Saturday, August 21, 2021

Learn from Tutor/Mentor Connection newsletters

Six volunteers and myself formed Cabrini Connections in late 1992 to provide 7th grade through high school support to teens living in the Cabrini-Green area of Chicago.  At the same time we created the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) to help similar programs reach k-12 youth in every high poverty area of the city.

We started telling our story via print newsletters in 1993, The first issues went to our database of about 400 people. However, over the next 9 years I kept adding to the database and by 2002 we were sending the newsletter to more than 12,000 people in Chicago and around the country.

Over the past couple of days I've shared images from some of these with the goal that people who are concerned about poverty, inequality, urban violence, etc. will use these as templates for creating their own versions of the T/MC and leading it for the next 20 years.  Please take a look.

"It is imperative that society provide opportunities" "We have the words but we lack the will" How many programs are needed? Tips for recruiting volunteers. We need to drain the swamp, but we're up to our neck in alligators. Endorsement from Tim Henry, of the Friends First Program at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. View all of the past newsletters from 1993 to 2002. The image below shows the vision of mentor-rich non-school programs located in every high poverty area of Chicago, which can be identified using maps with overlays showing indicators of where programs are most needed.  I've shared these ideas for over 25  years by too few people have even seen them.

The need for the types of volunteer-based youth programs that I've describe in this blog and my newsletters is as great in 2021 as it was in 1993.  The challenges of building and sustaining public will and a constant flow of operating and innovation resources, to EVERY program and every high poverty neighborhood still has not been met.

However, if teams of researchers in Chicago and other cities use my archives as a starting point, they can build versions of the T/MC and do it better than I ever could....if they can attract the funding and talent needed.

I am 74 and don't know how many more years I have left to share this information and/or coach those who might want to duplicate the T/MC.  Thus, if you're reading this, and recognize the lack of leadership in your own community, start reading and learning, so you can create your own version of the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

I'm on Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Facebook, so let's connect.  Find links here.

No comments: