Tutor/Mentor Connection

Connect knowledge, volunteers, youth and make a difference.

This map is part of a blog article I wrote in 2009, following the shooting of a 9 year old in Chicago.  Our aim is to follow news media stories with our own "rest of the story" articles, showing why the shooting happened (poverty, poor schools, etc.) and where it happened, using the interactive Tutor/Mentor Program Locator. With this we can show if there are any volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in that part of the city, and point to the organization's web sites, if they have one.  The goal is to turn readers into volunteers, donors, advocates, etc. who help each program in the city get the resources they need to constantly improve.

In some cases there are no programs, too few programs, or no programs serving high school, or middle school. This means that the businesses, hospitals, faith groups in the neighborhood, or the people driving through the neighborhood as they come and go to work each day, need to become the leaders, and resource providers, to build new programs, borrowing from the ideas of those already operating in Chicago and other cities.

I'm writing this article to suggest that students in high schools, colleges and church groups, in every part of the country, could be following news stories and building these map articles, posting them on their own blogs, or high school newsletters.  There could be a competition, held each November during National GIS week, that would recognize the best map-makers, the best story tellers, and the groups doing the most to draw volunteers and donors to the tutor/mentor programs in their own community, or neighborhood.

All we need is a few sponsors to help us organize this type of activity, and to recruit teachers and leaders in a dozen or more schools, to organize student groups to build maps and map stories.

Can your company be a sponsor?  I suspect we could launch this with $50,000 for staff, training, public awareness, etc.  Let me know if your company would like to be the catalyst for turning students into leaders, using maps for mobilization and capacity building.

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