Wow, I'm here....
I happily joined the team today taking on a new internship that not only encompasses successful youth tutoring and mentoring, but also new forms of community outreach. I feel this profound sense of urgency that floats somewhere in between being nervous and excited, yet I feel that life experiences and chance has prepared me for this step.
Everyone shares the common experience living in a neighborhood where it seems like there were more youth than adults. Growing up in a small town where employment and resources are limited, I often took tutor and mentor positions as these were the jobs that were heavily needed. I served in AmeriCorps, a national service organization, for two years, first as a tutor and then as a service leader helping to organize and create the same type of programs I had taught in. Being a tutor not only allowed me to teach and mentor the youth I was constantly surrounded by, but it also helped keep me out of trouble ;)
Knowing that you are an example to someone definitely has a way of influencing one's behavior, and as I continued working with youth, they began to teach me a few important things everyday:
how to be more attentive and mindful
thinking before we speak
After a while, I came to realize that I needed the youth I was serving more than they needed me; I came to work because I loved it and I loved them
. Moving to Chicago has given me lots of opportunities to continue. I was hired as a PR intern in order to help increase the promotion and social network marketing of the programs offered by Cabrini Connections, which is also apart of the Tutor Mentor Connection
. Finding out about the Tutor Mentor Connection has made me think of systemic social change in high-poverty areas that can be made through investing in youth leadership, while seeking to support and build partnerships with existing youth organizations that have similar goals. T/MC is based on creating a collective whole
: promoting positive youth development through successful programming, finding assets for youth in Chicago neighborhoods, and sharing knowledge while teaching skills in order to empower people and increase involvement.
The strategy is to continue to serve
. Isn't that something we as activists can all get on board with?
What's even more amazing is that the strategy is mapped and accessible through www.tutormentorconnection.org
. This site is amazingly functionable, offering a program locator of tutor and mentor organizationss all over the Chicago area, discussion forums, an online links library, recent news on youth programming, and articles. If you're extra nerdy (like yours truly) you can even find useful data for research.
In addition, the use of technology and online social networking ideas are impressive, and overall, I think I found a good fit. During the course of this internship my goal is simple: to be a part of the larger network working to increase the amount of knowledge on tutor mentor programming in the Chicago area and helping to share this information with people who care.... Like you
Let's get started