Tutor/Mentor Connection

Connect knowledge, volunteers, youth and make a difference.

I hope you'll all look at the work that Rack and Alan have been doing, and that previous interns have done. This provides ideas for what future interns will do.

At the same time, I hope that those who have been here for a while, will continue to visit and contribute, even after they return to their colleges and countries.


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We have three new interns from an alternative Spring Break Program of the University of Michigan who will be with Cabrini Connections for the next week. They have been browsing our web sites to determine what projects to work on. Here's a suggestion.

I sent the email below to a potential collaborator in Pittsburgh, PA.. If you read it you see references to maps, blueprints, etc. Can you turn this email into an visual presentation so that it communicates a stronger message that would motivate more people to take on the core values as a T/MC partner in their own community, or in Chicago? This is the goal of the visualization activities we are engaged in:

Hi Carlos,

Have you studied the history of Islam? Or heard the phrase "a prophet is least respected in his hometown?" Mohammad had to go to another city to bring life to his ideas. Then he was able to return and conquer his home city.

I feel that people in other cities, such as yourself, will have a greater chance of building significant investment dollars for a Tutor/Mentor Connection type strategy focused at your community, because you can point to what I'm doing in Chicago and say, "we need to do the same thing here" and "we can do it better". You can also say "we're not reinventing the wheel because the Chicago program is our partner".

As we help this type of strategy, and the core values of the T/MC, take root in many cities, this will create a total impact greater than the parts, and will lead to greater long term support for youth-to-careers activities in every city.

When I say "core values" I don't mean some spiritual thing, I mean we each look at a map and see where poverty is concentrated and where non profits need help providing services that might help kids out of poverty, if funded on an on-going, flexible basis, and if leaders were constantly trying to improve what they do by benchmarking their work against the work peers are doing in places all over the world.

When we look at the map, we're also looking at the same types of blueprints that contractors look at to build a building. The diagrams show the different sub contractors who need to be doing work at each page on the blueprint. They all need to be paid or the work does not get done. Thus, a core value is a collective effort to make sure each neighborhood has the right mix of programs (sub contractors) and that donors and volunteers are seeking out each of them to provide operating dollars.

In this type of thinking there is no middle man making decisions on who gets funded, as foundations and government agencies do now. Each program is a "store" and volunteers and donors are shoppers/consumers who we have educated to seek out stores and shop based on how well the program communicates its role on the blueprint via what it shows on its web site.

If we can create this type of paradigm shift, and support it via the actions of T/MC type organizations and leaders, we can have a huge impact on poverty in the world.

I look forward to talking with you.

Dan Bassill


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