Saturday, February 10, 2018

Do They Give Olympic Gold Medals for Ending Poverty?

Jefferson Award for Public Service 

I posted an article with this headline in 2007.  Since the 2018 Winter Olympics have just started, it's time for an update.

When I wrote my 2007 article Chicago had just won the right to compete with other cities around the world to host the 2016 Olympics (later they lost the bid).

I asked, "What do these cities have in common with Chicago?" They all have neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty and disenfranchised youth. They are all seeking ways to prepare their youth for 21st century jobs and careers.

So I proposed that a Gold Medal competition be established to see which city can do the most each year from 2007 until 2016 to build comprehensive, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in all of their high poverty neighborhoods, which are funded by the businesses who will get rich off of the Olympics, and who also are pointing fingers at public education because it's not doing enough to prepare low income youth for 21st century jobs and careers.

Read "Planning Steps-War on Poverty"

I suggested that there could be one winner each year from 2007 till 2016 and a grand prize winner at the 2016 Olympics.

I also suggested, "Maybe this will become a tradition and will continue until the 2116 Olympics. What would the world look like then as a result of such a focused effort in cities all over the world?"

Finally, I wrote "I just wish as many smart and powerful people in Chicago were focusing on the goals of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, as are focusing on getting the Olympic bid."

Where do you start learning about ways to compete for this award? Visit the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site and begin to use the links and forums for your own learning and collaboration. You can even take a leadership role now, by using your blogs and your own media and web sites, to point your customers to meeting places where these ideas are being discussed, on-line and face-2-face. 

I concluded: "So far there is no Olympic Medal for Best City in ending Poverty."  That is still true in 2018. 

 If you'd like to become a sponsor and partner to create such an award, email, or connect with me on one of these social media sites.

Note: one outcome of lack of support for this strategy, and the recession that started in 2007-8 was that the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) strategy was discontinued in the non-profit where it originated in 1993. I created the Tutor/Mentor Institue, LLC in 2011 to try to find new sources of revenue to keep the T/MC alive in Chicago and to help similar intermediary organizations grow in other cities.

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