blog since 2005 and the ideas I share in the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site and library offer an extensive source for deeper learning and inspiration. Building a network of mentor-rich, Total Quality, youth serving organizations that reach youth in all poverty areas of big urban areas like the Chicago region, offers job and career opportunities for thousands of veterans, while also providing a support system that helps more youth move from poverty neighborhoods into a wide range of jobs and careers, including careers in the military.

This year's Veteran's Day celebration is over.  I hope you'll spend time over the next 12 months looking at this and other ideas for ways veterans can continue to serve and make a difference in the world.

If this article resonates with you, please visit my FUNDME page and make a contribution to help me keep sharing stories like this, while also maintaining the resources on the Tutor/Mentor Connection/Institute, LLC's web sites. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Best Memorial. Make a Better World for All

I spent three years in the US Army from 1968 to 1971, following my graduation from college. I was no hero. I was lucky not to be in a combat zone. I was fortunate to spend time in Baltimore, Washington, DC and in Seoul, South Korea, where I expanded my understanding of the world.

When I returned from South Korea, with my tour of active duty completed, I spent six months working at the Woolco department store in the DeKalb, Illinois area, then came into Chicago and joined the Montgomery Ward company as a retail advertising copywriter.  Over the following 17 years I rose through the ranks and held various management roles in the advertising department between 1980 and 1990.

Leo & Dan - circa 1974
Shortly after joining Wards I was recruited to be part of the company sponsored, volunteer-led, tutoring program that connected employee volunteers with 2nd to 6th grade kids living in the Cabrini Green housing complex, which was located near the Wards headquarters complex where I worked.

I was assigned to work with a 4th grade boy named Leo, and at the end of the first year his mother said to me "He talks about you all the time. You've got to tutor him again next year." I did, and we've stayed connected for the past 45 years.

I've given this 'get involved"
message every year since 1975
At the end of my first year I was also recruited to be part of the committee of volunteers who led the program, then the next year, I was tapped to be the leader. I held that role until 1992 when I and a few others left the original program and formed a new program  (Cabrini Connections) to help kids who aged out of the first program after 6th grade have a support system that helped them from 7th grade through high school and beyond.  I led that until 2011.

As we were launching the new kids program a 2nd grade boy named Dantrell Davis was shot and killed in Cabrini Green and the media headlines were demanding that "everyone take responsibility".  I had been building a list of Chicago non-school tutor/mentor programs since becoming a leader in 1975, using it to invite peers to connect and share ideas on a regular basis, so I knew that no one had a master database of existing programs, thus, no one could lead an on-going communications effort intended to help great tutor/mentor programs reach k-12  youth in all high poverty areas of Chicago. 

So, as we created the new kids program we created the Tutor/Mentor Connection.  The graphic below visualizes our local commitment to youth in one program and our global commitment to help youth connect with volunteers in other programs throughout Chicago.
I started trying to find ways of using maps in 1993
Over the past 25 year's I've continued to lead that effort, with various degrees of success in different years, and also with an on-going series of set-backs and struggles, that ultimately led to the creation of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011, and a decline in what I've been able to accomplish in the years since then. 

Yet, I still maintain a web library and use my blog and newsletters weekly to draw attention to this information and try to motivate others to take meaningful, on-going roles, in helping youth tutor/mentor programs grow in multiple locations.

I created this concept map to show milestones from 1992 through 2017.  In the upper left corner you can find this link, showing milestones from 1965 to 1992.

1990-present time line - open map
The goal of this work has been to help well-organized, mentor-rich, non-school youth programs grow in all high poverty areas of Chicago and other cities around the country. The strategy applies to rural areas and reservations, too, but with different challenges driven by the size of the geography and the low density of the population and pool of potential volunteer mentors.

I'm writing this the day before Veteran's Day, or Armistice Day, which celebrates the end of World War 1, and the sacrifices service men and women have made in all wars.  I've posted Veteran's Day themed articles most years on this blog. They all focus on what we can do to honor the sacrifice of those who gave their lives in foriegn wars, from many countries, not just the USA.

I have received various awards and recognition for my years of service, ranging from the Army Commendation Medal in 1975 to an honorary PhD from Illinois Wesleyan in 2001. 

However, the best reward is the thank you's I've received, such as this, and this, from kids and volunteers.

I don't find many people who have been in leadership roles at youth tutor/mentor programs for as long as I have been. I find even fewer who have spent as much time every week for 25 years or longer to help youth tutor/mentor and learning programs grow in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago or any other place in the country, or the world using the four part strategy I have piloted since 1993.

I keep looking for such people. I also keep looking for a benefactor who will recognize my efforts and provide more than a "thank you" to help me upgrade everything I've been doing, while embedding the Tutor/Mentor Connection/Institute in one or more  universities and/or think tanks.

Thus, this is my Veteran's Day 2018 message:

Remembering the sacrifices of those who have given their lives, bodies, spirits and loved ones to this country can be best done by making daily commitments to actions that reduce poverty, strife, inequality, conflict and destruction of Mother Earth and other forms of life.

I hope you've read this and will share it with others as you do your own remembrance.

Here's my FUNDME page. I hope you will help me continue doing this work. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Election Day. I Voted. More Work Ahead.

I voted today and it looks like millions of others are doing the same.  Now we'll spend tonight and the next few days following the results, and hoping that enough voters have fought through all of the barriers put in place by incumbents, of both parties, and placed votes that bring in a new wave of results-oriented, progressive representatives, at the national and state level, all over the country.

Whatever happens, the work to make life opportunities better for disadvantaged youth, for people fleeing conflict and persecution in foriegn countries (or in this one), and for people just looking for better opportunities for themselves and their families, will continue tomorrow.

Look for programs on Twitter
I say CONTINUE because there are hundreds of youth and family serving organizations already operating in Chicago and other places who have been doing needed work for many years. We need to find and support them with time, talent, dollars, technology and ideas, so each is constantly growing their impact.

You can search my list of Chicago area programs at this link.

Chicago Community Areas -
youth in poverty
At the same time we need to be developing information tools, such as the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator that my organization developed between 2004 and 2009, that can be used to determine where more programs are needed and to help identify assets (business, faith groups, hospitals, colleges, etc) who could be helping programs grow in different parts of the city and suburbs.

In addition we  need to support those who are building information libraries that can be used by anyone to better understand issues, opportunities and challenges that need to be overcome.  The video below is an introduction to the web library that I have been building since the early 1990s.



My library divides into four sections, which I show in the cMap below.  The two sections on the left (green node and yellow node) contain information focused on poverty, inequality, youth development, education and lists of youth serving organizations in Chicago and around the country).

Open link under each node to dig deeper into each section - click here

The two sections on the right (pink and orange) contain information anyone in the world could use to support social entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations working to make life better for people and planet Earth. Open the links under each node, and dig deeper into the library. Return often.

The graphic at the right is a combination of a "Race-Poverty" concept map that I created and The Global Goals graphic showing the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.  See it in this article.

Every node on this graphic needs to have an information library similar to the one I've been building.  People working to solve problems that these graphics point to could be using some of the links that I have in the two nodes on the left side of my map.

They could be adding more.

I've been collecting and sharing information as part of a Tutor/Mentor Learning Network strategy, launched in 1993.  This presentation describes the work I've been doing and shows that much help is needed.



Anyone collecting information related to any of the problems we're focused on in today's election, could be following the same path that I've been on, creating an information hub, and an learning network, where more and more people with different talents, resources and networks could be working to solve some of the problems that we're focusing on in today's election.

This article is just one of more than one thousand that I've posted on this blog since starting it in 2005. I encourage learners to dig through past articles, using the tags shown at the left, to discover ideas posted in the past that are still important and relevant for solving problems in the future.

I'd be happy to  help people think this through and walk you through the library I've been hosting.  I'd love to find a university who'd want to create an on-campus Tutor/Mentor Institute and take ownership of the work I've done for the past 25+ years.

However, I also would appreciate a few people who have read this far to visit my FUNDME page and send a contribution so I can continue doing this work until other partners step forward.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Youth as Leaders - Unlimited Potential

Over the past year young people around the country have risen to levels of leadership and political action not seen since perhaps the 1960s.  Let's hope this continues.

With this in mind I want to share three presentations that focus on roles young people can take to help build systems of support for themselves and for other kids who live in high poverty areas of the country and the world.

Once you've identified an issue you care about, how do you turn this into leadership that mobilizes other people to help you innovate and implement solutions...which may take many years, or even decades, to see any impact?





Any leader needs to find ways to tell his/her story on a regular basis, educating people and recruiting others who will help.  Since 1994 I've followed negative news media stories about violence, poorly performing schools, gangs and poverty  with map-stories that go beyond the headline to telling more about why this incident happened, and ways youth tutor/mentor and learning programs could be part of a long-term solutions...if they are available.   I call this a "Rest of the Story" strategy.

In this presentation I show that youth in schools across the country could be duplicating what I've modeled.



You can also see this on Slideshare at this link


While some young people might find and read these articles, or might develop needed leadership and communications habits on their own, I feel that educators in middle school, high school and colleges, as well as staff and volunteers in organized youth programs, could be mentoring kids to take this role.  The presentation below encourages schools to create Tutor/Mentor Connection type student leadership groups on their campuses.



This presentation is also on Slideshare at this link.

Each of these can be used to stimulate thinking of youth, educators and others in communities across the world.  I'm available to coach the formation of these groups and the articles I've written for the past 13 years on this blog, and before that in presentations like those shown above (see more here).

While I freely share these ideas I need help from readers to continue to do this work. Please visit my FUNDME page and add your support. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Plenty in Real World to Stoke Halloween Fear

Lots of real world things to be scared of.
I'm getting ready to start a new week. The last of October 2018. Halloween will be on Wednesday, and there are plenty of things to scare me.

It looks like Brazil has just elected an ultra right wing president and many of us are morning the massacre of innocent people at a Synagogue in Pittsburgh. While we're hopeful that next week's US midterm elections will bring control of the US House back to Democrats and Progressives, that's no guarantee that any of the terrible things happening in the US and the world will change.

I just read two articles that add to my sense of despair.   One article shows how right wing political movements and ideologies have grown around the world, fueled by social media and uses of the Internet.   A second article digs into the Wikipedia world and find a lot of things that stink.  Here's a cMap where I point to many more issues that concern me.

Thinking local. Fearing global.
It's in the context of thinking of the long-term impact resulting from how we're electing right-wing leaders in the US and throughout the world that I re-examine my own long term efforts to help well-organized, volunteer-based, non-school tutor and/or mentor programs grow in high poverty areas of Chicago, where adults connect with youth when they are as young as elementary school, then stay connected through high school, and into adult lives.

Birth to Work goal
That's what the graphic at the right visualizes.

The kids in the upper left were in 7th and 8th grade when this photo was taken  in the mid 1990s. I'm pictured at the right in late 2000s photo when one of these kids came back to talk at the annual year end dinner. It's 2018. We're still connected on Facebook. That's what I mean by "long-term".

Below is a page from the February-March issue of the printed newsletter that I was able to mail to about 10,000 people from 1994-2002.  Email and web sites took the place of this as I ran out of money to continue the printed newsletter.

Feb-March 2000 T/MC Report 
This article includes a map of Chicago, showing high poverty areas where organized tutor/mentor programs are most needed, as a way to expand the social capital, or network of people and experiences, for kids who have a limited based of work and career models, and people opening doors to opportunity, in their lives.

Connect your network to information
Here's a graphic that communicates the same idea. On both graphics the large circle represents the information library that I have been building since I started leading a single tutor/mentor program in Chicago in 1975.

The circle also represents a meeting place, or community of people, who gather on a regular basis, like people in faith groups do, and people in classrooms do, to learn from a central library information and ideas, and to innovate ways they could help tutor/mentor programs grow in different parts of the city and suburbs.

Anyone can take this role
I took this to another level when starting the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993. In my 1973-1990 retail advertising career at Montgomery Ward's corporate headquarters in Chicago we supported 400 stores in 40 US states, through the work of various central office teams.  They could do that because they knew where existing stores were located, and where there were potential customers for new stores.

By building a library of information, and a directory of existing tutor/mentor programs, my goal was that people in these learning and planning groups would begin to think of ways they could help all youth tutor/mentor programs within a geographic area get the ideas, dollars, talent, technology and other things each program needs to be great at what they do.

Instead of every program constantly reaching into a small pool of resources for what they need to operate, my vision has that others who care about what these programs were trying to do, would use their own time and talent to help mobilize these resources and push them to programs in every part of the city...based on the list of programs I was hosting (and still do),

My success over the past 20 years has been hindered by disasters like Montgomery Ward, our main sponsor, going out of business in 2000, and by the 9/11 terror attack, the following wars, natural disasters, then the financial melt-down of 2008.

Mayor Daley at 1997 T/MC Conference
However, I also was never able to get consistent, in-depth, support from Mayor Daley, major foundations, or other civic leaders. I had one business person visit my office in the 1990s and after I walked him through the strategy he said "I love what you're doing, but I'll never support you....because I want to start my own thing."

Since 2011 I've not had an organizational structure to help me continue the Tutor/Mentor Connection. I created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC with the hope that I could generate revenue through consulting or by finding partners to invest in this strategy. That has not happened.  As I write this I'm wondering where the money will come from to keep my bills paid for the rest of this year...and into 2019.

Yet the need for non-school youth serving organizations reaching k-12 youth in high poverty areas is as great today as it was in 1993.

Enough is Enough - link
That brings me back to the start of this article. Kids entering school today will take 12 years to finish high school and another four to eight years to be starting stable jobs and careers.

That's 20 years.

What will the world look like in 20 years? Will people of color, people of different faiths or different gender identities, or who are fleeing conflict in their own countries, be seeking a refuge from the terror in America by then?

Or will we have gone through a third World War, fueled by nationalist leaders in different countries? Will there have been civil wars within the US and other countries, pitting extremist ideologies against each other?

Knowledge base needed - link

Local-Global Strategy.
While my local focus has been to help youth tutor/mentor programs grow in Chicago neighborhoods, the process I've piloted is knowledge-based problem solving. If someone aggregates information about a problem others can use that information to innovate solutions.

With this in mind I've begun to expand the knowledge base I host, pointing to articles about social justice, inequality, poverty, etc. I also point to articles about the climate crisis and about some of the political issues that I feel need to be better understood by more people.

To help people navigate the information I've been collecting, I created this article, which has a list of links to various sections of my web library.

Using this, anyone can start to do their own learning, and can begin to form a circle of friends, family, co-workers and faith group, who dig deeper into this information and try to create a different future than the one we seem to speeding into.

Is it enough? I feel that I'm pushing a huge rock up a steep mountain, with too little help, and too many other issues competing for attention. With the growth of right wing governments I fear the mountain itself will collapse, and what we do to build systems of support for disadvantaged youth will have no benefit.

Or, will this be the only thing that matters? Even if the entire world is in flames, our will to survive will continue to burn brightly, and our need to provide systems of support for our kids, and each other, will still be with us.

If you can help me keep this information resource available, visit my FundMe page

While I seek help, I also seek partners or a way to make the resources and ideas I've aggregated since 1993 a part of the work others are doing.  Visit this article describing "a bold experiment called MITx U.Lab" and compare what they are describing to what I've described in this and other articles on this blog.  How can I get this group to adopt the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC as one of its focus areas?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

What Am I Looking At?

I use graphics to communicate ideas and to highlight web sites or articles I've been looking at.  I thought I'd share some of these today to show what I've been looking at recently.

Last week I attended a Chicago Ideas Week event titled "2 Milles. 16 Years: Chicago's Death Gap" , that focused on health disparities in different neighborhoods of Chicago.  See my follow up article at this link.  During several of the Chicago Ideas events a graphic designer was chronicling the conversation. This shows the topics discussed in that event.


As you look at this graphic, I encourage you to view this 'race-poverty' concept map. It shows the range of issues affecting people in high poverty areas of Chicago and other cities.

During the Chicago Ideas Week presentation one panel member listed three needs of the community. Jobs was number one. Programs that provide hope and opportunity for youth was number three.  Later I found this article talking about "The Limits of Job Creation".  I highlighted a concluding section where the writer talked about the importance of creating networks of support for youth. This is what I feel well organized, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs offer.

Limits of Job Creation article

Here's another graphic from my library. I included this in an article I wrote a few weeks ago, titled "Never Forget".  In this article a parent of one of the slain young people shares his fear that nothing will change because of a lack of leadership and public will.

Click here to see more stories like this 

The problems of Chicago are problems of people in other places. Thus, solutions, and supporters, can come from any part of the world. The Internet makes this possible.  It's why I have spent so much time on-line since the late 1990s.  I created this graphic recently to visualize the way I've been connecting with people and ideas from around the world, via on-line events like Equity Unbound, which is an event hosted on Twitter and other platforms.

view cMap at this link
This graphic shows a section of a Twitter hashtag map that I created to help me archive conversations like Equity Unbound so I could re-visit them on a regular basis and see what new information has been added. If you look at the full map, it shows a large range of conversations, which to me represents the ecosystem of people who need to be connected, engaged and learning from each other.

View the entire cMap at this link

One frustration is that while I find Twitter the easiest place to connect with others and find new ideas, I only find a small percent of the Chicago youth tutor/mentor programs on my list actively using Twitter. Thus, they are missing out on this opportunity to learn from others, and each other.

Here's a graphic I created a long time ago to show the local-global focus of the Tutor/Mentor Connection and the site based Cabrini Connections tutor/mentor program, which were both launched in early 1993.

View this PDF on Scribd. at this link
When we started Cabrini Connections with seven volunteers and five teens in late 1992 we said "one more small program can be life-changing for a few youth, but won't dent the problems of high poverty facing the 200,000-plus youth living in poverty areas of Chicago.  That's why we created the Tutor/Mentor Connection, and why I still lead it via the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC.

I've shared stories with graphics like these over and over for more than 20 years.  In my 1973-1990 retail advertising career working for the headquarters of the Montgomery Ward corporation in Chicago I worked to help more than 400 stores in 40 states attract customers every week. I can't understand why it is so difficult for people to apply the same thinking to try to support the growth of hundreds of volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs in high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago and other cities.

Well, I can.  Competition for resources is one reason. The rules and traditions of philanthropy and government funding are another.  However, it would seem that more people would look at the maps and articles I've been sharing and say "I want to help you do this. Or, I want you to help me do this."


Here are a couple of graphics where I've added a "read my blog" message. I've shared these on other media, including Instagram, in an effort to attract more people to these stories.

Will it work?  Worth a try.

All of these stories are intended to motivate more people to do the learning needed to better understand problems and possible solutions, and to encourage them to connect with each other in on-going efforts to fill map areas with a wide range of youth, family and jobs support....including volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.


 If this is something you value, can you help me with a contribution to my FUND ME campaign?

Saturday, October 20, 2018

New Videos on Tutor/Mentor Institute Video Page

Students, volunteers and interns have created videos showing Tutor/Mentor Connection/Institute, LLC strategies since late 1990s. I started creating a few videos myself, in late 2000s. I've added a few more in the past year.

While you can search YouTube for these, I created a few pages where you could more easily find and view these. Below is the first page of the collection.

Find these videos at this link

I realize that the page layout is really crude, but it's the best I can do with the talent and dollars I have.  Thus, I invite others to create and share their own versions of these, or volunteer your talent to create a  new template for sharing these videos.

These and all of the articles on this blog focus on one big question that required on-going involvement of many people to find and implement answers.

What will it take to assure that all youth born or living in high poverty today are entering careers by age 25 or 30?

I look forward to connecting with you on one of these social media platforms.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Follow up to #ChicagoIdeas, #ToAndThrough, and more

Yesterday I attended one of the Chicago Ideas Week events, titled "2 Miles, 16 Years: Chicago's Death Gap is a Crisis".  Below is a Twitter post that shows the map shared at the start of the panel discussion, to show how where you live makes a huge difference in how long, and how well, you live.

This is a map showing far Chicago's West side neighborhoods. As I listened to the presentation I said to myself, with considerable frustration, "they are preaching to the choir" and "why have I not been able to get into these conversations at the planning stage?"

I Tweeted out a string of post during and after the presentation, attempting to connect participants with information and ideas I've been sharing for the past 25 years. Here's one Tweet:




Since this discussion focused on Chicago's West side, I want to call your attention to a few maps I posted in recent stories, that also focused on the West side.  Here's one:

Chicago West side
This map shows non-school tutor and/or mentor programs on the West side. It's part of this article, where I point to roles hospitals and universities could be taking to help give kids greater hope and opportunity, by helping well organized,  long-term, volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs reach k-12 youth throughout the map area.

Mt Sinai Hospital - Chicago West side
Here's an article I wrote in 2008, focusing on roles that Mt. Sinai Hospital could be taking to help youth tutor/mentor programs grow in the area served by the hospital.  I've had conversations with various staff from Mt. Sinai since the late 1990s, but never have been able to forge anything strategic that would have helped them implement the strategies I've been sharing.

Below is a concept map that I created in December 2017, to point to various public  health networks and resources that I've been pointing to since late 1990s.  One of these is the Hospital Youth Mentoring Network, that operated from the late 1980s until the early 2000s.

Open concept map in this article, then click on links

T/MC 2001 newsletter
In this Feb/March 2001 Tutor/Mentor Connection newsletter you can see a photo at the top of the page, showing how members of the Hospital Youth Mentoring Network participated in one of the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences that I held in Chicago from May 1994 to May 2015.

Prior to starting this blog in 2005, I  used email newsletters, and web sites, to share ideas and strategies. Prior to that I was able to send a printed newsletter to about 12,000 people three times a  year, from 1996 to 2002. When funding ran out I had to discontinue this. 

Finally, here's a map story from 1997.

This shows all of the strategies I've been trying to incorporate into our map stories for more than 20 years.  

It follows a feature story in the Chicago Tribune. Thus, reader attention had already been built. We just needed to tell "the rest of the story."

Using donated ESRI software we were able to create a map showing the location of the school featured in the news article, which was located on Chicago's West side. In that map we showed indicators, such as poverty, which contribute to failing schools.

We wrote a story to go with the map.

We built a list of youth tutor and/or mentor programs located in the area. We also built a list of assets, businesses, hospitals, faith groups, colleges, etc. who could be helping youth tutor/mentor programs grow in the area.

In 2008 I received a generous donation of $50,000 which we used to rebuild out desk top mapping capacity, then to build an interactive map directory that people could use to create their own map stories.  In this wiki page you can see what this was intended to do.

Map views created using Program Locator
Unfortunately, we had almost no money to share these map stories or to keep updating the Program Locator. We put some in our printed newsletters, but the reach was limited. The Program Locator has not been working properly since 2013.

Yet, this is still the strategy I've been following for 25 years and which I share with the goal that students in high schools and colleges, and in existing youth programs, will duplicate my efforts and create map stories focusing on their own neighborhoods or adopted sections of the city.

Open tabs for media, maps, violence and public health on this blog, and then browse articles on this blog, and on the MappingforJustice blog to find many examples of this strategy in action.

Almost every week there is a group of people meeting some place in Chicago, or in other cities, to talk about poverty, violence, inequality, etc.  Last week it was the Chicago To & Through Project annual meeting, held in Chicago.   I can only attend a small number of these, and even if I'm in the room I'm barely able to have a conversation with the one or two people sitting next to me.

Are participants sharing info from events?
The only way to connect such a large ecosystem of people and ideas is through the Internet and platforms like Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.

Yet, if organizers of these events created a network analysis map of their events to see who is engaging on one of these platforms, they'd find that it's only a very small percent of the total.

Among all of the other challenges, this is one more that needs to be addressed.

Here's one more. I'm starved for money pay my bills and keep writing this blog and hosting my library on line. If you value what I'm writing about you can help me in three ways.


1) visit my FundME page and send a contribution; or become a sponsor of one of my sites;

b) add me to your staff as a consultant, and on a retainer, then use me as a resource to help you understand all that I've been collecting and sharing;

c) share my articles with people in your network