Saturday, June 19, 2021

Get to know Dan Bassill

I've spent so many years thinking of ways to help volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in high poverty areas that the ideas and experiences from the past fill my dreams.  A few nights ago I asked "Who is Dan Bassill?" and realized that while I've a ton of articles that share my ideas I wasn't sure if I had a place with a few articles that answered that question.

So I browsed a few sites and found this Tutor/Mentor Business article, written by Sara Coover Caldwell, in 1997. You can read it here

Sara joined the tutor/mentor program at Montgomery Ward in the late 1980s and during one social event I said to her, "I'm looking someone to write a book about the tutoring program."  She responded, "What about making a video instead?"  From my advertising experience I thought of how much that might cost and shared my doubts.  She said, "I can do it. I'll raise the money."  Over the next nine months she created the video below that was shown on WTTW TV in Chicago in late 1990.


If you view the video and read the comments, you'll see many asking, where are these kids now? I've never had funds to do an extensive study, but I am connected to dozens of former students on Facebook, extending back to 1973 and the student I first mentored. He has finished college, and has raised to sons, who have both finished college (or are close to it.). He's one of many with similar stories. It's great to see these successes and hear many say how important the tutoring programs were to them.

If you read the article, you'll see that Sara Coover Caldwell became one of the founders and first Board of Directors members of Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection, which I, Sara and a few others formed in late 1992.  Today she's living in California and using her talents to teach Film and Media Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara and to make award-winning horror films.  Learn more from this Wikipedia page.

I added a link to the Tutor/Mentor Business and a couple of blog articles where I've reflected on the past 45  years to this page on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC website so now when my dreams ask me "Who is Dan Bassill?" I'll have a better place to point people who want an answer.  

Sara wrote the Tutor/Mentor Business in an attempt to find a publisher who'd fund a full book.  We still have not found that, but as you read through my blog articles and dig through my websites, you'll find a wealth of information for anyone who does want to write a book about my work over the past 45 years as well as my ideas for building and sustaining long-term mentor-rich programs, like the ones I led, in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago and other cities. 

Some might ask, "Why don't I write the book?"  I have. The chapters are blog articles and pages on my website. It's available to everyone in the world, through the Internet.  I keep adding to it.

I don't have the discipline, or energy, to try to put this in printed book format myself. Furthermore, since I embed links in so many of my articles, I'm unable to visualize how this would work in a printed format.  Thus, I invite others to take that journey.

I hope you'll take a look.

I'm on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Find links on this page.

Let's connect. 

No comments: