Friday, April 28, 2023

Building Attention for Youth Tutor/Mentor Programs - Strategy

In January 2019 I wrote an article titled "What the Heck Am I Trying to Do?" The graphic below is one of many that visualize the goal of drawing attention, ideas and resources to every volunteer-based youth serving organization in Chicago.  I've been trying to do this since forming the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993.

There are dozens of articles on this blog that share this strategy, and that encourage leaders in every big city with areas of concentrated poverty, to adopt it.  We launched the Tutor/Mentor Connection in January 1994 (after a year of planning), with the four-part strategy that I show with the concept map below.

While Step 1 of the strategy focuses on collecting information that can be used to build understanding and find better ways to help youth in high poverty areas connect with extra adults who help them move through school and into work, Step 2 focuses on public awareness, needed to get people to look at the information in Step 1.

While I've described the public awareness strategy in many ways, I realized today that I seldom shared the concept map that shows this strategy.  Take a look

This strategy is based on my 17 years working in retail advertising with the Montgomery Ward Corporation, between 1973 and 1990.  Every year we spent millions of dollars on weekly print, TV and radio ads intended to draw shoppers to the 400+ stores we had in 40 different states.  Every month our ads had different themes, timed to what customers were thinking about. So in August we had Back-to-School themes, while in May we had Mother's Day and Graduation themes. Obviously in December we had Christmas and Holiday gift-giving themes.  

So the T/MC built events that were timed to the rhythm of tutor/mentor programs. In August we focused on volunteer and student recruitment.  In November we drew programs together to share ideas while at the same time built awareness of the need for dollars to support every tutor/mentor program in Chicago, with the goal of influencing year-end giving.

While we never were able to get a radio campaign off the ground in February when programs were beginning to look for new volunteers to replace those who dropped out over the holidays, we did build on the January National Mentoring Month attention.  In May we held a year-end conference, to celebrate work done during the year, share ideas, and point people to work needed to launch improved programs when the cycle begins to repeat in August of the next school  year.

Without many dollars for advertising or public relations our strategy aimed to generate media coverage of our events. Our social media and newsletters aimed to draw visitors to our website, library and lists of Chicago youth programs.  

Our goal has been to influence actions people take to help others get involved, to help youth tutor and/or mentor programs grow in more high poverty areas of Chicago and other cities. 

On this page you can see news stories that were the result of repeating these events every year. 

Graphics like the one at the right try to visualize these ideas. You can see it in this article, and, in this article, you can see how interns shared it with their own projects. 

Another graphic that I've used often is the one below, emphasizing the 12 years it take for youth to move through school and the additional years it takes to get into a job and a career.  Kids who have a diverse network of adult support have better opportunities than those who don't.  Living in high poverty areas reduces the reach of your network. Being part of organized, on-going, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs can help expand networks of support.

Through all of this I've tried to motivate other people to use their own media and celebrity status to draw people in their own network to this information.  

I'm still doing that. If you share this article, you're taking that role. 

Thank you for reading. I'm on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Mastodon and other sites. Let's connect. See links on this page.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

How do we know when we are "there"?

Last night I had a detailed dream about the planning needed to solve complex problems.  I wish I had my brain plugged into some type of Artificial Intelligence that could capture such dreams, and put them into text and graphic articles.   Alas. I don't.

In the past few blog articles I've pointed to the #ETMOOC2 on-line learning community, which is digging deeper into AI and ChatGPT.  In past years I've posted dozens of articles showing the value of online learning groups like #CLMOOC and #ETMOOC, with the goal that people working in the non-school youth development, tutor and mentor ecosystem might create similar on-going learning networks.  

The goal would be "How can we do this better?" or how can we reach more k-12 kids with better programs that keep them safe and help them move through school and into adult lives where they can raise their own kids free of poverty?

Then, this morning, I thought of a graphic that I had created several years ago that shows steps in the journey from "here" to "there", or, "where we are now" to "where we want to be in the future".  I found an article and video that I wrote in 2017.  I'm re-posting it below.

---- start 2017 article ----

On Wednesday I posted an article about an on-line digital citizenship conversation, under the hashtag #digciz. I included a graphic from Kevin Hodgson's blog. Today I read another article from Kevin's blog, with a list of  issues he is interested in.

Here to There Steps
That prompted me to look at some past articles I'd written, including this one titled "Social Media and Civic Engagement" where I point to another article by Kevin. In that article I also included this graphic.

Each text box on this graphic represents an issue that I feel needs to be part of any discussion of local-global problems and solutions.  To me civic engagement is not just talking about who gets elected. It's talking to other people about ways we can use our own time, talent and dollars, as well as our votes, to bring solutions to some of those problems.

I created this graphic earlier this year to illustrate how much of our daily attention seems to be focused on what the new President of the US is doing, and what I and others should be doing to resist or elect different people to represent us.

However, the goal was to also show that we still need to provide daily attention to the problems we can solve, if we can just get more people to connect and work together, and more people to think creatively about ways they apply their time, talent and dollars.

In my article I wrote
I'm not just trying to motivate people to read and reflect. I'm trying to motivate on-going investments of time, talent and dollars to support the growth of youth serving organizations that help kids move through school and into jobs.
Thus, my list of topics is focused on problem solving, not just creating on-line discussions and learning opportunities.

I wasn't sure how to communicate what was shown on the graphic, so I decided to put the Lumin5 tool to a new test. Below is the video that I created.

Since 2005 interns have been looking at graphics and blog articles I've created and have then created their own interpretations, which I show here.  

I think one thing educators and leaders of non-school tutor/mentor programs could do is to encourage youth to look at articles like mine, Kevin's and the #digciz community, then build their own interpretations and share them on various social media platforms. Others could do this, too.

For instance, take a look at the visualizations created during this Sketch50 event.   Or look at the ideas Terry Elliott captured in the Storify on his blog.

There are thousands of people creating visualizations daily. I'd like to focus some continuously on the graphics and ideas I've been sharing for the past 20 years in an effort to bring more people and resources to efforts that make mentor-rich school and non-school learning and youth development opportunities available to k-12 youth in every high poverty area of the country.

What do you think? Are your students doing this?

---- end 2017 article ----

I really hope you'll look at the video.  I expand upon the thinking needed, and the resources, and timeframe, to help kids move through school and into adult lives.  

Then look at the structure of the #ETMOOC2 event. It connects people from around the world, on many platforms, in on-going learning about AI and ChatGPT.  This is a model that others could  use in drawing people together to solve complex problems.

YOU could be the person or organization in your community that is building this type of community, or borrowing from #ETMOOC2 to expand what you're already doing.

I hope you'll share this and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Mastodon (see links here). 

And, if you're able, send a small contribution to help me fund the work I'm doing. Click here to learn more. 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Create a WebQuest to learn AI tools

I've been exploring Artificial Intelligence and ways to use tools like ChatGPT with educator friends who I met via the 2013 ETMOOC and CLMOOC on-line events.  This month we're using #ETMOOC2 as a hashtag that connects us and out ideas on Twitter.  

Today I saw a Tweet from Kevin Hodgson, showing a project he developed using AI tools.

I've been inspired by ideas Kevin has been sharing for the past 10 years. Skim some of these posts to see a few that I've referred to.  Kevin uses Twitter to share his thoughts and his blog to show his ideas in greater detail. I followed the link in today's Tweet to this article.   Then I went to the Twine tutorial that he pointed to. 

I think I could learn to use Twine, but that would not do much to attract more viewers to my websites and strategies. 

So how do I apply these tools to help people better understand and apply the ideas I've been sharing on this blog since 2005? 

In 2010 a volunteer who was looking at the resources of the Tutor/Mentor Connection wrote a blog article titled "Thinking like Google", in which he compared the T/MC to Google. He wrote,
It occurred to me that this forum is essentially modeled on a similar format as Google's. a) looks for information, or content, and people relevant to the cause of tutoring and mentoring; b) organizes, analyzes, and archives that information for future reference; and c) utilizes those references for targeted advertising campaigns, social networking, grant-writing, and the like. Even more to the point, this forum is a way of attempting to grow the idea of tutoring and mentoring to scale, or to a point where it "tips".
I've built a huge web library and I've created a variety of PDF essays over the past 28 years that are intended to help people learn ways to support the growth of volunteer-based tutoring, mentoring and learning programs in high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago and other places. While I point to these via email newsletters and social media, I've been looking for new ways to introduce these concepts.

How about a WebQuest?  How might I motivate students and adults to take Michael's advice and begin to journey through my web library, and as they do, share what they are learning with people in their own network, so they begin their own journey through this information.

How might they use some of the ideas and Artificial Intelligence tools that Kevin and others are sharing? 

Several years ago I began to learn about WebQuest and I created an animation to introduce this concept. You can view it on YouTube

Here are a couple of other animations introducing students to a web quest.

Making a map, class assignment, animation.

Doing a web quest.

Interns from various colleges in the US and Asia were on this journey for short bursts of time every year between 2006 and 2015.  I asked them to look at ideas I was sharing and then create their own interpretations. 

In 2015 I asked one intern to look at the "learning path" concept map that I show below. It was intended to help people learn about the ideas and resources I was sharing.

This video shows what was created (first using Prezi, then recorded for YouTube). 

Below is another concept map that shows how people can  use the information I've been aggregating.

I wrote about this "information flow" in this article.

For the past 20 years, I've been updating the links on the web library so all are working, and I keep adding new links. I also keep adding new blog articles herehere and here. Some of the articles written 10-15 years ago are as relevant today as they were then, so while it's important that you subscribe and follow new articles, it's also important that you visit the past and read some of those articles.

learning communities
focused on specific geography
Here's a visualization done by one of our past interns that illustrates the goal of supporting groups of learners in many sectors, who each look at maps to determine where youth and families need more help, and what programs are already operating in those areas.....who need constant support to constantly improve and stay available.

The links in the web library point to more than 200 youth serving programs in Chicago and others around the country. They point to research articles and to business and foundation web sites.  They represent a large ocean of ideas you can use to help programs grow, by borrowing good ideas already working in different places, rather than by starting from scratch on an on-going basis.

Most of the links in the web library point to other people's ideas, not my own. This emphasizes the purpose of the library for myself, and others. We can do more by borrowing ideas from others than from constantly starting from the beginning.

However, some links point to my own ideas, which I've communicated with illustrated presentations which you can find in my blogs, and on this page and in libraries at and SlideShare.

Intern projects from 2004-2015
Students from around the world could be looking at the web library, and my articles, and could be using Artificial Intelligence and other tools to create their own presentations to draw adults and other students from their own community into this information, and into actions that lead to the growth of more programs in more places that help kids move through school and into careers.  Visit this page and see how past interns working with me in Chicago have already been doing this.

Pages like mine could be hosted on the website of every college, high school and middle school, showing work their own students have done to visualize solutions to complex local and global problems.

Why is this important?  The graphic below says "how can we do this better?"

If you ask ChatGPT tell you about challenges facing kids in high poverty areas it would show you some of the reasons we need to be doing better at helping them.  That's why this is important.

If you're hosting a web library, and creating visualized articles to motivate people to visit your library and support youth serving organizations in your community, please share your links so others can learn from you. If you're interested in exploring this idea with me, let's connect. 

Find me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. I'm on Instagram and Mastodon, too. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

National Volunteer Week - April 16 to 22

National Volunteer Week, April 16 to 22, is an annual celebration of the countless individuals who selflessly donate their time and effort to make a difference in their communities. This week serves as an opportunity to recognize and thank volunteers for their contributions, while also encouraging others to get involved and make a positive impact.

As we journey through National Volunteer Week this year, there is no better time to shine a light on the importance of youth tutor mentor programs in Chicago and other cities across the country, and to encourage more volunteers to get involved in these initiatives.

Youth tutor mentor programs play a vital role in the development and success of young people, particularly those who come from underprivileged or disadvantaged backgrounds. These programs provide students with the resources and support they need to succeed academically and build important life skills. By volunteering with a youth tutor mentor program, you can help to provide young people with the tools and guidance they need to reach their full potential.

In Chicago and other cities, there are many different youth tutor mentor programs that are in need of dedicated and passionate volunteers. I maintain lists of Chicago youth serving programs, and point to directories that can help you find similar programs in other cities.

Whether you have experience working with children or not, there is a place for you to make a difference. By volunteering just a few hours a week, you can help to create a brighter future for young people in your community.

So as we celebrate National Volunteer Week this year, let's remember the importance of supporting youth tutor mentor programs, and let's encourage more volunteers to get involved. By working together, we can help to ensure that every young person has the resources and support they need to succeed, both in school and in life.

Disclaimer.  Most of this article was written using ChatGPT, an Artificial Intelligence tool.  I entered a prompt asking it to "Write introduction to article about national volunteer week with encouragement of volunteers to support youth tutor mentor programs in Chicago and other cities."  I've edited the response to what you read above.

Learn about these tools.    

Visit the #ETMOOC2 website and browse the resources, read the blog articles, and join the conversation. 

While you can get directly involved with a youth tutor, mentor and learning program you can become involved at a different level, to help make such programs available to k-12 kids in every high poverty area of Chicago and other cities.

This graphic is one of many on this blog and the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC website that visualizes the role different industries can take to distribute their skills and career opportunities through school and non-school programs so they reach kids in every high poverty area of Chicago and other places (along with non-poverty areas, too.)

Create your own blog to tell these stories.  Borrow from articles I've posted since 2005 and ask ChatGPT and other AI tools to help you create stories.  Teach young people to use these tools and you open vast new career options.

Thanks for reading.  You can connect with me an the #ETMOOC2 community on Twitter and other platforms.  That's a quick way to get involved.

I could not keep spreading these ideas if not for the continuing contributions of a small group of donors. If you can help, visit this page and send a contribution. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Take a Deep Dive into Artificial Intelligence with #ETMOOC2

Last night was the first ZOOM session for a collective learning event involving educators and others from around the world who are interested in exploring Artificial Intelligence and tools such as ChatGPT.  

I've seen a growing number of posts on social media about artificial intelligence and ChatGPT over the past year or so, but have not spent time learning about it.  After a February 2023 reunion of educators who connected in the 2013 ETMOOC virtual learning event a few leaders decided to organize a 'mini-MOOC', to help myself an anyone else who is interested, learn more.

The first ZOOM session was held last night (April 12). The featured speaker was Alec Couros, a professor of educational technology & media and the Director for the Centre of Teaching & Learning at the University of Regina, who was also the lead organizer of the 2013 ETMOOC. 

Alec finished his presentation with an AI generated video of him offering closing remarks.  I show that in the graphic below.

Below is the Google doc that Alec created as an outline for his presentation and as a study guide for anyone wanting to dig deeper.  

I circled a line on this page, with a link to the slides that Alec shared via ZOOM. The video of the session is available now on YouTube.

Below is another slide from Alec's slide deck showing  that people who become skilled at prompting AI tools like ChatGPT to give the information they are looking for can earn salaries of $175k to $335k.

Wow.  My son and I were driving to my doctor's appointment yesterday and he was telling me how he and his girlfriend wanted to make a lot of money. Neither has a college degree and both work at a local grocery store.  He spends a ton of time on his computers, playing video games, so I told him he should investigate the role of "prompt engineer".

The Google Doc that Alec shared has a huge set of links that could be a resource for anyone wanting to explore this potential career opportunity.  I certainly hope leaders of youth tutor/mentor programs will find ways to share this with their students.  You don't need a college degree to make a huge leap out of poverty by learning to use these AI tools.

My son said, "Don't you need to know how to code?"  Maybe. Maybe not.  Here's another slide from Alec's presentation.

Alec showed how some hand written, hard to read, instructions, led to a page of html code which produced the web page shown.  Imagine what you might create if you learned how to use AI more fluently.

That's the point. This is a journey of learning. It never stops.  The ETMOOC group are fellow travelers, learning with you, and offering help and friendship.  

I provided a link to the Google doc that Alec  used. Here's the link the the #ETMOOC2 website where you can sign  up to participate and see the weekly (every Wednesday, 8pm CST) ZOOM sessions that are scheduled.   Visit the Resources page and you'll find an extensive list of learning resources.  This will grow over the next few weeks, perhaps months and years.

Below is a Tweet from Susan Spellman, one of the #ETMOOC2 organizers. 
In this she posts a graphic explaining what a cMOOC is.

Connect, learn and share.

You can follow this learning group on Twitter, just by searching for #ETMOOC2 and scrolling through the Tweets.  You can also follow on Instagram.  I recommend Twitter since that's where most people are posting.  You can also search for #ETMOOC2 on Facebook and on LinkedIn, to see posts by organizers. 

Write about it, just like I am.

During the 2013 ETMOOC participants were encouraged to share ideas via blogs and many did.  That practice continues with ETMOOC2.  This page on SMORE (which I never heard of until this week) has a list of bloggers. 

I really appreciate the work the organizers, who are shown in the slide below, and on this page.  

So, that's a wrap up from last night's first ZOOM session. You're welcome to join in and participate as much, or as little, as you want.  Or just dig into the resources and/or create your own learning circle.

Today I asked ChatGPT to write a summary of the ETMOOC2 exploration of AI. Below is the response:

As an AI language model, ChatGPT was featured in the second iteration of the Educational Technology and Media Massive Open Online Course (ETMOOC2) exploring Artificial Intelligence. The first Zoom session took place on April 12, 2023. During the session, participants discussed various topics related to AI and its implications for society, education, and communication. ChatGPT was introduced as an example of a language model that uses machine learning to generate human-like responses to text-based inputs. Participants explored the capabilities and limitations of ChatGPT and discussed the ethical considerations surrounding the use of AI in various contexts. They also discussed the potential benefits of using AI in education and the challenges of integrating AI into the classroom. Overall, the ETMOOC2 exploration of AI and ChatGPT provided a space for participants to learn about AI and its applications, and to engage in meaningful discussions about the impact of AI on society and education.

In this write up I did not point to the slides where the ethical and education questions of Artificial Intelligence were discussed, but there is a full set of articles that focus on this and the life-changing impact AI will bring.  I asked ChatGPT to describe this.  Here's the response:

During the ETMOOC2 exploration of AI and ChatGPT, participants engaged in discussions about the ethical concerns related to the use of AI in education, particularly among educators. One of the primary concerns was the potential for AI to exacerbate existing inequalities in education. For example, if AI is used to grade student assignments or to recommend courses, it may be more likely to favor students who are already performing well or who come from privileged backgrounds. Participants also discussed the ethical implications of using AI to collect and analyze student data, such as tracking student progress or behavior. There were concerns about privacy and data security, as well as the potential for biases to be introduced into the analysis of this data. Another ethical consideration was the role of educators in ensuring that AI is used in a responsible and ethical manner. Participants emphasized the need for educators to be knowledgeable about AI and its implications, and to actively engage in discussions about how AI can best be integrated into the classroom. Overall, the discussions about ethical concerns related to AI in education highlighted the importance of ensuring that AI is used in a way that benefits all students and does not perpetuate existing inequalities.

See. I'm already using it.  Take some time to browse through the links, view a couple of videos, then start testing this for yourself.  It's all there.  Dig in.  Happy learning! 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Sharing on Twitter

Chicago has a new Mayor and over the past week I've shared some strategies from this blog via Tweets. You can see some of them below.

I hope a few people will read this and then share it so others will also take a look.  Then, I hope some people will say, "I can do that, too!"  and "I can do that better."   Or, "I can create my own version of these articles and apply them to my city instead of Chicago".

That is my goal. Until there are more people in Chicago and other places writing a similar blog, hosting a website like, and sharing on social media, we just won't have enough attention or enough people applying these ideas to create a better future.

Enjoy your week. There's much work to do. 


Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Chicago has a new Mayor; Same Problems

Last night Chicago voters elected Brandon Johnson to be the city's next Mayor.  I've been giving advice via this blog since 2005. I offer my congratulations and support.

I hope Johnson's team will spend time looking at these articles. 

Below are a few graphics that I want to emphasize.

Invest in programs that reach youth living in EVERY high poverty area of Chicago with pre-school programs and continue with age appropriate programs until they are adults and in jobs where they can raise kids free of poverty. 

Build a learning distribution system, engaging the business community, colleges, entertainment, technology and every other sector.  Ask school and non-school programs to put graphics on their website that indicate the many types of learning made available to students and that engage mentors and tutors from a wide range of networks.   Do the data collection and analysis that assures that such programs are available to each grade level in EVERY high poverty neighborhood.

Address the other issues, too. Just building tutor/mentor programs and improving schools won't remove all of the barriers that reduce opportunities for kids living in high poverty neighborhoods or come from minority communities.  

Be a cheerleader and team builder. Be the YOU in this graphic. Use your public appearances, interviews, websites, policy and other tools to connect people from EVERY sector of Chicago and its suburbs to information they can use to learn more about the problems that need to be solved and places where they can use their time, talent, dollars and votes to solve those programs.  

Create a version of the concept map shown below, with your name in the blue box in the middle. Enlist leaders from all sectors to do the same. 

Point volunteers and donors to directories of youth serving programs where a consistent flow of operating dollars are needed to sustain constantly improving, long-term support for kids.  I point to many lists from this concept map.

These graphics just touch the surface of what your team needs to know and support.  Scroll through the articles on this blog to see where I've used these graphics and others that share similar ideas.  In four years I hope to see a collection of similar articles on blogs and websites of many people in the Chicago region.

If you set the example I hope you are re-elected in four years. More importantly, I hope the next Mayor, and the ones after that, continue this set of actions.  

One thing I hope to see are stories showing you standing in front of a map of Chicago, recognizing the leaders who are investing in programs that help kids from birth to work, and showing what neighborhoods they are investing on-going efforts. 

I'd be happy to coach and mentor your teams, or teams from any organization so more people can navigate this information base. 

I'm still using Twitter and can be found on LinkedIn, Instagram, Mastadon and other platforms, too.  Find links here.

I've been doing this work for the past 30 years and now seek leaders from universities and other institutions to take ownership of my archives and my strategies, creating a new, stronger Tutor/Mentor Connection type strategy. Read more in these articles

Now that the election is over I hope a few of your donors will invest a few dollars to help me continue to operate the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and keep the Tutor/Mentor Connection available to Chicago. Visit this page to send a contribution. 

Sunday, April 02, 2023

Crime and Violence in Chicago - Not New

As I read through today's Chicago Sun-Times I saw this article about the violent death of a student athlete from Crane Medical Prep High School on Chicago's Near West Side.

I thought I'd written about Crane HS in the past so did a search and found an article from 2008 with the headline of "Stop the Violence around Crane. Is Police State Mentality the Answer?"

Chicago is electing a new Mayor this Tuesday and that question seems to be dominating voter, and media, attention.

I encourage you to read what I wrote 15 years ago.

start - 2008 article ---

Today and yesterday the Chicago Sun-Times featured two-page stories in response to the shooting of one student near Crane High School, and the severe beatings of two others. You can read 3/17 here and 3/18 here.

These stories focus on the immediate response of setting up police escorts to get kids from one public housing area to the school, because the kids fear retaliation from kids who come from the neighborhood of the youth who was killed. That's a good show of force by our new Police chief. But it's not enough.

Last week an article in the Sun-Times focused on the new book chosen by the Mayor and the Public Library that everyone in Chicago is hoped will read. Why couldn't the choice have been the articles in the Tutor/Mentor Connection web library? Maybe if more people read these we can begin to get more people involved in solving the problems that plague our inner city neighborhoods.

I'm sure the stories about Crane High School are selling newspapers. But, why aren't the editorial and education writers doing stories about how kids who fear for their lives aren't going to be focusing on learning and how this affects the future of Chicago's economy because we're leaving too many kids behind who we need to fill positions in the 21st century workforce?

Why aren't we asking John, Hillary, and Barack what they are doing to engage people in this type of complex problem solving?

Over the weekend I browsed a publication in my library, titled "Wanted: Solutions for America. What We Know Works. An overview of research about what works (and what doesn't) in social service programs." This was published by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change in 2003 (2023 note: The specific link is no longer available. Look at the "solutions" reports in this 2008 web archive).

In the conclusion the article reads "Equipped with reliable information about what works, how do communities move forward to tackle tough problems? If so much is known about promising approaches, why haven't we come farther faster in connecting all citizens to hope and opportunity?"

As the authors of this report conclude, "Change doesn't just happen. It demands gifted and persistent leadership." There are no short term answers to this. Putting an army of police around this school won't solve this problem. It's a band aid. And it won't address the same problem in the area around many other big city public schools.

In many of my blog articles I use maps to illustrate the wide geographic areas where poverty is concentrated in Chicago, and where there are poor schools, gangs and youth on youth violence. I use graphics and concept maps to illustrate what the Pew Partnership was referring to when they said "We have focused too narrowly on specific interventions without confronting the complex interrelationship of issues in a community."

In this concept map of the Tutor/Mentor Connection library I illustrate the four components of the T/MC library, in an effort to draw together people from different silos, and in an effort to expand the thinking and problem solving ability of people who focus too narrowly on just one part of this problem.

Why mentoring? Because mentoring is an adult form of service learning. It can engage adults who don't live in poverty directly in the lives of youth who do. If we can support the growth of hundreds of volunteer based programs around the city we can grow the number of adults who begin to understand this problem, and begin to use their time, talent, networks and wealth to contribute to solutions.

I host a May and November conference with a goal of drawing people who read or write these articles and host these web sites, into face to face networking, and to create public awareness that draws more people to the Internet where they can read these articles and connect with others.

If you're in health care, law, higher education, engineering, workforce development, or if you're a leader, or volunteer, or donor who support tutoring/mentoring programs, I encourage you to use the conference as a meeting place (not offered since 2015) and the T/MC library as a resource for complex problem solving.

If you're the new head of the Chicago Police Department, I encourage you to look at the T/MC as your own strategy. There's no way you can keep an army of police around every high school in Chicago, throughout every school year.

The SunTimes articles show that the problems of gangs have plagued Chicago schools for 20 years and more. It's almost taken for granted. Why?

---- end 2008 article ----

I have not hosted a conference since 2015 due to lack of funds and competition for attention. Yet I still maintain a web library and use this blog and social media to try to draw users to that library. 

I use social media as a meeting place where people can connect and share ideas. 

In many of the articles on this blog, dating back to 2013, I've written about cMOOCs, a form of on-line learning and network building. On April 12th a new gathering will look at Artificial Intelligence.  You can learn about this here and follow along on Twitter using the #ETMOOC2 hashtag. 

I point this out because whoever wins Tuesday's election is going to need to find innovative ways to connect people from this huge city with ideas and strategies, and resources, that lead to better solutions than I've seen in Chicago for the past 30 years. cMOOCs and social media connections are one strategy that can be applied. 

All are welcome to use the library and strategies I've shared.  I'd be happy to help coach any teams through the learning process.

Find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Mastodon and maybe on Discord, too. See links here.

If you can help fund Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, please visit this page and send some support.