Tutor/Mentor Connection

Connect knowledge, volunteers, youth and make a difference.

I just spent the time on browsing the website.

When I started to write down my marketing proposal, I had to ask some questions.

1. What's difference between Cabrini Connections and Tutor/Mentor Connections?

I think Cabrini Connections under Tutor/Mentor Connections. If they are the same, why you keep two names?

2. Do you build up both of connections or Tutor/Mentor Connections belongs to other organizations?

3. I see your organization mission, but I still concern about your target areas, it is just in Chicago, or you want to promote the program across the America.

Current Situation:
Students Part
1. Who are your students? How many?

I know 525 low incomes, inner city teens have participated in this program since 1993. I'm not sure it is actual number for the students currently.

2. What do your students learn? What do they read/ write? How do they speak with one another?

3. How do you find your target students?

4. What is your future plan? How many students do you want to develop in the next five years or every year?

Volunteers Parts
1. Who are your volunteers?

2. How do they work for the program?

3. How many volunteers work for the program now?

Donors Parts
1. Who are your donors? How do you find them?

2. How do they donate their money through the internet or other ways?

3. Do you have some company/enterprise sponsorship?

4. Do their donation keep your finance balance (including everything expense)?

Marketing Parts
1. Do you have marketing person work for the organization?

2. What do they do?

3. What is the prospect for them?

Future Parts
1. What is your goal in the next five years?

I really want to help you make your organization better and better. I feel sorry some of questions are more agressive.
Though I am an intern for the company, but I still want to contribute my efforts to you.

Finally, I use my country's proverb "Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles with no danger of defeat".

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Comment by LIYE LIN on June 2, 2009 at 2:36pm
Thank you for your kind suggestion, and I'll spend my time on finding my questions answers on your website this afternoon. I know how difficult you creat a new indstury. No one knows you have to conquer the difficulties without their imagination. I'm glad to become your intern with a long history of your organization this summer.
Comment by Daniel Bassill on June 2, 2009 at 9:35am
Good questions. Instead of me providing the answers, I'd like you to browse through the web sites and find the answers for yourself. They are all there.

To start, this week I'd like to have go through each section of the Tutor/Mentor Exchange web site, and read the articles. At the same time, identify links to PDF essays that don't work, and I'll show you how to fix them.

Start with
Mission. Then review strategy. The Annual Report illustrates how these two strategies are part of one organization.

You'll see that the T/MC is a resource center that originally consisted of the ideas we were using to operate the Montgomery Ward/Cabrini Green Tutoring Program (1965-1992) and then which were used to start Cabrini Connections (1993-2009). In 1993 we decided to formally share our knowledge, and build a more systematic database of all tutor/mentor programs in the city, along with a strategy that would draw volunteers and donors to all programs, including Cabrini Connections. That strategy is the Tutor/Mentor Connection. On the Cabrini Connections site the history page illustrates how this two-part strategy evolved.

Then, look at the Cabrini Connections site. The number of kids currently involved can be seen here. Metrics for how we evaluate can be seen here. Our Theory of Change is here. Browse the two wikis and you'll see a strategic plan, a five year plan, a fund raising plan, and many other strategies that answer some of your questions.

On the donor page of the CC site you can see what corporations and foundations have contributed $1000 or more in the past two years. On the wall outside of my office you can see a list of every corporate and foundation donor who has given $1,000 or more since 1993. It's a long list.

In the T/MC strategy page, you see a public awareness strategy. On the T/ME site is a collaboration strategy. These show that through Cabrini Connections and the T/MC we have created events that repeat each year, and are intended to build public understanding of tutor/mentor programs, while encouraging volunteers and donors to seek out Cabrini Connections, or one of the other tutor/mentor programs in the city, to offer a contribution of time or talent. You can see Cabrini Connections events, such as this week's year-end dinner, here.

We've posted all of this information on our web sites because it's not possible for anyone to sit down in one hour, or one afternoon, to provide a 40 year history that has led to where we are, or to show a complex strategy that is intended to help the kids starting with Cabrini Connections this year as 7th graders, get the support they need for the next 15 years, to assure that they will be in jobs by their mid-twenties.

Our aim is that people learn from this information a little bit at a time, but keep learning over a life time of involvement. In your time with us you'll be able to learn some of this. If you can find ways to encourage others to begin their own learning, it will be a very valuable use of your time.

If you think of the inventor Thomas Edison, it's well known that he did over 1000 experiments before he invented a working light bulb. Not many people realize that after he invented a light bulb he had to create an industry to distribute light bulbs, and electricity, throughout the world. As difficult as it is to imagine how to create the light bulb, it is much more complex to create an industry.

Think of a single tutor/mentor program, such as Cabrini Connections, as the light bulb. There is no magic formula to helping these kids move from a birth in poverty to a life out of poverty with help from volunteers and tutor/mentor programs. We keep trying to make it work, borrowing from the ideas of others and using whatever dollars we can find.

The role of the Tutor/Mentor Connection is to create an industry that would support the operations of programs like Cabrini Connections in every poverty neighborhood of Chicago, and every other major city in America...and the world.

As you find the answers to your questions, and build your own understanding of this organization, I'd like you to fill them in on the questionnaire that you have posted.

As you have questions, or if you're having difficulty finding some of the information, I will show you where to look.

"Knowledge is a journey, not a destination. If we stay on the road for many years, we will accumulate a wealth of experience."

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