I attended a workshop on Friday at UIC where you and others showed work you have done in the past year. I introduced myself and told how my organization has hosted students from the U. Michigan Alternative Spring Break Program for the past three years.
I encourage you to visit http://tutormentorconnection.ning.com/group/universityofmichigansch...
where you can learn who was involved in the past, and see the type of work they were doing.
At these links you can see how I use these projects in the on-going work of helping inner city kids have access to high quality volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.
Each of you expressed a long-term commitment to social justice and making a difference in your introductions. I've been leading a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program for 35 years. Solving complex problems in many parts of the world will take the life-long involvement of many people in many places.
On our web sites the projects we host are intended to serve as a platform that thousands, or even millions, of people can use to support their own leadership and involvement in many places. My goal in writing is to encourage one or more of you to begin to use the T/MC portal to see how we apply visualization strategies, so you might think of yourselves in the same role as I've taken. You may not end up focusing on poverty, or youth mentoring, but the same process of collecting and sharing information is needed in any cause you may become committed to.
The projects shown on our Ning site were done in one week, or in a few weeks. they are not the result of on-going partnerships with the School of Information, or with any business. As more and more of you and your peers join in the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum, my hope is that you will help us build these long-term partnerships so that when students come to us, they are part of a relay of students who have come before them, and who will follow them in the future.
Because of the Internet, anyone can stay involved with a cause, regardless of where they live in the world. This offers tremendous potential for your work in any of the causes you adopt now or in the future.
If such partnerships are established, it is more likely that you and other students will also stay involved as you move through your life and your careers. This project done by Li Li in February illustrates how long term involvement increases the ways the volunteer helps the charity. http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/images/flash/vol_leadership.swf
As you look at these projects, and the work we do, please introduce yourself if you would like to get personally involved in one or more of the projects, or if you have suggestions for other work that could be done to support the growth of high-quality volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring programs in more places.
Thank you for reading and for sharing your stories on Friday.
Daniel F. Bassill
800 W. Huron
Chicago, Il. 60642