Monday, December 30, 2019

Enough is Enough. Do the Planning. Build the Network.

It's time for New Year's Resolutions. I resolve to continue sharing ideas and encouraging others to use information available through the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC website.  I hope others read some of what I share and that you'll spend some time thinking about how your actions might lead to a world with less need to send men and women to fight on foreign soil, or to fight in our own streets and neighborhoods.

I created this Enough is Enough message in 2007. It shows actions people can take to help solve problems we face locally and globally.  The video below is from this 2007 blog article.

I repeated the ENOUGH message again in this 2008 article. Then again in this 2010 article.  Again in this 2012 article.

Again in 2015 article.

Chicago Sun-Times 1992
Again with this 2016 article.

Now as we head into 2020 and a new decade.

Anyone who looks at a media story like this can dig up one of these "Enough is Enough" articles and share it with friends, family, co-workers, faith network, college and more.

Until more people take these steps we'll keep seeing these stories.

Resolve to spend some time weekly in 2020 to take a look and share with others.

teams needed in many places

The primary purpose of the information I'm sharing continues to be to help teams of people grow in thousands of places. Such teams will use their time, talent and dollars to help long-term, mentor-rich non-school programs grow in every high poverty location in Chicago, it's suburbs, and other cities.  These programs will seek to constantly learn from each other, in efforts to help kids move through school and into adult lives.

put yourself in the blue box 
You can use this concept map to frame your commitment. Just put your photo and/or company logo in the blue box at the top. The rest can remain the same, since it shows a commitment, and set of actions, to help youth in poverty move through school and into adult lives. 

I started the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 and launched it in January 1994--- 25 years ago!  I created Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011 to provide a structure in which I could continue to keep the T/MC available.  I continue to seek contributions from others to  help fund my efforts.

If you can make a 2019 contribution, please click here and use the PayPal button. 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Mapping the ideas and vision of an organization

In December 2019 Yahoo  terminated it's long-term support for YahooGroups, by deleting archives for any groups hosted there over the past 20 years.  I was able to pull some of the posts out of the Tutor/Mentor Volunteer Recruitment eGroup, which I had started around 2000 to support our efforts to draw volunteers to every youth tutor/mentor program in Chicago.

I share these here.

Most of what I saved are email newsletters sent from 2001 to 2008. Each included an editorial from myself, similar in content to articles I've posted since 2005 on this blog. 

Here's my message from June 2007.

The title is "Mapping the ideas and vision of an organization".

Many of you have been receiving email or print newsletters from me for many years.

Some of you are receiving this for the first time.  I've found that many people don't understand how a small non profit that operates a single site based tutor/mentor program in one neighborhood of a huge city like Chicago can also lead a strategy that intends to help all high poverty neighborhoods of the same city have comprehensive, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.

Why, and how, can a non profit that does not have enough money to do every thing it wants to do for its own kids and volunteers split its time and money to help its competitors and peers get the money and volunteers that they need to do good work in their neighborhood?

The "why" is because we realize how difficult it is for a small program to attract consistent attention to itself and how difficult it is to find the funding to sustain year-to-year services.  I was lucky to have been encouraged to reach out to my peers for knowledge and emotional support more than 30 years ago when I first became the leader of the volunteer based tutoring program hosted by Montgomery Ward.  I've been doing that ever since.  As a result, I believe that if more programs work to get businesses and donors involved in tutoring/mentoring, we all will  have a greater access to capital.  That helps Cabrini Connections as it helps everyone else.

The "how" we do this is much more complex.  While it's simple to say "help all programs get the resources they need to constantly improve", this really involves quite a few inter-related actions.  If you've every met with me, you've seen me swing my hands in the air and scratch drawings on paper, to try to help you understand what I was describing.  Many people have walked away saying "he's got a lot of enthusiasm, but I don't know what he's talking about."

 Thus, I've been looking for a way to visualize these ideas.  This has led to a use of concept maps, which I've now added to the website.  I encourage you to take some time to study these maps and see if they can help you find and use the knowledge on the T/MC site, or if they help you or business partners, become more strategic in working to increase capacity of all tutor/mentor programs in your community.

You can find links to some of these maps at

If you're still reading this message I thank you for making it to this point.  Now, please become an active part of the T/MC network by sharing this information with other people in your business, faith, college and community network. Encourage them to use the information on the web site to help you and others in your community build and sustain more volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring programs in the neighborhoods where they are most needed.

If you'd like to know more about the Tutor/Mentor Connection, or receive advise about starting a tutor/mentor program, or a T/MC-type network, email

What I wrote in 2007 still applies in 2019 and as we head into 2020.  Below are a couple of PDF essays that communicate ideas from the 2007 article. 

Why Tutor/Mentor Connections was created by small non profit youth program. click here

Tutor/Mentor Learning Network - click here

These and other visualized pdf essays are archived here on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site. 

Since 1998 when we first started sharing ideas on the Internet I've built a huge library of information an ideas that anyone can use to help build and sustain mentor-rich youth programs in their own communities.  This is hosted on several web sites and requires a dedicated amount of browsing, reading and learning to know what's there.

In 2015 an intern from South Korea created this video as a guide to the website. I hope you'll take a look then spend time in 2020 visiting each section and sharing the information with others.

I created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011 to help continue the Tutor/Mentor Connection in Chicago and spread the ideas to other cities. I'm not a 501-c-3 nonprofit, but still depend on contributions to help fund my work.

Click here if you'd like to make a 2019 contribution. Thank you for reading.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays!

Wishing all a safe, happy, hope-filled Holiday.

Thank you to all who have shared ideas, and worked to help youth living in poverty have paths to opportunity as they grow to become adults. 

Thank you to those who have already sent contributions to help me continue this work. If you'd still like to make a gift (not tax exempt) click here.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

What I Wish for Christmas

Earlier this week there was a feature editorial in the Chicago Tribune, "demanding commitment from every Chicagoan" following the senseless murder of 16-year-old Angie Monroy.  It reminded me of similar editorials in past years, and prompted me to create the graphic below.

Media demand action. Why too little result?
At the left is the front page from the October 15, 1992 Chicago SunTimes, which prompted myself and 6 other volunteers to create the Tutor/Mentor Connection, with a goal of creating more consistent attention to draw needed operating resources to every youth tutor mentor and learning program in the Chicago region.  At the right is the Chicago Tribune editorial from December 18, 2019.

telling "rest of the story"

We began building a database of Chicago tutor/mentor programs in 1994 and started using maps to create stories following negative news, attempting to draw attention, volunteers and donors directly to the affected neighborhoods....and to others in the city with similar problems.  I wrote about this strategy in this article.

Unfortunately our ability to distribute our maps widely was limited by our budget and the existing technologies of the 1990s.

The Internet changed this.  We started putting our list of programs on-line in 1998 and launched an interactive program locator in 2004, which was updated in 2008.

shooting in Chicago

From 2008 to 2010 we received funding that enabled us to have a map-maker on staff for 20 hours a week.  This enabled us to create sophisticated-looking maps like the one at the right, which is part of this map gallery collection.

We were able to put these in blog articles, email newsletters and on web sites, but still were limited in how many people were seeing them due to continued lack of funding.

shooting in Chicago

The financial meltdown starting in 2008 resulted in loosing funding, then having the T/MC split off in mid 2011 from the non-profit where it started. I created Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC to try to keep the T/MC operating.  However, I've not found a source of funding or consistent volunteer help for the map-making.

Yet, I've continued to create map stories, such as the one shown above, which you can see in articles tagged "violence" and "media" on this blog. 

While I've continued to share these via email newsletters, blog articles and social media, they still don't reach enough people. In addition, the Program Locator data has not been updated since 2013, and the main site has not been updated since 2008.  Again, due to lack of funds and tech support.

So, what's my Christmas wish?  Here's another graphic that I created this week.

mobilizing my network
Facebook Friends 2012
I celebrated my 73rd birthday and on Facebook received much appreciated "Happy Birthday" greetings from nearly 100 people. 

At the top left in the graphic above is a network analysis map showing my Facebook friends in 2012. The labels on the clusters show that they include former students and volunteers from the tutor/mentor programs I've led, members of my Illinois Wesleyan Acacia college fraternity, family members concentrated around Philadelphia and spread in other parts of the country, non-profit and community leaders in Chicago and the USA, and social entrepreneurs from Europe and the rest of the world.  If I updated that graphic today it would show the same groups but also show a cluster of Connected Learning educators (#clmooc) who I've been connecting with since 2013.  You can view the SNA map in greater detail in this PDF.

I could have used this "bombs bursting in air" graphic instead of the "change the world" graphic in the  upper right. The imply the same thing.  As I launch articles on my blog or web site I'm trying to motivate others to spread those to people in their own networks.

In a conversation this week with one alumni I wrote of seeking younger people to carry on the work I'm doing, she responded "I wish I had the capacity to take on more than just mentoring on Mondays. At the moment I am doing what I can."

I responded "Just posting stories saying you are mentoring, and adding a link to where you volunteer, you are taking a greater role.  Just think "Are there ways my stories might motivate others to get involved?" It doesn't take much time, or have to be done daily. But consistency over time leads others to build their own involvement."

map your network

We all have networks. Most of us don't spend time segmenting our network into family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. then look for ways to tell them "I'm involved", yet if more people did that on a regular basis, more people would be giving time, talent and dollars to support youth tutor, mentor and learning programs and that might reduce the number who get involved with gangs and end up on the wrong end of a gun.

I've been sharing this graphic since the 1990s, first with the volunteers and board of directors of the tutor/mentor program I led. 

volunteer involvement form
of service learning
A key part of the ideas I'm sharing is an effort to get more people personally involved, with time, talent and dollars.

At the left is a graphic and video created by interns from Hong Kong (2007) and South Korea (2011) to visualize how a volunteer involved in a tutor/mentor program learns from her service and can influence others if she shares what she is learning in a consistent way.

This has been a long article, but imagine if more people had adopted these ideas in 1993 and continued to expand the network of people involved for the past 26 years. 

I've been writing articles and describing what I'm trying to do for many years.  If you've read this far and want to learn more, spend a little time every day clicking into the tags at the left, then reading some of the articles. As you do, find a way to share what you're reading with your network.

Start with looking at articles in "master plan" and "A new TMC"

If you want to talk about ways you can help, just reach out to me on one of these social media platforms.

Enjoy your holidays and best wishes to all in 2020.

Monday, December 16, 2019

What Am I Sharing on Twitter?

I used the term "Institute" when forming Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011 to continue the work started by the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in 1993.

tags on this blog
That's because I view the information I've been aggregating as a curriculum that people can study over many years to "learn all that is known" about why and how to build volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs that help kids in poverty move through school and into adult lives, while also expanding the network of adults who support those youth.

Since I started writing this blog in 2005 I've posted more than 1000 articles. The tags at the left side of the blog (shown in the tag cloud) offer one way to search sections of the "library", but there's so much good information in former articles that I don't think most people know exists.

Thus, I use Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook to point to articles I've written in the past. Below are a few Tweets from the last few days.

This points to the commitment I hope many leaders will adopt
This describes the idea of a "webquest" as a strategy for digging deeply into the ideas I share

This uses the Total Quality Mentoring graphic that I created in the 1990s to describe the type of program we were leading.

Finally, this seeks to attract contributors who will support the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC as a birthday gift to me.

If you want to make a contribution in recognition of my 73rd  Birthday, click here.

Thank you for reading and sharing.  I wish you all a healthy, safe, happy and Hope-filled holiday.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Help Me Celebrate My 73rd Birthday

It's my 73rd birthday on December 19. I'm also celebrating the 25th anniversary of launching the first Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) Chicago programs survey in 1994.

I invite readers to help me celebrate, and keep the T/MC vision alive with a gift to my Birthday Fund.

Thank you to everyone who has lit a candle on my birthday cake in past years.  I look forward to your help again this year.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Dec. 7, 1941 - A Day to Remember

On December 7, 1941 the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese planes, which drew the US formally into World War II.

Today we honor the memory of those lost that day, and of those lost and wounded, over the next four years.

Below is a world map showing the positions of Allied (US and friends) and Axis (Germany, Japan and friends) in 1941.  A version of this must have been hanging in the offices of US military leaders.

Blue - Allied countries;  Black - Axis Countries. 1941
The job of planners was to mobilize troops and supplies from the US and Allied countries and place them in direct, and sustained, contact with forces of Axis countries.  When Russia (red area) entered the war on the side of the Allies, the supply chain needed to extend to that portion of the map, too.  That was a huge undertaking, but succeeded over the course of the war.  

Many books, movies and articles have been written that describe how the US turned its economic might from domestic production to military production and mobilized its millions of citizens.  Can this scale of mobilization ever be repeated?

view graphic here
Such a mobilization is now being attempted, led by the United Nations.  

At the right I've combined two graphics. The top is a race-poverty cmap that I created to show challenges youth and families in high poverty areas of the US face.  Under that is the graphic showing the  UN's 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals. You can see both in this article

If you've read many articles on this blog you see my frequent use of maps to focus attention on places where people need help, as a result of violence, poverty, poorly performing schools, or a combination of all of these and other indicators.

If you visit the SDGs website you can find maps like the one I've posted below, which is one of several showing world poverty issues, Goal #1, around the world.  

View this SDGs map here

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals and maps like the one above are available for each. 

Thus, as you think of Pearl Harbor, and how the US and Allies mobilized resources to fight battles in all parts of the world, give some time to thinking of how you might help in the mobilization needed to achieve the SDG goals.  

Here's one more graphic. It's a concept map from my collection that shows the planning needed to support such a mobilization.

Planning needed concept map - click here
On the right side of my concept map is a GIS map, showing all the places in the Chicago region where poverty is concentrated and where organized, long-term tutor, mentor and learning programs are needed to help youth move through school and into adult lives.  On the left are graphics that focus on building public will and the need to influence resource providers, volunteers and public leaders, not just the students, parents and leaders of youth programs in poverty areas.  

data maps
This concept map points to many of the mapping platforms that I draw from to create my own map stories. You can use them, too.

This same thinking applies more broadly to the SDGs.  Without building and sustaining the public will, which the US and Allies did during World War II, there will be no distribution of resources to all places where they are needed and no long-term victory.  

My blog articles and web site are a demonstration of what one person and a small group of people can do to try to create public will and influence actions of others.  Everyone who reads this could be creating their own visualizations and blog articles. Or they could simply be sharing mine through their own personal and social media networks.  

Here's a concept map with links to people who already are doing this "sharing". 

On each of my concept maps is a "help me" graphic, inviting people who value the maps or the ideas I share to provide contributions to do this work. Think of these as "war bonds" asking you to invest dollars to fuel this mobilization. 

If you're able, and willing, to help,  Click Here to add your support. 

Click here to help fund Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC for 2020
Thank you for reading, for sharing this with your network and for your contributions.  Let's honor the memory of Pearl Harbor with the work we do to create a better world.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Tapping Potential of Interactive Technology

Digital Promise - challenges
I saw this Digital Promises Priority Challenges graphic on my Twitter feed today and took the time to visit the site and look at the graphic, clicking on different sort features, such as rural, urban, suburban, etc. as I did.

There is a load of information here, that can support the education research and involvement of people throughout the country.  I encourage you to take a look.

I pointed to the Digital Promise web library in this 2016 article.  In that article I wrote "What frustrates me is that I've not been able to find the talent and dollars to do as good a job showing the information in the Tutor/Mentor web library that I started building even before going on the Internet in 1998."

At the right is the graphic that was used on the home page of the first Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) web site in 1998. The goal was that this would be interactive, meaning you could click on any of the spokes and that would become the center of a new wheel, where the spokes pointed to sub sections of information available on the web site.

web library - open map
In 2005 I began using concept maps to show information in the Tutor/Mentor Connection library, and to show strategy ideas. This is interactive, meaning you can click on the buttons at the bottom of each node and go to external web sites or to other concept maps.

In 2009 two of our interns from South Korea, via IIT in Chicago, created a flash animation showing information in the T/MC library which you can now view in this YouTube Video.

Visit this page and you can see other animations created by interns.

The core component of the T/MC library has been the directory of non-school, volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs operating in the Chicago region, which we started collecting in 1994. We've plotted this information on maps and began to share it via an interactive search portal in 2004.

Then, in 2008, we built a new Chicago Program Locator, starting with a map of the Chicago region, which anyone could use to learn where existing programs were located and where more were needed. They could also use this to identify assets, such as businesses, colleges, hospitals and faith groups, who could help programs in different areas grow.

In 2008 a graduate student from the University of Michigan created this animated introduction to the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, during a one week volunteer service term.  I'm not certain how long this will still be view-able since Flash animation is no longer supported on many browsers. 

The financial sector crash that started in 2008 had a huge negative impact on my continued development of these resources. This ultimately led in 2011 to the separation of the Tutor/Mentor Connection from the nonprofit where it was created and my creation of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC to continue its operation.

While I've been able to keep the Program Locator on-line, and have continued to maintain the web library and list of Chicago area youth tutor/mentor programs, I've not had funds to support a team of people working with me to continue to develop these capacities.

Thus, I look on the work of groups like Digital Promise, with envy...and inspiration.

Below is one of many graphics I've created to communicate the vision and strategies of the Tutor/Mentor Connection & Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC.

I model a role for intermediaries & leaders from every sector.

In this graphic I point to information collection and sharing strategies, as well as effort to motivate leaders to adopt these strategies, with year-round actions that draw needed resources to every youth tutor/mentor program within a geographic region, such as Chicago.  Someone could help me communicate the message of this graphic,  using video, animation or other web tools.

Goal - kids to careers
Just to remind readers, the goal is to help kids move through school and into adult lives. That's what the graphic at the right visualizes.

Thus far, I find few organizations or leaders who incorporate all components of these graphics into their leadership. Thus, there are too few comprehensive services in all the places where they are most needed.  The problems continue from generation to generation.

Any of the graphics and blog articles I've created could be converted to an animation and/or video to communicate the ideas to other people.  In the video below one intern from South Korea created a video that shows work done by earlier interns.

Imagine a future page on a college or high school web site where students and alumni are creating videos like this showing work other students were doing to help make sense of all the information available on my web sites, or on web sites like Digital Promise. 

Youth from any school
could be doing this work.

As I move through the holiday season and into 2020 my wish is that someone from a high school and/or university will read the articles I've written about roles of universities and then reach out to create a long-term partnership with the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC. 

Until that happens I still need your help.

I've put my 73rd birthday campaign on this page.

My "fund T/MI" campaign is on this page.

Through these I hope to find money to continue to share these ideas and keep T/MC resources available on line.

However, my lottery wish is that one of the billionaires supporting change in the world will provide the money to create a Tutor/Mentor Institute on one or more college campuses, based on the ideas and resources I've been sharing. 

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Linked in.  Visit this page to find links.

Thank you for reading. Enjoy a safe and happy holiday period.