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Final Paper!

Part I – Learning Question

In December of 2009 I started my internship at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection, a non-profit organization which helps the well-being of students living in low-income housing. My purpose at this organization was to help promote Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection through different social media venues. At the beginning of this internship I came up with a question that through the duration of this internship I have been seeking an answer for. The question, how to unleash one's personal power to change the world through social media, has been discovered through research and an interview with Dan Bassill, the founder and CEO of CC/TMC.

It is interesting to note that many companies like CNN focus on the effectiveness of a story whereas other companies started to focus their time and energy on something else. We the people hold the key. And Google made a smart bet and they bet on the people, which is what other organizations should have done. “During the attacks in Mumbai, people were tweeting it live, from the lobby of the hotel” (Social Good through Social Media). The news was being delivered, in real time, by the people. This represents the most seismic shift in the history of media and possibly business. There are no more gatekeepers. Social media gives people like you and me the power to let our voices shine, how incredible is that.

Organizations like Cabrini Connections were built by innovative visionaries like those who work at Google who can in vision something being taken to the next step, Dan Bassill states, “I view it as a passion for building a better system for helping kids from poverty have lives out of poverty. Such a goal provides a better world for my own children and grandchildren to grow up in. If we don’t do all we can now to shape the future, the future that comes may be impossible to change.” Through many non-profit organizations I have come to find that they all acknowledge that change needs to start now for a better future. But how are these messages being heard? The social media realm is being used as a powerful agent that is connecting people all over the world together. Social media is quickly becoming the “it” place to advertise and promote companies/organizations as it is cost-effective (it is free!), easy to access, and can target multiple age groups at a time.

Social media is arguably the most perfect and pervasive form of marketing in human history. It is a convergence of the best of both worlds: connecting “one-to-one” via “many-to-many. It has become apparent however that some organizations blatantly avoid using social media as a promotional tool due to the lack of knowledge of it as a whole. These companies either don’t understand it because the technology is so new or they don’t think it is worthwhile. You could say that is comparable to walking away from a loaded gold mine, because you can’t open the front door, it’s pathetic and lazy. What are these organizations waiting for? It is clear that since these organizations are not engaging with their current customers and reaching new markets through social media, their brand is being left behind at an increasingly accelerative rate (Social Good through Social Media). The organizations who deliberately avoid social media will soon come to find that social media sites are imperative to the success of a company as information can be spread at higher rates through these sites.

Organizations such as Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection do not have the funding to promote through other forms of media like commercials, billboards, etc. To be able to spread their message they focus heavily on promoting through word of mouth, their websites, and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and various blogs. They also try to enlist others to carry out Cabrini’s message in their media, for example “for many years the Lend A Hand Program at the Chicago Bar Association promoted Tutor/Mentor Connection as part of their own commitment to help tutor/mentor programs grow. If you visit at and go to the leadership articles you will see many examples of how Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection hopes how others will communicate their message. By getting others to spread the word about Cabrini Connections time, effort, and money are being saved by the staff to ensure that the majority if not all of the funds being raised are being allocated to benefit the students.

Anyone and everyone have the ability and power to change the world. One just needs to know how to focus their gifts and talents in a way that can grab the attention of others. Eric Harr, Founder and President of LLC said it best, “Social media is social, but it’s not a media. The recipe for success — and most brands miss the mark here — is one part listening, one part engaging, and two parts building relationships. (A dash of spice always helps!)” The Internet has become an extraordinary tool. It enables individuals to share their ideas with the world. It allows other people to find us, who already share the same goals. It enables us to find talent and resources from far beyond our own family, community, city boundaries. If your ideas are good enough, expressed well enough, and communicated often enough to a growing number of people, they can change the way other people understand and respond to the issues you are passionate about.
Part II – Individual Assessment


Since my internship was based primarily on my writing skills and promotional skills classes that required intensive writing, advertising and Public Relations helped. Classes in particular like UCWR 110, CMUN 265, CMUN 250, CMUN 224, MARK 361 and CMUN 271 not only gave me the skills to write more effectively but taught me how to send out my message into different avenues to get the maximum viewing potential. These classes gave me the skills to be able to write in a way that helped Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection get in the spotlight, allowing them in the future to be able to receive more donations. Classes such as 271 taught me how to create a blog, which became beneficial to me since I blogged about the organization throughout my entire internship. These classes taught me how to capitalize on relationships and brand myself as efficiently and professionally as possible. By branding myself into the person I want people to see me as I noticed I could better sell the organization, Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. The skills I learned especially in these six classes gave me the essentials I needed for this internship.

Knowledge and Skills

I believe that everything I learned in this internship was beneficial. I do however know that the most important thing I learned through the duration of this internship was how important it is to write an effective blog. In the beginning of my internship I wrote blogs that were average and not interesting to read as a result no one was reading them. I was writing for Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection in hopes that people would latch on to them and want to help out with the cause but it seemed hopeless, I would check the analytics of my blog and I noticed that they were not being viewed. After analyzing my blogs and realizing that they were not as engaging as I’d hope they would be I decided to change my writing style. Instead of just writing about the organization itself I started to incorporate day to day events that were happening and correlated them back to Cabrini Connections. Once I started to write more engaging, thought-provoking articles my traffic for my blogs went up, almost doubled what it was in the beginning. It was exactly what I needed to do to start making a difference at Cabrini Connections. Ultimately, I did what I was set out to do at Cabrini Connections, make the organization more well-known by spreading the word through social media networks.

Another valuable thing that I learned while interning at Cabrini Connections was the struggles it takes to help start a non-profit organization. It is more in-depth and time consuming that I thought it would be. What I found to be spectacular is that the organization did not start with a business plan or any kind of dedicated funding; instead, Dan Bassill saw a need and found people who felt compelled to make a difference in the world to help him start up his vision. From there people just jumped in, doing what needed to be done each day, every day since then. His story and the story of Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection is truly an inspirational one that makes me feel compelled and optimistic that if I follow my dreams they will become true. Also, as a result of this organization I want to do more things that I believe will be beneficial towards others.


Though my ideal future career is not with a non-profit organization I still learned an immense amount of information through the duration of my internship here at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. During the 14 week period I was at Cabrini Connections I learned extensively about social media tactics, how to write an effective blog, and how to spread a message through multiple venues at any given time. I want to eventually become an event planner and that means not only will I have to be extremely organized but that I’ll have to be good at spreading the knowledge of the event and being able to promote it in a way that seems appealing to my target audiences. The success of an event rides a lot on the effectiveness of how the event was promoted. This is why I am grateful to all who work at Cabrini Connections who have given me the knowledge of how to effectively promote an event and to spread the word of a wonderful organization like Cabrini Connections. I now know, as a result of interning at Cabrini Connections that I will be fully prepared to handle whatever lies ahead in the rest of my career here at Loyola and in my future career in event planning.

What I found to be most beneficial to me during my internship was that I was taught how to successfully promote. I have found which social media networks are most effective in getting a higher volume of audience participation while also figuring out how to write in a manner that gets peoples’ attention. Social media is a new field in the market place today so knowing how to use the tactics appropriately is imperative and will be necessary for me in my career later on. As a result of its newness, many who have been in the Public Relations field for several years do not know how to effectively promote on these sites. Thankfully, people such as Dan Bassill and other Cabrini Connections staff knew how use social media successfully so that I was able to learn the trade and be able to fully promote my companies events in the future. I will be successful in my future job as a result of the tactics and procedures I have learned during this internship.


Being a full time student and having what I would consider a part time job is not a simple task, as a result, I would say my overall performance would be excellent. Though in the beginning I did not write blogs that were intriguing to the public’s eye I quickly made a change in my writing style to fix that. I quickly obtained a full knowledge and awareness of what was going on within Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection and used their mission statement (engage workplace adults in structured activities that make a life-changing difference for youth living in economically and educationally disadvantaged neighborhoods) as a basis for all of my blogs. Working at Cabrini Connections was such a pleasant experience and I truly enjoyed coming into work every day because though I didn’t work with anyone when I saw other employees they were always happy.

Throughout the 14 week duration everyone at Cabrini Connections became like family, just like with my own family, if I knew I was going to be late I would contact Dan Bassill, the CEO and founder of the organization to let him know. I also tried to please my Cabrini Connections family by setting goals and expectations for myself that could make a difference within the organization. At the end of my 14 week term I not only helped fundraise for the organization but I also got people to help volunteer their time to help the students of Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. I fully enjoyed interning at Cabrini Connections and I plan on continuing to write blogs for them in the future.


"Social Good through Social Media." Eric Harr Social Media. Web. 17 Mar. 2010. <>;.

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After interning at Cabrini Connections for a little over 14 weeks I have learned several things. I would like to share my knowledge with you so that you can start off with knowledge that I wish I had begun with.

So, how do you make the most of your internship? Well with the help of some online sites and my own experience in interning at Cabrini Connections I have come up with 9 points you should follow.

1. Set Personal Goals: Interning at Cabrini Connections is different than other internships. You have more leeway and as a result it is easy to veer off course. Is is imperative that in the beginning of your internship you set some goals you would like to accomplish. For instance, one of my goals was to reach atleast 60 hits on my blog. Doing things like this helped me stay on track and gave me something to look forward to in the internship. At the end of the day whatever your goals, you will feel a greater sense of accomplishment once you achieve them.

2. Have Regular Meetings with your Supervisor: As you will soon come to find Dan Bassill is a wonderful man who has a lifetime of knowledge. Not meeting with him would be a shame as he can greatly increase your knowledge of your field of interest. From Dan I have learned an extensive amount about Public Relations, Social Media, and how to effectively spread a message through social media.

3. Undertake all tasks with Enthusiasm and a Positive Attitude: Everything you do might not be super exciting but make sure you tackle each task with a positive outlook. You are at this internship to learn something and to help out Cabrini Connections. So, make the most of this internship and work as hard as you can. In the end it will all pay off.

4. Avoid Negativity: Everyone at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection are nice. These people end up becoming family, everyone gets along and it is a great work atmosphere. So please, don't ruin your experience by being rude. The quickest way to kill a good internship is being negative. So, avoid complaining, being rude, disrespecting coworkers, arriving late, leaving early, being closed-minded, missing deadlines, appearing arrogant, wearing improper attire (the dress is casual, but that doesn't mean you can dress like a slob), acting unprofessionally, appearing inflexible, and taking part in office politics.

5. Never Shun a Chance to Learn More About the Company/Industry: Take every opportunity presented to you to attend company or industry meetings, conferences, and events; participate in training workshops; and read all company materials. For instance, take the time to read through past blogs written by interns and other CC,T/MC staff, go to the biannual conference CC,T/MC hosts. By partaking in all of these things your knowledge of the trade will increase and benefit you grately in the long haul.

6. Get as Much Exposure as Possible: CC, T/MC may not be big but it would be worth your while to get to know all of your co-workers. Everyone at CC, T/MC has an interesting story and a different take on the organization and what needs to be done in the organization. The more you talk to others in the organization the more you'll be exposed to new ideas. Learning is key in an internship, so by talking to others in the organization the more you'll be enlightened.

7. Don't be Afraid to Ask Questions: Like I said earlier your internship is a learning experience. While Dan will expect to get a certain level of work from you, you are not expected to know everything. Seek advice and raise questions whenever you encounter something that is not familiar to you. Be open-minded about new ideas and procedures -- remember that you don't know everything and that your professors didn't teach you everything. (Note: the first week or so will be where you will learn how to use NING, where you will get your own NING page, and where you will learn exactly what you will be doing at your internship. Don't hesitate to ask questions about anything!)

8. Take Initiative: Learn how to "think outside the box." A key part in this internship is to get CC, T/MC more exposure. Figure out distinctive ways in how to receive more exposure. Be creative, be unique, and further more figure out ways in how to inspire others to get involved in the organization.

9. Enjoy yourself: Interning at CC, T/MC was a great experience, so make sure you have some fun while you're learning and working.

I hope you have a great time interning at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connections. If you have any questions about the internship or about what I did during my internship please feel free to message me on NING.

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Final Two-Week Report!!

Fourteen-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 the 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 wrote a blog of advice to the incoming interns, encouraging them to follow my path and to explain to them all that i've learned throughout the entirety of this internship. These past weeks I have added the final touches to my final paper, making sure that it flows well and that I have fully answered my learning question, which was: how to unlease one's personal power to change hte world through social media. These past two-weeks I have accomplished a lot and though I am sad the internship is over, I plan on keeping in touch with the organization as I believe in their cause.

Through this internship I have realized that I truly enjoy working with social media networks. I have come to find that the social media realm is my nitch in the Public Relations profession. However, though I enjoy working with social media I want to go into the event planning field as I believe that I will enjoy that field more. I am a creative person and event planning will enable me to show off my creativity. I feel blessed that I was able to intern at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor connection as it developed my knowledge of social media as a whole. Without this internship I would not have been able to expand my knowledge of Twitter, blogs, and other various social media networks.

As I said earlier Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection has enlightened me on the world of social media. Through this internship I have learned about the vastness of social media and how to effectively use a variety of them. I have been taught how to use tools such as Google analytics to track my blog site visits which has shown to be extremely beneficial. As a result of being able to track my results I have been able to see how effective my writing has become and to see the numbers in my blog site almost double since I first began interning. Working at CC, T/MC has been a huge honor and a blessing as I have learned extensively about certain tactics that will be beneficial to me in my future career.

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My experience back at Cabrini Connections

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update everyone on what I've been doing this past week while helping out at Cabrini Connections. I spent a month volunteering at the center back in December '07 and January '08, while home for winter break from the University of Missouri. Since then, I've graduated from college and spent 17 months abroad, where the majority of that was spent teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I had a wonderful experience and really enjoyed working with the children on a daily basis.

I just came back to America within the past couple of weeks and have been able to stop into the tutoring center a couple of times to lend a hand with the planning of the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference. I've personally called and spoken to over 40 different tutoring and mentoring programs throughout the Chicago land area and invited them to participate in the conference either as observers, or as someone hosting their own workshop. I was pleasantly surprised with the openness and intrigue that everyone I've spoken to has shown towards me while I informed them of the conference. The majority of people I've spoken to were not previously aware of the conference, so I can certainly see the importance of contacting them first-hand and informing them of the conference and the benefits that it will bring. I think it's really important to get as many like-minded people and organizations as possible to participate in such a great cause, and to share their ideas about the importance of tutoring and mentoring in regards to youth development. I truly hope that the majority of people I've spoken to will be there in May, and I look forward to meeting and networking with everyone in attendance.
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Education Reform

I found this New York Times article to be interesting:

Like health care, education reform is on President Obama's to-do list. Unlike health care, however, the education system of the US is still in shambles. (Some say health care is still in shambles, but that is neither here nor there.) Private schools are limited in size and number of students, and public schools continue to falter. Accountability seems to be the key idea behind the Obama education reform plan: hold teachers accountable by rewarding good teachers. The capitalist work ethic is powerful. The United States thrives on the individual drive to succeed. What place this work-for-reward system has in education is yet to be seen. Hopefully we will know soon.

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Recently joined Tutor Mentor Connection

I met with Dan a few days ago and joined Tutor Mentor Connection. I am excited about the resources this program offers and hope to help shine some light on its benefits. As a mentor in the past, I have seen first hand the results of mentoring students, which is why I want to get involved in spreading this message.I graduated from DePaul University 3 years ago and work in Finance. I’ve done some volunteer work with a few local soup kitchens and tutoring programs. As I learn more about the program I hope to create some new ways to improve the many benefits that are already in place.
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April Update

My long term goal is to write subject articles about the tutor/mentor program that Cabrini Connections is operating. The purpose of these essays will be to make connections with the students of the program and the political and economical problems they face. By presenting people along with the problems they face I will hopefully open readers eyes to the problems facing these students. This process starts with research. Research in the areas of poverty, education, crime, and economic separation. I hope to present these academic subjects in a way readers will enjoy. The goal is to create pieces of writing that express the problems facing these students in a way that is moving, eye-opening, and interesting to read. The current climate for education overhaul makes this a timely subject to be writing about.
If any readers have information they would like to share please do so.
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Weekly Report #6

Twelve-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.The learning goals that have been most useful in guiding my internship have been figuring out ways in which to get higher traffic on not only my blogs but on the Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection site as a whole. I have come to find that with this basic criteria I have to come up with ways in which I know people will view my blogs and potentially take a look around the rest of the website. Certain social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have been found to be extremely successful in that arena.Several weeks back I started my final paper. I just recently interviewed Dan Bassill, Founder and CEO of Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connections. In the interview I received a ton of useful information that will be imperative for the success of my paper. I also plan on interviewing either someone else within the organization or the head of another non-profit organization.
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On this Ning site many are writing blog articles focusing on goals of Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. On the Cabrini Blog, you can see how our staff are writing blog articles every week. Be sure to look at the links on that site, because each is another blog written by one of our staff, or volunteers, or interns. On my own Tutor/Mentor blog, I link to the blog of Mike Trakan, who creates the maps we use. I also link to a list of bloggers that I follow.

I hope that each of our writters are reading blogs written by other people, especially those who provide ideas for how to increase the number of people who read your blog, and who respond to what we are all writing about.

That's the goal. We want more people thinking about tutoring/mentoring, where programs are needed, and ways they can use their own time, talent and dollars to help these programs constantly improve. We want to reach people with only a little time and a few dollars. We also want to reach people with immense wealth and huge celebrity. Anyone can read what we write and follow our ideas.

If what we write is interesting and well written.

Thus, I'd like to point to one blogger who I feel has a good strategy.

This is a discussion on Social Edge, talking about "theory of change". If you scroll through it you'll see that I've posted comments. You'll also find this comment by Pamela Hawley. .

Now visit Pamela's blog. You'll see that she points to the discussions on Social Edge, then shows here own comments, and goes on to explain them in further detail. If you scroll through the past articles you'll see that she does this often.

You'll also see that I've posted comments to Pamela.

I hope you'll each work to develop your own strategy, and share ideas you've learned by reading blogs written by others who have good ideas to share. Together we will attract the attention needed to sustain Cabrini Connections and other tutor/mentor programs, and to help each of us build the leadership, and program activities, that have a greater long-term impact on our volunteers, kids and communities.
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What do mentors do?

Mentors can be beneficial to anyones life. Young business professionals, college students, and high school students all have the capability to grow with a mentor. Mentors give the mentee advice and insight into the real world, so that they can be ready for the challenges that lay ahead.

A mentor can help assess the strengths and weaknesses of the mentee as well as develop their skills for success. Mentors have been there and know the struggles that lay ahead. Mentors are there to help the mentee navigate through these struggles and help provide a fresh perspective--a new way of looking at a problem or issue.

A mentor has the potential to be more than just an adviser but a coach--one in which the mentor facilitates the decision-making process by suggesting alternatives rather than telling the mentee what to do. Mentors are there to motivate the mentee to do their best work.

Do you think you have what it takes to be a mentor? If so, visit and see how you can make your first step in becoming a motivator in a student's life.

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