Saturday, July 24, 2021

Going for the Gold

 Yesterday was the start of the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.  It also was the beginning of the 2021 NFL football season, with players beginning to report to camp. These events prompt today's post.

Since Gold Medals are being awarded for outstanding individual and team efforts I want to inspire you to read articles I've posted since the mid 2000s about giving "Gold Medals" to those who do outstanding work to help mentor-rich non-school programs be available to K-12 youth living in  high poverty areas.  That could have categories for a) building public awareness; b) recruiting volunteers; c) raising and/or giving money; d) supporting program infrastructure; e) starting new programs in places where more are needed, or where specific types of programs are needed.  

These are medals that can be earned by people who "help" tutor/mentor programs thrive and constantly improve. A second category could be awarded to those working within individual programs, such as a) outstanding student effort; b) outstanding tutor/mentor volunteer; c) outstanding tech support or infrastructure volunteers, d) outstanding program design; e) outstanding communications via website and/or blog;  etc.  

What categories would you recommend?  Who would judge such events?  Who would provide awards?

When you think of team sports, do you think of all the resources and talent needed to put a winning team in the Olympics, or in the NFL or any other professional or college level sport?

I've used this graphic in many articles to visualize the different roles that need to be taken to make high quality, non-school, youth tutor and/or mentor programs available to youth living in high poverty areas.  

While it's the responsibility of the people who organize the team (or the program) to find all of  these resources, couldn't awards be given to those who help draw these resources to one, or many, tutor/mentor programs in Chicago or other places?

Below are two graphics that visualize the need for "teams" of talented people to help  youth have the support they need.  Such teams are needed in every high poverty neighborhood, in every individual program, and at the city-wide level, to assure that there are teams operating in every high poverty area. Here's one article using this graphic. 

This "Virtual Corporate Office" graphic uses a map of Chicago to signal a need for tutor/mentor programs in EVEY high poverty area of the city.  It shows a variety of activities that could be happening within each program.  And it shows support that industries could provide to help one, or many, programs operate at a high level of efficiency.  Here's one article using this graphic.

Imagine how many more people might be thinking about these graphics if they were being Tweeted by LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, or other star athletes, in every sport.  Imagine an award ceremony, attended by the First Lady, giving gold medal recognition to those who help tutor/mentor programs help kids move through school and into adult lives, jobs and careers.

These awards need to be given every year, in every city for many years if the goal is to help end poverty for every youth through education and a decent job.  

Awards should even be given to bloggers who create their own articles calling for people to build and sustain youth serving organizations in more places. 

If you're doing this I'd love to see your article.  Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and/or LinkedIn. See my links on this page

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