Tutor/Mentor Connection

Connect knowledge, volunteers, youth and make a difference.

What are the differences between Tutor/Mentor Connections and Cabrini Connections?

As this is my 2nd day as an intern at Cabrini Connections you can probably imagine how confused I am. Before accepting this internship I thought that Cabrini Connections and Tutor Mentor Connections were the same. Though after I buried myself further in the Cabrini Connections websites I started to notice that Cabrini Connections and Tutor/Mentor Connections were not the same program. But what exactly makes the two different from each other?

From reading the Cabrini Connections history site I gathered that Cabrini Connections is an organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive, volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring program for teens in the Cabrini Green neighborhood. Whereas,Tutor/Mentor Connection is an organization dedicated to connecting all tutoring/mentoring programs in the city, generating a flow of money, visibility, and volunteers to help each program grow to its full potential.

But even after reading the detailed description of the two programs I still felt confused about the differences, so I dug deeper by looking further into the sites, and asking those who have been working at Cabrini Connections for several years what they felt the difference was.

This is what I found.

Cabrini Connections, founded in 1993 was created in leu of the killing of Dantrell Davis a 7-year-old boy in October of 1992. After Dantrell Davis' death Chicago's cry for change was heard through a city-wide media campaign to 'stop the killings.' With research showing that over 200,000 school-aged children could benefit from a mentoring program Dan Bassill decided to open up Cabrini Connections and Tutor/Mentor Connections shortly thereafter in 1994.

Those who in live in conditions that are less than satisfactory, with poor educational systems, and a lack of guidance have been proven through studies that they are at a disadvantage to compete for employment. The basic skills and experiences that these students lack is where Cabrini Connections comes in to help fill in the missing pieces in these students' lives to allow them to be hire-able in the future.

Tutor/Mentor Connections (T/MC) though is slightly different from Cabrini Connections in that it is the database for all the tutor mentor programs in the Chicagoland area. Its purpose is to provide long-term support for new and already existing Tutor/Mentor programs in the area.

If you click on "Tutor/Mentor programs in the area," you will see the 167 Tutor/Mentor programs already in the Chicagoland area. Though 167 programs may seem like a lot, it's not. As you can see there are some areas with a high population of these programs whereas areas such as the far South-side of Chicago and SouthWest-side still have a high poverty rate but little to no Tutor/Mentor programs. The sole purpose of the Tutor/Mentor Connections is to not only show those who want to get involved in being apart of the solution where help is needed but to help those who need a program like Cabrini Connections find one closest to them.

Fact:There will always be children that need more positive reinforcement during their journey towards higher education. And even though there are Tutor/Mentor programs in many neighborhood, not every child has the chance to join, simply because Tutor/Mentor programs have very few slots to offer, since there is a higher density of poverty stricken neighborhoods than Tutor/Mentor programs.

Solutions to the problem: How can one help? Volunteer. By encouraging individuals to volunteer at these Tutor/Mentor locations or even bringing forth the funds to jump start another one more students will be reached, giving them the positive influence they need to succeed in life.

At the end of the day peers listen to their peers. By having these Tutor/Mentor locations around the Chicagoland area we are influencing the lives of those who are not even apart of the program. The students who participate in these programs are being apart of the solution just as much as the people running these programs are. The students have the ability to reach out to their peers who are not in these programs to be able to show them the same amount of positive reinforcement they received from the Tutor/Mentor program.

A bigger solution would be for corporations and the government to take a higher interest in these Tutor/Mentor programs and donate. They should come to understand that Tutor/Mentor programs are crucial to a productive learning environment for students. Every year these programs are in need of funding, and it’s important they receive the funds in order to keep helping the students. In the area these students are living in there is an increasing variety of negative influences that may affect a student’s ability to succeed in school. If children are unsuccessful with receiving an education, the future of their world will be greatly affected. The children of today are the future, so lets help shape the future.

If you are interested in becoming apart of the solution to help shape the lives of many please come visit our site at http://www.cabriniconnections.net/volunteers and figure out how you can help!

Jordan Merlo

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Comment by Daniel Bassill on December 10, 2009 at 1:12pm
Here is a graphic that shows the local (Cabrini Connections) global (Tutor/Mentor Connection) strategy of this organization.

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