Monday, May 16, 2022

Kids not living in high poverty need mentors, too

If you've followed my work for any length of time you see how my focus has been on helping kids living in high poverty areas connect with adult volunteers in organized non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs.  Open the graphic at the left and you can see a 10-point strategy developed in 1993 that I have followed for over 20 years.

For the past few years as I've watched horrendous tragedy of youth using AR-15 rifles to murder groups of people, as in Buffalo this past weekend, I've begun think that there is another category of young people who need a lot of extra mentoring and adult support.


Since launching the first tutor/mentor survey in January 1994 I've tried to build a segmented understanding of existing tutor/mentor programs in Chicago, sorting by age-group served, type of program and location. 

At the right is a graphic showing a vision that I've had for many years, of creating a much more detailed understanding of what types of programs are available within a geographic area.  You can see this graphic in this blog article

Below is an updated version of the graphic.  


I've added another sub-category focusing on youth growing up surrounded by adults who have adopted anti democratic conspiracy theories, religious extremism, White Supremacy thinking, etc.  


At the left is a graphic that I include in a presentation titled "Defining Terms".  The graphic shows five categories of youth who could benefit from help provided by volunteers in organized, on-going, tutor, mentor and learning programs. The large light blue area in the middle, showing youth living in high poverty areas, has been where I've focused my efforts for more than 40 years.... helping kids in high poverty areas get extra support that aids them in the journey from birth-to-work.

I updated this graphic yesterday.  

I added a circle to show "all youth" need support of mentors and extra adults. This is similar to the graphic at the top of this article.  I included elements from the original graphic, showing youth with special needs and youth living in high poverty areas.

However, I added two more shaded areas. One focuses on children of the super-rich, who grow up living in a far different reality and level of experiences than do most other kids.  Can they empathize with the challenges other kids face, and use their wealth,  power and influence to help society overcome these challenges?

The second shaded area is more troubling. This includes all youth who are growing up surrounded by adults who have adopted anti democratic conspiracy theories, religious extremism, White Supremacy thinking, disinformation from FOX News and other sources, etc.   The terrorist who murdered 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket was clearly influenced by such an environment.

In an organized, non-school tutor, mentor and learning program youth can connect with a wide range of adults and experiences.  Not all programs have this design, and few offer all of the possible learning opportunities that might attract kids and keep them coming back every week for many years.

But that's the goal I've shared for 20+ years.
Now I think we need to be finding ways to reach kids who don't live in poverty (without reducing our on-going efforts to provide more and better programs and support to kids who DO live in poverty areas).  

I don't even know where to start.  

Well, I do, really,  I need to find a place where someone is collecting articles and research about this and also aggregating links to organizations working to combat the formal and informal grooming that is turning so many young people into disenchanted, destructive human beings. 

The graphic below shows categories in the Tutor/Mentor web library at https://tutormentorexchange.net/resource-links.  I can add another category but I'm not sure what to name it yet.  


I'll share this article on my social media posts and look for suggestions and recommended links from my network.  I don't intend to make this the primary focus of the library, but hope to be able to point to others who do make this the primary focus of their work.  

This page shows links to my social media pages, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.  I look forward to connecting with you there. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

View the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Video Library

Over the past 35 years many videos were created showing the work done at tutor/mentor programs I led in Chicago and sharing the ideas and strategies of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, which I launched in 1993.

While you can find these on YouTube I've created an archive of these on my main website

There are two pages with videos I created, interviews that I was part of, and videos from the conferences I organized in Chicago between 1994 and 2015.  

There is also one page with projects done by Interns. 


I had been hosting these on a different site, which I'm no longer able to edit. Thus, by building new pages on my main site I can add new videos as more are created.


Most of the videos that I'm pointing to focus on the Tutor/Mentor Connection part of the two-part Cabrini Connections - Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy that I led from 1993 to 2011.  In this panel I point to a Vimeo site with 49 videos focusing on Cabrini Connections.  There's also a YouTube channel for Cabrini Connections/TMC.

While I've piloted my strategies in Chicago I feel that any major city in the world, where there are pockets of concentrated poverty, could apply the ideas in these videos to their own community.


That means students from middle school, high school and/or colleges could be creating their own versions of these presentations, using maps of their own city and pointing to youth programs that already operate in those places.  They could also use any of the blog articles I've posted since 2005 as content for their own blogs and videos. 

By doing so students build creative communications skills and learn roles leaders need to take over, and over, for many years in order to help kids born  in poverty move from birth-to-work, or to solve any of the other complex problems facing our world.

If you create new versions, just point to where you got your ideas, and send me a link so I can help you draw attention to them.

Thank you to those who make small contributions to help fund my work and keep these sites alive on the Internet. If you'd like to help, visit this page



Thursday, May 05, 2022

Data visualization - public health resources

I have been using maps since 1993 to focus attention and resources on neighborhoods with high poverty, where kids and families need extra support. In the photo at the left I'm pointing to a 1994 Chicago Tribune article talking about "240,000 City kids at risk." 

I started collecting research articles and "how to" information in the 1970s and accelerated that work when we formed the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993.  In 1998 we started putting the library and our ideas on the Internet and the library has grown much larger since then.  

It's intended to be information anyone can use to reach those "city kids at risk" with programs and services that help them move through school and into adult lives with jobs that enable them to raise their own kids free of poverty.  

While I started using maps in 1993 the use of maps and data visualizations really did not gain much traction until the mid 2000s when newer technologies were made available.  Since then there are many on-line resources where  you can find uses of maps.  I point to many from this section and this section of the tutor/mentor library. 

I add new links regularly.  

One way that I highlight what's in the library is through the use of concept maps created using cMapTools. This week I learned about some new public health data visualization platforms, so I added them to the library, and to two of my concept maps.

This first map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/TMI-MappingData

This concept map shows a variety of data visualization platforms, related to poverty, inequality, education and public health.  At the bottom of each node is a small box. If you put your mouse over it you will see one or more links that will open to the website once you click on them.  

This second concept map focuses more specifically on public health and the Social Determinants of Health.  Find it at https://tinyurl.com/TMI-PublicHealth-Hope


You'll notice that this concept map focuses on "HOPE" as a powerful medicine.  Much of the research that I've read points to the truth of this.  In areas where people live without hope, there are high incidences of poor health, violence, crime, depression, etc.  Just providing "hope" and "opportunity" changes those conditions.

In both of the concept maps there is a node titled "Public Health Data Resources".  I added it this week after reviewing work done by a company called RS21, which is a "data science company that uses artificial intelligence, data engineering, user experience design, and modern software developments to empower organizations to make data-driven decisions that positively impact the world."  

That's pretty much the purpose of the web library I've built since 1993. 

Below is a map created using the Urban Health Vulnerability Index, created by the RS21 Health Lab


This version shows Chicago. You can search for many other cities on the platform.  I'm showing hospitals as an overlay. You can zoom in and look closely at any part of the city or surrounding suburbs.

The next platform is called "Zoom in by Humana", which was also created by the RS21 Health Lab. 


This also has data for multiple cities. I'm showing San Antonio here, which was the example used in this video. The description starts at the 28.49 minute segment (if you don't want to watch the entire video). I also wrote about it in this blog article

I'm highlighting the video because of how well the speaker describes ways to use the data visualization. 

My goal with articles like this is to not only show you some useful data visualization platforms, but to motivate thousands of people to use them to create map stories that build public awareness, motivation and draw needed resources directly to specific parts of Chicago or other cities.  

At the left is one example from the 1990s. When we saw the headline about a youth being killed, we plotted the address on a map. We added information about non-school tutor/mentor programs in the area, and then added a list of programs along with assets in the same area (businesses, hospitals, universities, etc.) who should be helping tutor/mentor programs grow.

Below is another map-story from the 1990s.


Since 2005 I've included maps in several hundred articles.  In this article you can find newer examples. In this article I show more. 

In this article I show more uses of maps in stories.   

These are examples that I encourage others to duplicate in their own stories. 


In the Urban Health Vulnerability Index map hospitals in Chicago are shown, distributed in different locations throughout the region.  In the graphic at the right I show a few of the colleges and universities in the region.  

Each hospital and/or university could have on-going strategies that help pull kids from the neighborhood to college and into jobs and careers.

In this and other articles I have been encouraging high schools and colleges to create student led Tutor/Mentor Connection-type programs where students are collecting this information and sharing it via their own blog articles, videos, PhD projects, and social media.  

If such programs had been in place since 2000 there would be hundreds of blogs like mine, calling on more people to give time, talent, dollars and votes, to build programs in areas where the data visualizations show great need.

Unfortunately, I don't know any who are doing this.  When I talk to leaders of companies like RS21 I encourage them to take a role in teaching people to tell stories using their data visualizations.  Hopefully some will take this role. There might be a lot more HOPE in some of the areas which continue to be areas of high poverty and high violence. 

I keep looking for others who are using maps in stories, with the same goal of helping mentor-rich youth programs grow in high poverty areas. If you're doing this, share the link in the comments, or on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.  If I see it I'll add it to my list of blog articles.

Thanks for reading.  Please share. I'll look forward to connecting with you.  

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Using Internet Archive to Find Broken Links

One of the most frustrating elements of the Internet is that links to sites I pointed to in past years (from 2005 on) are now broken. Thus, if you look at articles I posted in the 2000s on this blog, you will be frustrated to find not-working links in many places.

Here's what I do to overcome that problem.  

First, when I find a broken link, I look at the root of the links. That's the first part, which I've underlined in the example below.  

www.tutormentorexchange.net is the root.  I remove the rest of the link and see if the original root site is still working.


If the site still works, and has a search field, I enter the name of the website or article and see if it's on the site, but in another place.  If it is I update my blog article or web library with the new link, so it is there for the next person who looks at the article.

If I can't find the article on the original website, I put the article name in a Google search, and see if it is available in another place.  If I can find it then I replace the old link with a new one.

However, I'm often not able to find the article.  That's when I visit the Internet Archive at https://archive.org/web/ 


At the top of the home page you'll see the image below:

Enter the ULR of the broken link then click on the "browse history" button.  Below you can see the result of my search for https://tutormentorexchange.net/mapping-the-programs

Your search will reveal any history available in the Internet archive, or, tell you that no history exists. For the web address I input, you can see along the middle bar that there are many results, dating back to 2009.  In the calendar below the middle timeline, archive dates are shown.

If you put your mouse over a highlighted date on the calendar, then click the link provided, the archived page will open.  You can see my archived page for March 23, 2022.


In the circled area at the top of the page, in your browser address line, you'll find the location of this page in the web archive.  For this page it is: https://web.archive.org/web/20220323074928/https://tutormentorexchange.net/mapping-the-programs

That is the address you put in your blog article and/or library as the archived location of the page with the broken link.

What's interesting is that you can look at this page at different points in time.  This page has been saved 79 times since 2009.  Click on any of the black bars and the page saved for that date will appear.  


I clicked on a 2009 page and was able to look at the version of the site from that date.


Let's look at another website.  I used http://www.tutormentorconnection.org as my primary website address since the late 1990s when my first site was launched.  That site was taken off line in January 2022, so is now only available in the Internet Archive.  Below you can see the result when I entered that URL in the search bar.


The site has been saved 450 times since 2000.  Thus, if I open November 4, 2021 you'll see the site as it was just before shutting down. 


However, if you open the site from October 2007, this is what you'll find.

Below is the home page from August 2004, the year before the tech team at IUPUI rebuilt the website. 

I'm only showing the home pages. For most of these sites you can open interior pages and see most of what was on the site at that time.

Here's one more valuable feature of the Internet Archive.  You can add new links to it.  Here's an example.  

At https://www.vialogues.com/vialogues/play/34104 you can find one of several videos that I put on the Vialogues site in past years.  Earlier this year I learned that the site will stop working in the near future.


To preserve these video conversations I went back to the Wayback Machine.  In the image below you can see a "save page now" box.  I entered the Vialogues address for the video above.


Below is the search result.  I've circled the date of the archive, which was March 18, 2022, and the new URL for finding the page. 


This is the saved page.  The new URL is in the browser line at the top of the page. 


I put five of my videos in the Internet Archive so now they will remain available as long at the Archive is available.  This blog and other websites that hold information that I've collected over the past 25 years are all available on the Internet Archive.  That means future social engineers, historians and community builders will be able to find this information well beyond my lifetime and the active life of the sites I still maintain.  I hope they use it to build Tutor/Mentor Connection type strategies in every major city in the world that support a wide range of Birth-to-Work volunteer-based youth learning programs. 

The Internet Archive is a non-profit and needs donations to remain available. It's one of the sites I make a small annual contribution to. 

It's pretty interesting, and a valuable resource for finding and replacing broken links on a website or blog.  I hope you find this introduction useful.