Tutor/Mentor Connection

Connect knowledge, volunteers, youth and make a difference.

I've been invited to be part of a podcast tonight. I've not done this before and am not sure what the format will be, and thus how I'll be able to share information from the vast resources of the Tutor/Mentor Connection.


Thus, I'm posting the discussion topics sent to me, along with written responses that I've prepared, and will try to draw from if the discussion allows me to.  By posting this information I hope that the people listening to the podcast will come here to learn more about what I might talk about in the live interview.


I am scheduled for the podcast on Thursday Jan. 13th from 6:30-7:30 CST.
Topic of Discussion questions sent to me are in bold face:


National Models: Grassroots Effect

*Who are the premiere national mentoringorganizations, are they successful  ataddressing grassroots needs.


If thequestion is focused on national organizations that provide support to localmentoring organizations the most visible group would be the the NationalMentoring Partnership at www.mentoring.org


The National Mentoring Centerat Education Northwest is also a great resource. http://educationnorthwest.org/nmc


Otherstate and national at http://tinyurl.com/Links-Mentoring


Are they successful at addressing grassroots needs.

I don’t know what measures they use to define how successful they are.However, as a local intermediary, and operator of a local tutor/mentor program,I still struggle to  find the resources Ineed to build a strong organization. In this since I’d say the nationalorganizations are not as effective as they need to be in driving resources tothe grassroots level.


How hasyour organization structured itself to go national.

We havecreated a library of information on the internet that anyone in the world canuse to build and sustain comprehensive volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.This is intended for leaders of programs and for leaders in business,philanthropy, politics, media, religion, etc. Our actions aim to educate and motivate those who don’t live in povertyto provide more consistent support to the tutor/mentor programs and otherneeded services that serve neighborhoods of high poverty.


We havepeople from all over the country interacting with this information and ourselves.  However we have not yet found a financial strategy that sustains thisvery effectively. 


There is a role that publicfigures play, helpful or hurtful?*

In the www.tutormentorexchange.net website we provide a variety of essays showing roles leaders in business,religion, hospitals and universities, as well as elected and celebrity leaders,can take to help tutor/mentor programs grow in poverty areas. We don’t yet seemany leaders taking these roles consistently, but that’s why we participate inforums like this. We’re trying to educate groups in different cities to usethese ideas in their own leadership actions.


a) get to know what tutor/mentor programs exist in your community, and wherethey are most needed, based on where poverty is most concentrated

b) fourtimes a year make an effort to use your communications tools to encourage youremployees, customers, friends, to look at this list of programs and reach outto be a volunteer, donor, leader at one or more

c)encourage learning groups to grow in your company, faith group, college that isbuilding its own understanding of the information on the T/MC site, and usingthat information to support year-to-year marketing and involvement strategies

d)whenever circumstances such as an act of violence, a report on poverty orpoorly performing schools, or the story about a successful organization appearin the media, be prepared to offer a comment saying “we need great programs inall poverty neighborhoods, and we need individuals to support these programswith time, talent and dollars”



Activating Your Community-

*Support for community leaders how do wemake those leaders succesful.
Passing the torch to the next generation, what does service learning reallymean.


In theactions I’ve suggested, we show efforts to tie service to learning about theproblems the service is intended to solve, and to learning about the range ofactions people could take every day to support organizations working in povertyneighborhoods to solve those problems.


Ifschools, businesses, faith groups engage young people and adults in reflectionalong with service, and draw from the type of information we share, many willbuild habits of leadership that focus on a distribution of resources toorganizations and schools in all poverty neighborhoods.  Instead of waiting for a non profit to ask you for a donation, become proactive inseeking out organizations doing work you want to support and giving them yourfull support on a consistent and on-going basis.

Mentoring and The Criminal Justice System
*Court ordered mentoring is changingshape; public funding influencing results. recidivism; will current mentoringmodels support Dept of Justice efforts.


My philosophy: I see“mentoring” as the process of getting adults who don’t live inpoverty involvedwith the lives of youth who do live in poverty.Mentoring organizations, orplaces where adult volunteers can getinvolved, can offer a wide range oflearning and enrichment supports ifenough volunteers get involved to providethe time, talent and dollarsneeded.


Studyof BIGs in BBBS showed that volunteers who get involved with innercitykids beginto fear that the time they can spend is not enough toovercome the challengesof poverty. More support is needed than whatthey can provide. Mentor-richorganizations can provide more supportthan the single community based mentor,if such programs are available.

I don’tbelieve in mentoring as a strategy to “fix a problem”. It’s a strategy to helppeople develop strengths and personal networks over a period of manyyears.  I feel that public funding isinconsistent, restrictive, does not last long, and does not reach all of theplaces where it’s most needed. Thus billions of dollars have been spent and fewof the problems have been solved.


Adult mentoring - changing the whole family.*

The samestructures that build a network of support for youth living in poverty canbenefit adults as well, particularly if the support leads to jobs for adultmembers of the family.

Panelist Info for tonight's podcast:
Daniel F. Bassill combines 40 years of unique experiences into his leadership of Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection. His vision is to build a web-based support system of businesses, universities, faith groups, educators, philanthropy and non-profit leaders that enables high-quality, mentor-rich organizations to reach youth in all high-poverty neighborhoods of the USA.
Joyce Foster has mentored women for ministry and missions for over 20years and has a heart to see others receive the support mentoring provides. She has served in several ministries through the years and is currently the  Mentor Match Coach of the Second Chance Mentoring Program through the Volunteers of America at the Humble Substance Abuse Probation Facility WHO-A where she helped develop the program.

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