Tutor/Mentor Connection

Connect knowledge, volunteers, youth and make a difference.

Ten-weeks ago I started my internship at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connections. Cabrini Connections is a non-profit organization designed to enrich and further develop the lives of students who live in low-income neighborhoods such as Cabrini Green. They do this by providing tutor/mentor programs for these students after hours, which not only provides alternate learning opportunities but keeps these students out of trouble. At my internship my job is to promote the organization further through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, volunteer forums, etc. Through this I will help expand others' knowledge of Cabrini Connections, get people to either donate or volunteer at Cabrini, as well as increase my own knowledge of certain social media outlets. These two-weeks in particular I took a look at the number of hits on my blog site and found that I am still producing a steady flow of traffic. I am however trying to find a way to increase this traffic so that more people can learn about what Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connections is doing. Also, I have started diving into my final essay and found out some vital information through talking to people and online research.

My supervisor in particular has contributed a lot to my learning goals. While looking for an internship in the beginning I was trying to find something that was purposeful and practical that allowed me to be able to apply the skills and concepts I learned in the classroom. That is excatly what this internship did. Dan Bassill, CEO and Founder of Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection helped develop my appreciation of social media. Through him I learned the ins and outs of the social media world and how to effectively get a message across. Currently, I am in the process of writing my final paper for this internship and without the help of Dan this paper wouldn't be a success. My topic is: How to unleash one's personal power to change the world through social media. Dan, is a prime example. He uses social media tactics everyday to help spread the word of his organization, allowing it to grow significantly. Also through Dan I will be in contact with others who run non-profit organizations to be able to get there insight on social media.

My personal communication style has changed drastically since I began this internship. In the beginning I wrote articles but I wasn't receiving any blog traffic. I was curious as to why this was happening, I thought my blogs were interesting. I then began to look at others' blogs in the organization and noticed a huge difference in writing styles. Yes, my blogs were interesting, but they were not tying things together. Dan wanted me to take day-to-day stories and relate them back to Cabrini Connections. I was doing that, but not effectively. As time has passed, I have learned how to relate what we are doing here at Cabrini Connections to stories that are happening in the news in a way that makes people interested in the organization and interested in reading my blogs, hence the increase in blog traffic.

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Comment by Daniel Bassill on March 29, 2010 at 1:28pm
Thank you Jordan. I received an email this morning that illustrates what might happen if volunteers tell other people about the work we do at Cabrini Connections.

"I congratulate you on running such an important and successful organization.

The true definition of public service is to leave the world in better shape than you found it and I applaud you for upholding that noble cause.

I have been very blessed in my life and I decided that ever time I complain about something I would donate one dollar to a charity. This way my snobbery would actually help someone who was not as fortunate as I have been while also reminding me how easy I actually have it (which, by the way, I also think would make an excellent media campaign and fund raising tool).

I happened to meet a wonderful mentor you have, Brandy Kimminau, who works with Jon-nita Blake in Lincoln Park High School in Chicago, IL. Brandy's commitment to Jon-nita and her commitment to making a difference in the world really moved me to supporting her and her organization. No doubt that if we had more organizations like yours and more volunteers like Brandy this world would be a much better place.

I thank you for your time and let me know if I can somehow be more of assistance. "

This writer is the press assistant to Senator Kit Bond of Missouri. Maybe this will be a "tipping point" that leads to more leadership involvement in the strategies you are writing about.

However, if not this person, maybe the next person who reads your blog articles, or something written by another volunteer or intern, will be the major benefactor, and leader, we need to assure that programs like Cabrini Connections have the operating resources and leadership needed to make mentoring available in more places.

If enough of us write about it and tell our stories we're sure to find these people.

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