Thursday, March 28, 2024

What motivates me

If you've read any of the articles posted on this blog since 2005 you'll see that I'm constantly advocating for the growth of comprehensive, long-term, volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs that operate in non-school hours and connect k-12 kids living in high poverty areas with adults who work in a wide range of industries and have many different backgrounds.

What drives this passion?  Experience.

I led one volunteer-based program from 1975 to 1992. It served 2nd to 6th grade kids. I led it as a volunteer while holding a full-time retail advertising job until 1990, then became the first paid executive director when we turned it into a non-profit organization in mid 1990.

Below are two of the yearbooks that I created for that program.

The first if the 1976-77 yearbook.   View at this link. About 100 pairs of kids and volunteers were involved.

The second is the 1988-89 yearbook.  View at this link.  Over 280 2nd to 6th grade kids and 300 workplace volunteers were involved that year. 

When I joined as a volunteer tutor in 1973 the program was already eight-years-old.  I became its leader in the 10th year.  We grew over the next 15 years because of the organization I brought to the program and the way we engaged volunteers as leaders, not just tutors and mentors.  

I left that program in October 1992 and with the help of six other volunteers we formed a new program, called Cabrini Connections, to help kids who aged out of the first program after 6th grade have continued support all the way through high school.

Below is the 1994-1995 annual report for Cabrini Connections. View at this link

Below is the annual report for 2008-09.  We stopped doing print versions around 2000 and did PPT reports through 2010.  Here is the link.

Here's a folder with Cabrini Connections-Tutor/Mentor Connection Annual Reports from 1995 to 2010. Each report shows the activities that we offered to support student and volunteer involvement.  If you lead a program you might duplicate some of this work in your own program.

We held the first sessions of the Cabrini Connections program in January 1993, meeting with some teens monthly at Wells High School and others every Saturday morning at St. Joseph's Church on the North side of Cabrini-Green.  We were reaching 42 kids by June of 1993.

Then in the fall of 1993 Montgomery Ward gave us an entire floor of their corporate tower, over 20,000 sq ft of space, and we began expanding. 

If you view page 6 of the 1994-95 annual report you'll see how the number of students enrolled grew from 42 in June 1993 to 90 in the fall of 1995.  Page 7 of the report shows similar growth in the number of volunteers, from 30 in spring 1993 to 103 in the fall of 1995.

By 1998 our graduating class of high school seniors included five teens.  In 1999 it was nine. Thus the size of the program did not grow much since seniors were graduating each spring. 

In 1999 everything changed. Montgomery Ward was sold and we had to move to rented space in Cabrini Green to continue operating.  We lost Wards as our major donor in 2000 after they went out of business. And we lost many more donors in 2001 and 2002 due to the financial crisis after the 9/11 attack and the Dot-Com melt-down. 

Our move to rented space meant we had a much smaller facility for two years. Then we moved to a bit larger space on Huron, near the intersection of Halsted and Chicago Avenue. Our average enrollment from 2000 to 2010 remained at about 80 teens and 100 volunteers.   Open this PDF and see photos showing the 10 years from 1993 to 2003. 

In 2010, I created a report showing a decade of work. On page 10, I show HS graduates each year from 1997 to 2010. View that report at this link

We did all of this while also building the Tutor/Mentor Connection, to help similar  programs grow in all high poverty areas of Chicago. 

In November 1992 when we decided to form Cabrini Connections we realized that one more small non profit could be life changing for a few teens, but would have little impact on the more than 200,000 kids living in high poverty areas of Chicago. So we decided to split our resources and create an intermediary that could help tutor/mentor programs grow in many places.  We spent all of 1993 doing research and planning and launched in January 1994 with our first survey to learn about other tutor/mentor programs in the city and suburbs.  That led to our first published Directory of Programs and first Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference in May 1994, and first citywide Tutor/Mentor Volunteer Recruitment Campaign in August/September 1995.

In each of the annual reports from 1995 through 2010 you can see work done to help tutor/mentor programs, including our own, get the resources they need.  If  you look through the articles I've tagged with "history" and "archives" you can see more evidence of what we were doing.

Then browse through the sections of and see everything that is available to help tutor/mentor programs start and grow and to help leaders be more consistent and strategic in supporting them.  

I often said that I was an effective leader of the Tutor/Mentor Connection because I also led a single tutor/mentor program. I knew how hard it was to attract kids and volunteers and keep them coming week-to-week and year-to-year. I knew how difficult and frustrating it was to attract and keep donors.  

Yet I've often heard from parents and alumni how important our program was to them.  I often heard from people in other places how much they appreciated what the Tutor/Mentor Connection was doing.

In all these years I've really only had one mentee, which was Leo Hall, who I was matched with in the fall of 1973, when he was entering 4th grade. We met weekly during the school year for the  next 3 years.  After 6th grade Leo continued to volunteer to help the program as one of the Junior Assistants who passed out milk and coffee. So we stayed connected.

I did not take another single youth as a mentee because as leader of the program, they ALL were my mentees.

I received a call from Leo this morning. He spotted a scam on Instagram, where someone had set up a duplicate account, using my profile picture. I reported it, and so did a couple of other people and that account has been removed.  I'm at on Instagram. 

As we talked Leo told me to expect a call from an event organizer who was putting together his 60th birthday celebration. He wanted me to be there, or to record a video, if I could not be there.

Thus, my own experiences leading a single tutor/mentor program drive my passion and make me a credible advocate for cities building and sustaining  volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.

The other thing driving my work is this front page from the October 15, 1992 Chicago SunTimes, following the shooting death of a 7-year-old boy in Cabrini Green.   The headline says "7-Year-Old's Death at Cabrini Requires Action".

If you open this folder you'll see many similar stories that I've collected over the past 30 years. They "Demand Action" but very few follow that with the type of on-going effort I have modeled.

Which is not enough.

As I talked to Leo today I again encourage him to use his own talents to amplify my "call to action" and to encourage other alumni to do the same.  As I write my blog articles I encourage you to share them and get other people involved.

Be like Dan.

You can't just say "ENOUGH". 

You need to act regularly to draw people to information they can use to be better informed and to be motivated to use their time, talent, dollars and votes to build and sustain volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in more places and to help remove the structural racism that has roots extending back over 300 years in America.

I think I've written enough for today.  Please connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other platforms and share my posts with your network.  

And, if you can spare a dime, please visit this page and make a contribution to help me keep these archives and my library available to you and others. 

Monday, March 25, 2024

Learn more about Poverty in America

Last May I posted an article with the headline, "Poverty in America. Why so Much?"   I pointed to a presentation by Matt Desmond, and encouraged readers to watch it.

Today on Twitter (X) Matt Desmond shared a slide presentation that people can use as a study guide to understand poverty and take actions to reduce it.  Here's the website where you can download the presentation. 

Below is a slide from the PDF version. (scroll down to bottom of home page to find "Teaching Resources".

There are a lot of slides, with great visualizations, and each chapter has questions that can be used to stimulate discussion in learning groups.  

The only thing missing from this is a chapter on social capital and ways volunteer involvement in on-going tutor/mentor programs can increase the number of people motivated to spend time reading Desmond's book and sharing these slides with their network.

Below is a concept map that shows the birth-to-work timeline.

Look at the text box in the lower left corner, showing the role volunteers in tutor/mentor programs might take.  Desmond's book mostly focuses on policy and what voters can do to reduce poverty. I'd like to see a chapter showing the support that needs to be made available, at each grade level, to every youth living in a high poverty area, and what policy, philanthropy and business involvement can do to make these supports available in more places. 

Here's another concept map showing growth of volunteers who are well-supported in on-going volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs. 

I show this graphic in this blog article. I also show how interns created to animated versions of this graphic more than 14  years ago.  It takes an intentional effort for leaders in volunteer-based programs to educate volunteers on this issue. It take consistent, flexible funding from donors for programs to hire and retain staff who do this well, and to make long-term, mentor-rich programs available in more places.

It takes network-building, like I keep repeating with this graphic.  

Unless more people become personally involved, and get friends, family, co-workers and their professional networks involved, and stay involved for decades, we'll still see "poverty books" 20 years from now, with little change from today, or 30 years ago.

This is EASTER week. Millions around the world will be celebrating.   

I've posted EASTER week articles almost every year. Here's one from 2018 which has a link to a PDF presentation with the maps shown above.  

I've been preaching this message for 30 years.  This blog and my website could be additional resources to people trying to understand the issues and solve such a complex problem.

However, too few have ever seen what I'm writing. You can change that if you share my blog articles and create your own versions to communicate these ideas.

Imagine a strategy in faith communities that engaged their congregations in an on-going study of poverty, using resources such as Matt Desmond's study guide and book.  What if they created maps showing which of their congregations had such study groups in place?  

I found Matt Desmond's post on Twitter (X). That's why I still use the platform. I'm also using many others. Find the links on this page.

Thanks for reading this article.  If you want to help me continue this work, please visit this page and make a contribution.  

Friday, March 22, 2024

Using maps to draw attention and resources to high poverty areas

This week I watched two panel discussions hosted by Friends of the Children - Chicago.  One is shown below. You can find the second at this link.


Friends of the Children has a long-term model of supporting kids from first grade through high school.  In these videos the speakers make a case for why volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs are needed in areas with many indicators of need, such as high poverty, violence, poorly performing schools, etc. 

I've used graphics like the one below to emphasize the need for long-term programs in high poverty areas of Chicago, so I'd like to see more programs who build such support for kids into their core strategies.  

What I did not see in the videos was anyone holding up a map of Chicago, saying "We need programs like this in every high poverty neighborhood, not just a few."

I've been using maps since 1994 to show where tutor/mentor programs are most needed, and where existing programs were already operating. I've also used them as part of a "Rest of the Story" public awareness strategy.  Below is an example.

This map-story was created in 1996 following a feature story in the Chicago SunTimes with a headline of "Slain children mourned: 'When will this end?"  My strategy was to leverage the public attention of the news report to show the areas where the shooting took place, and to show any tutor/mentor programs in the area (if there were any).  In creating these maps, we also showed "assets", businesses, faith groups, hospitals, universities, etc, who shared the area, and who should be strategic in helping tutor/mentor programs grow near where they do business.  

Unfortunately, we did not have the Internet available in the 1990s so few people actually saw these map stories.  I've been sharing them on this blog and the MappingforJustice blog since 2008. 

Over the past two weeks I've posted several articles showing some of my archives.  Now you can look at two more sections.

This folder includes more than 90 map stories created since the 1990s. 

This folder is even larger.  It contains more than 600 maps and images, mostly created since 2008, which I've used in blog articles, strategy presentations and newsletters.  

Not all of the images in this folder were created by myself, or the volunteers and paid part-time staff, who created maps for me.  Some are screenshots from other websites that we used in stories on one of our blogs.  Some are images of work done in 2008-10 to build the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator Directory (which has been an archive since 2018). 

By sharing these archives I hope to serve as a resource for students and learners throughout the USA and the world, to demonstrate strategies for helping draw attention to places where the people and the planet need extra help, and extra, on-going, long-term, resources.

Between 2006 and 2015 interns from various universities in Chicago and South Korea spent time looking at articles on my blog and website, then created their own visualizations sharing what they were learning with people they know.  You can see their work on this page

My goal is to inspire a donor to make a major gift to a university that would fund a Tutor/Mentor Connection study program, where students do similar research and build a similar library of media stories and maps.

Imagine finding an archive like mine on a university website 10 to 15 years from now.

The graphic below visualizes my goal. Universities could be creating future social problem solving leaders who are constantly learning from each other and constantly feeding their own experiences into central depositories of wisdom.  

This blog article describes this as a "Tipping Point", because it not only grows a new cadre of leaders who use AI and other tools to aggregate information and draw from these libraries to support their own work, but also educates alumni who go into business and professions, rather than social service, to be proactive, on-going, and generous in supporting those who do go into social service work.

Since the 1990s, I've been building a library of information to support what people do to help kids in high poverty areas connect with adult tutors, mentors, learning opportunities and jobs.  The concept map below shows that library.

The challenge with such a growing amount of information is motivating people to spend time looking at it, and using it to support what they do to help themselves and their family, and to help others create a better future for all of us.

Thanks for reading. And thanks for sharing.

I'm on Twitter (X), Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and a few other platforms (see links here). I hope you'll connect with me.

If you'd like to help me pay the bills, please visit this page and make a contribution.  

I'm not a 501-c-3 nonprofit, so cannot offer you a tax deduction, but can promise to use your contribution to keep this library of ideas freely available to you and the world.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Helping Tutor/Mentor Programs Grow - for over 30 years

 I've been digitizing my files so they will be available to more people, even after I end my time on this earth.  Last week I posted this article and pointed to an archive with letters and email correspondence that extends back to the 1990s and even earlier. 

Here's a 1998 article from the Southwest News-Herald, showing work I've done to help volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in more places.

I met with Willie Iverson several times in 1997 and 1998 and encouraged him to adopt the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy and Total Quality Mentoring idea to help programs grow in the Ashburn area of Chicago. This article is evidence that he made that attempt.

Here is another article from my archives. This is a letter I wrote for Streetwise in 2012. 

On this page, I've posted many of the news stories generated by Tutor/Mentor Connection strategies. Remember, our goal was to increase attention for volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs in Chicago, to help them attract a more consistent flow of operating dollars and volunteers.  This collection of media stories and letters of appreciation shows we were doing that.

I've found many more media stories that are not on this "In the News" list on the website.  There are more than 180 in all.  I have put the entire collection in this file on my Google drive.

Click on any icon to enlarge, then you can view these like a slide show, moving from one to the next.  If there is someone else in America who has a similar collection of stories, created over 30 years, with the goal of helping connect K-12 youth in high poverty areas with mentors, tutors and extra learning, please share with me.

If you know one of the billionaires giving money away, show this to them. They could endow programs on universities where students, faculty and alumni duplicate my efforts to help kids in their own area. In 10-15 years they could have a collection like this, too.

In addition to media stories I've been digitizing letters. This is a note that I received from Minor Meyers, Jr, president of Illinois Wesleyan University.

President Meyers finished by saying he was sending my information to a Trustee in Detroit.  Minor was a huge supporter of my work from 1990 until he died around 2004.  I never was able to build similar support from other IWU President's who followed him.

Nor have I been able to build that level of trust and support from any other university, although my archives show many connections to local, national and international  universities over the past 30 years.

That's one of the sad challenges of doing this type of community building.  People who you've built trust relationships with and who are actively spreading news about your work to others, move to new places, or new jobs, or leave this mortal life for another.

That means intermediaries like myself are constantly rebuilding relationships and trust at organizations we've worked with for many years.  It's a reason why the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy should be embedded in universities and endowed with long-term funding.

Maybe there's a billionaire out there willing to take that role.

Learn more.

The image below shows what you'll see if you open this link to my letters to DBassill file

These are PDF files containing multiple letters and/or email messages. You'll see many "thank you" messages. 

If you look at who I was communicating with you'll see a wide range of people.  As I've digitized these I've reached out on LinkedIn to re-connect with some who I met 20-25 years ago. Some I cannot find. Others have accepted an invitation to reconnect.

You'll find two more folders with correspondence between myself and others at this and this link. Maybe you'll know some of these people and will add them to your own network.

Imagine re-connecting with all of these people in on-going, online, information sharing portals aimed at filling areas of persistent poverty with mentor-rich community and school-based youth programs.   

In a recent article I've pointed to dashboards created by the Economic Innovation Group, which show areas of persistent poverty and areas with economically distressed communities.  On the MappingforJustice blog you can find many similar examples.

These point to places all over the country where comprehensive, mentor-rich programs are needed to help youth through school and into jobs and careers and where an information-based intermediary like the Tutor/Mentor Connection could be created, borrowing from lessons you can learn from my archives.

Imagine some day in the future, ten, or 15 years from now, being able to point to a similar collection of letters and files, showing people you've connected with and people you've helped.

That is my goal. It's why I share this information.

I will help you as long as I'm still able. Just reach out to me on one of these social media platforms and let's start a conversation. 

Read these articles about starting a new Tutor/Mentor Connection and these showing what I've been trying to do since forming the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011. 

Finally, to enable me to keep this information available I need some of you to visit this page and make contributions to help fund my work.

Thank you for reading.  I've been honored to be part of so many lives. I hope you will enjoy the same experience. 

Friday, March 15, 2024

Tutor/Mentor Connection needed in many places

I've been digitizing my files to further downsize and preserve my history. Hopefully someone(s) in the future will use these to teach new leaders to build information-based problem-solving intermediary organizations like the Tutor/Mentor Connection, which I launched in 1993, and which has been led by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC since 2011.

This week I found this email, sent to me in 1999 by a community leader from a rural part of Washington State.  Click on the image to enlarge it and read it.

It starts by saying "I have been visiting your tutor/mentor website and am very impressed with what I see there."    That's the goal of the website and thousands of people have visited since the late 1990s.

Then she says, "I would like to see more of what your organization is doing, being done out here and within rural communities.  Even though the numbers of youth within rural communities are smaller, the issues are often similar.  The needs and barriers that youth and families face require "villages" of all types to rase a child."

She finishes by saying, "Thank you for your input, resources, ideas and time that you give to those of us who are on the Mott AfterSchool list serve. Your information is extremely valuable."

During conferences that I hosted every six months from May 1994 to May 2015 I've had others tell me of the need for something like the Tutor/Mentor Connection in rural areas.  I've also had similar conversations with people from Africa, South America and Europe.

I've encouraged all of them to duplicate the Tutor/Mentor Connection and build something like it in their area.

My goal is that in every place where there is persistent poverty there would be blogs and news reports showing someone holding a "Directory" listing youth programs in that region, and inviting volunteers, donors and business leaders to support them.  

I never found consistent donors, or high profile people to help me do that.  But if you read letters sent to me in the past, you'll see an appreciation for the Tutor/Mentor Connection.  That should motivate you and others to borrow my ideas and build T/MC type strategies in  your own community.

Here's one more reason.  

My friends at the UCLA Center included a link in their latest eMail, to this article, titled "The Soft Bigotry of High Expectations"  It starts by saying, "To combat the black-white school achievement gap, worry about their persistent segregation, don't hope for miracle teachers."

I've been putting links to articles like this in my library for over 20 years.  For instance, the graphic below was created in 2013. 

At the left, is a Chicago Tribune map showing shootings in 2013. In the middle is one showing areas where the Get In Chicago group was focusing their efforts. At the right is the Tutor/Mentor Connection map showing poorly performing schools from the 2006 Illinois schools on probation list.  The Tribune map, and T/MC map, both highlight areas of high poverty.

The graphic below shows similar maps, which I shared in Tutor/Mentor Conferences held in the 2000s. These also highlight areas of high poverty. 

Here's another graphic, using the three maps above, with a "birth-to-work" timeline.

This graphic emphasizes the long-term investment needed to help kids in high poverty areas move from "birth to work" and shows a goal of connecting youth in these neighborhoods with adults from a wide range of business, professional and educational backgrounds.

That is a strategy for building "bridging social capital" which expands the community assets supporting kids and helps them through school and into adult lives.

Read this article titled "Maps, Time and Social Capital" which I posted in 2022.  It's one of many in this collection that talks about expanding the "village" of support for kids living in areas of persistent poverty, which usually are also highly segregated. 

A couple of people recently expressed interest in helping me pass the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC on to others. As I've said in the past to other people, "Start reading my blog articles and browsing my website."

Then, start sharing what you read with others,  using your own social networks and creativity. Browse articles at the T/MC Intern blog to see how college students did this for 10 years.  

I think this is the hardest lesson. To duplicate my efforts you have to be willing to become an evangelist, to do all you can to spread the message and draw attention to the information hosted in web libraries like mine.  

Furthermore, you need to focus on drawing operating dollars, talent and ideas to every area with high poverty, and to every youth serving program in those areas.  You need to be committed to doing this for a decade or longer, then passing that commitment on to others, just as I am trying to do.

That's enough for today, don't you think?  

Thanks for reading.  Please connect with me on social media (see links here). 

Finally, if you value what I'm writing and want to help me continue, please visit this page and make a contribution to help Fund the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC. 

Monday, March 11, 2024

So many years. So few changes.

Below is a concept map that I created several years ago to show planning that needs to be happening in Chicago and other places with high concentrations of persistent poverty.

Open the map and follow the links. Is this process happening in your city?  Do you have a similar concept map. Do you host open meetings on ZOOM or another platform? 

Today I read an article which I posted in March 2006, following shootings in the Englewood area of Chicago.  I'm re-posting it because the message then is still relevant now.

----- begin 2006 article -----

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve written about the shootings in Englewood, and expressed my concern that nothing will happen because there is no plan for engaging people from beyond poverty in this discussion in a process that creates ownership, understanding of the issues, and a dramatic increase the resources needed to build and sustain comprehensive tutor/mentor programs in poverty neighborhoods.

Yesterday, 3/21, I participated in an audio conference titled “Integrating Mentoring and After-School”, which focused on the need for mentoring programs in more places (like Englewood) and the potential for these programs being hosted in traditional after-school programs, such as Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA’s, schools, etc. I encourage you to read the Policy Commentary at In a few days you should be able to read a transcript of the actual audio conference.

Today, 3/22, I attended an event titled Non profit Leadership Challenges and Opportunities, which was hosted by the Donors Forum of Chicago 

Representatives from Compass Point, presented findings from a web survey that was distributed in eight cities over the past year. It’s titled “Daring to Lead, 2006” and you can download the full report at

The Daring to Lead presentation highlighted three surprising findings: a) 30% of executives leave their jobs involuntarily (either fired or forced out); b) Executive directors plan to leave their jobs but will stay active in the nonprofit sector; and c) A key driver of executive burnout is frustration with funders.

While the focus of the Donor’s Forum meeting was on succession planning, which is essential to leadership stability and organizational growth, the research constantly pointed to a lack of ACCESS TO CAPITAL as the primary challenge facing small and mid size non profits. Their was a rousing cheer when the need for funding non-restricted, long-term general operations funding was raised as a pivotal issue.

I agree. You cannot keep good leaders, or pay them well, or offer retirement, if you don’t have enough money to pay the rent on a regular basis. If you deal with this problem every day for 12 years, as I have, it tends to be a bit stressful.

How do these issues connect? If we want to do more to reduce the violence in neighborhoods like Englewood, we must provide better education and career opportunities. To do this we must increase the range of non-school programs that help kids succeed in school, stay safe in non-school hours, and move successfully to jobs and careers. The only time when work place adults are consistently available to be involved in long-term mentoring is after 5pm, when most after-school programs are not open.

Finally, it takes years to build good tutor/mentor programs and it takes a dozen years just to help a youth go from first grade through high school. It takes another 6-8 years before that youth is anchored on a career path. We can never support this process on a consistent basis in many locations if we cannot attract and keep key leaders for existing programs, let alone attract thousands more for the additional programs needed in Chicago and around the country.

We cannot do this without changing the funding paradigm.

So what do we do next?

There must have been over 500 people at the Donors Forum event. I don’t know how many were in the audio conference on Tuesday. However, most will never be in the same room, or the same discussion, at the same time again, because there was no strategy in evidence that gave participants and opportunity to connect with each other, and the presenters, in a facilitated, and open, on-going dialogs.

That’s why we created the Tutor/Mentor Connection. That’s why I invite anyone interested in tutoring/mentoring as a strategy for civic engagement and for increasing the understanding of poverty, to participate in the May and November Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conferences held in Chicago and on the Internet.

These are a meeting place for people to come together to present, reinforce, advocate and discuss information such as was presented over the last two days, in the context of the urgency that is reinforced by the media coverage of events like the shootings in Englewood.

Over the past two year’s we’ve also begun to develop a web conferencing process, so that people from distant locations can connect with people in Chicago, during the May and November conference periods, and so that people can stay connected on an on-going basis. As others host video and audio conferences, or face to face meetings such as today's event, my hope is that they will build web strategies that link the participants to each other, and to affinity groups such as the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

Our goal is to turn discussions into meetings, and meetings into a process of identifying tipping points, or ways to collaborate in activities, like leadership development, funding, volunteer recruitment, which effect all tutor/mentor programs in the country, not just our program in the Cabrini Green neighborhood of Chicago.
(note: if you're an architect, or work with complex decision support, we'd like to recruit you to map this process, to create a blueprint that people could follow to understand the problems and to be strategically involved in the solutions)

If you read back through the blogs I’ve posted in the past year, you’ll see that there have been many forums where information of importance was presented to a gathering of interested people.

I invite all of those who are creating and presenting research on poverty, workforce development, tutoring/mentoring, violence prevention, youth development, service learning, etc. to use the T/MC conferences and internet space as additional times and places where you can present your information, help more people understand it, and contribute to a long-term process that leads to the development of more and better programs that keep kids safe, successful in school and moving toward jobs and careers.

You can read about the conference at

---- end 2006 article -----

I've not hosted the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference since 2015, but still maintain an extensive web library and list of volunteer-based, Chicago area youth tutor, mentor and learning programs. I still post articles weekly, and social media posts daily, to draw visitors to the information in the library.  I keep looking for places to connect.

I created this graphic a few years ago around St. Patrick's Day, which is this week.  It says "We CREATE our own LUCK with the help of others."   It points to the four concurrent strategies that should be part of any planning process, which I've piloted since 1993.

I have not had resources to effective lead this strategy for many years, but keep sharing the ideas to inspire others to use them, in their own leadership.  

I'm on most social media platforms. Let's connect. (see links here)

You can help improve my own luck with a small contribution to help Fund the T/MI.  Visit this page and use the PayPal service. 

Thank you for reading.   May the Forth be With YOU!

Monday, March 04, 2024

Be Like Terry. Share My Resources

I started participating in cMOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) around 2011 and connected with a group of educations in a #CLMOOC event in early 2013.  I've built relationships with several people in that group in the years since and pointed to them in stories I've posted on this blog. 

One of those is Terry Elliott, a retired college professor from Western Kentucky.  I did a search on his blog today for "tutormentor" and the image below shows the result. You can view that page here

I hope you'll read through the article Terry wrote. He offers his  own perspective on the work I've been doing.  That's the goal.  Each person has a different lived experience, based on where they live and what their life journey has been.  Each person has a different network of people they learn from and influence.

If we're going to do better at helping kids out of poverty and distressed conditions, we need many, many more people involved.

If you skim through the CLMOOC articles I've posted, you'll see that a few others have also mentioned my work often on their blogs.  I appreciate that. It's what I hope many will do.

Here's an article I posted in 2015, encouraging others to share my articles, and those of each other, in an on-going effort to build attention and draw resources to support tutor, mentor and learning programs that help kids in high poverty places move through school and into adult lives, with jobs and careers that enable them to raise their own kids free of poverty.

Thank you Terry and others who share these ideas.