animation (5)

This is a graphic created by Jawon Koo, an intern from IIT who has been with Cabrini Connections Tutor/Mentor Connection for about 3 weeks. It's part of an animation, converting a T/MC article into another format that we hope will create greater understanding, and thus more response. Jawon is working with another intern, Eunsoo Lee. In a couple of days there should be a new version of this to review.

The purpose of the blogs, web site, and forum is to share ideas, and to build greater public awareness, so that tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and around the country are more consistently supported by volunteers, donors, media, etc.

Creating public awareness is difficult. Yet if we're creative about it, we have some opportunities.

What if teams of students from universities and high schools all over the world were each converting one of the T/MC essays into an animation, and were submitting their work to this forum, where we could devote a group space to showing how each team has interpreted our idea? We could create a panel of judges, and recognize one project as a national, or international champion. All of the projects would be available to any user, to help them educate leaders in their own community, to provide more consistent support to their own youth.

Faculty from several universities are on this forum. What do you think? Could you recruit teams of students from design and art and journalism schools to do projects like our interns have been doing? It would be a great teaching and learning opportunity, as well as a way to create low-cost public visibility for the work we're all doing.

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Out of more than 200 members in this Ning group, a small percent are staff, volunteers and interns working directly with Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. Our purpose, as shown by this strategy map, is to help comprehensive, volunteer based tutor/mentor programs grow in high poverty areas of the Chicago region.

This is not something that will happen in one year, or even a decade. Furthermore, building a great program is just the first step toward recruiting a youth, and keeping him/her and volunteers engaged and connected for five to 20 years, so the long term outcome is that the youth has a network of adults and a range of experiences that are helping him with jobs and career growth as he becomes an adult.

The chart above illustrates the way we use events at different parts of each year, to draw people together, to draw attention to tutoring/mentoring and to draw resources to the various tutor/mentor programs in Chicago. Since many people may not understand the ideas behind this chart, I'm constantly looking for different ways to communicate these ideas. Thus, many of the interns who are on this ning site are either converting ideas like this into interactive and animated formats, or writing blogs to help other people understand and adopt these ideas.

This graphic is the first slide of an animated project, just completed by Eunsoo Lee, and Intern from IIT, who is from Korea. If you browse the groups section you can follow work that was done in the past, or is being done right now.

This presentation, and a second one done by Jawon Koo, are important, because they illustrate how people and organizations can act today, and at the same time be thinking of the impact they might have three, six, nine and 12 months into the future.

You can review more of the essays that were used to create these animations, in the Tutor/Mentor Institute web site and you can see how I write about these ideas in the Tutor/Mentor Blog. If you're a student or volunteer who would like to volunteer time creating visualizations of these ideas, just join in. There is no limit to how many people can be involved, or to how many ways these ideas can be communicated.

Those of you who are in Chicago or the Illinois, are encouraged to share these ideas with people you know, and use them in building support for your own tutor/mentor program. There are many colleges, and many interns. Any non profit can reach out and recruit interns, and business partners, to help in the same way we are doing.

If you're in another city, you can follow this process, and duplicate it. The maps and charts that we share are just as useful in other places. Use the ideas to build greater and on-going business, donor and volunteer involvement in the different programs in your own region, so you create a movement of people toward a long-term goal.

I encourage you to form your own groups within this forum. For instance, there is a Los Angeles Group, a South Suburbs Group, and an Acacia Fraternity group. If these attract people from those places, who focus on the strategies that we are outlining with these presentations, the network of people how are connecting, and sharing ideas, and working together to gain greater public attention, will grow.

With the Social Network Analysis tools that we're discussing in this group, we hope to be able to map the growth of these networks, and help each one grow stronger through the process.

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This graphic is one of many that I've posted on Ning, and on the Tutor/Mentor Institute site, and in my blog. It was developed as the result of many years of leading a tutor/mentor program, and of spending solitary hours thinking of ways to make what I do more effective.

I found an article today titled "Solitude and Leadership: If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts", by William Deresiewicz

I encourage everyone to spend time reading this, thinking of how it applies to you in your role with the Tutor/Mentor Connection, or with your own organization. Then, make an effort to apply the recommendations in your own efforts to learn more about where volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs are needed, the variations between these programs, and the ways you can adopt ideas from one place and apply it to many other places. Learn more about what it takes to operate a program, and turn it into a world-class program. Learn what it takes to sustain the involvement of volunteers, donors, youth, for many years, or till we reach the ultimate goal of more youth finishing school ready for 21st century jobs and adult responsibilities.

Part of your reading should be the articles we write, but most of it should be the books and articles that other people write, which we post in the Tutor/Mentor Library.

You can't learn this all in a day, and your reflections and ideas will only grow stronger if you apply this learning over a life time. If you're an adult, it's not too late to apply this thinking. It's not too late to try to teach young people who you mentor to build these habits.

This is the way we create the future we want.

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