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Here are two lists and the press release that I've been working with. The links below are list of Chicago's newspapers and radio stations, accordingly.

Add a press release below:
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2010 Golf Benifit

2010 Jimmy Biggs Memorial Golf Benefit was held successfully at the Highland Park Country Club yesterday (July 15). Around 100 golfers came to support for this Golf Benifit. We all enjoyed eating, drinking, and socializing. Willow's and my job was taking pictures and communicate with people to help them better understand T/MC. I'm really happy to see people enjoyed their time and willing to give a hand to assist us in providing the resources needed for every student, volunteer, and staff.

Dan(middle) and golfers

A volunteer came to help with her two sons


Dan was giving a speech

El was giving a speech

Golfers in dinner

Thanks for people who donate and support what we are doing.

Next event is Tutor and Mentor Jam on August 29, 2010. Know more about the jam, click here

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This week must have been the most amazing week since we've been to Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. Having just finished the three-day Edgewood College Experience, we held one of our biggest annual functions yesterday, the 2010 Jimmy Biggs Memorial Cabrini Connections Golf Benefit.

We arrived at Highland Park Country Club at noon together with 3 Cabrini Connections' students who volunteered to assist our hosting. Malissia, a member of student video club, recorded the whole day activity as the camera-lady, while Jonathan and Kevin helped to witness one of four hole-in-ones with another Cabrini staff accordingly. This year, Cabrini sponsored four holes. Whoever gets a hole-in-one wins $10,000 prize.

After a quick lunch at the club house, golfers began their 5-hour golf benefit. More than 90 people participate this years' events. Some of them have even taken part in this golf benefit for years. They not only made long-term friends here, but also promote this meaningful activity to their friends, family and colleagues afterwards. The Highland Park Country Club has a beautiful situation on the suburbs. Our participants all enjoyed themselves in this exquisite environment.

Thanks to the kindly support of our participants, the dinner and silent auction went successfully. Golfers met each other in the dinning hall and walked around to sign for their auction items which attracted them. Dan and El gave speeches to introduce our programs and missions in the middle. Afterwards, Malissia and Jonathan shared their stories in Cabrini Connections. I was so touched by their experience because all that about how they grow with the help of Cabrini staff, their tutors and mentors is a revelation of their true feelings. It's a good thing to witness a youth to grow, let alone making contribution to their growth with your own efforts. I also was very glad to see all the people who participated in our golf benefit showed their care and passion in order to help this program and children who may benefit from it. Seeing those people, as well as talking to some of them, I know what I've done here is worthwhile.
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I thought it would just be another normal week when I and Jenny came to Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection on Monday as usual. It was not until we saw a group of people, dressed in blue T-shirt, sitting in a circle playing name games that I realized I finally got a chance to experience a program with all the passionate participants and our CC students.

It is an annual summer program co-held by Cabrini Connections and Edgewood College. This year, Dr Tom Holub together with his graduate students in education visited here for three days in order to help our students have a idea how to build connections and find their own personal values. It's also a opportunity for Edgewood College students to practice what they've learnt.

During the 3-day program, Edgewood students gave several presentations filled by various games and activities to encourage Cabrini students to express themselves and achieve their own success. What impressed me the most was on the first day, when students were asked to fall into 2 groups and illustrate their thoughts by either literature or art. Within just 5 minutes, our students showed their unique talents. Kids shared their well-written poems and creative pictures, which aroused great applause. It also make me believe that, for most of the time, the reason why people from underprivileged families cannot achieve as great life as others is not because of their personal abilities. Maybe, they are just lack of a good chance to shine. What our program do is to co-operate with other people and organizations in the society and create chances for those youth, or in other word "buried pearls".

For day one and two, after the secession indoors, we took bus to downtown Chicago to have the city explore. First day, we formed several groups to have scavenger hunt. The interesting thing was, since Edgewood students are not familiar with the city, in this case, all the Cabrini kids became the real leader and guide. After the scavenger hunt, the students not only knew their group members better, but their confidence increased in the process as well. The second day, we went to Contemporary Art Museum where our students were exposed to art. After that, all of us headed to the Navy Pier and took Ferris Wheel together to enjoy the beautiful city view of Chicago.

Before we ended our whole day's activities, students gathered again in Cabrini Connections to share their gains. I was so glad to see that both parties of students really got our concept of connection building. Charles, a Cabrini Connections student who wants to become a journalist was offered help to contact journalists and media people by a Edgewood student. As a member of Cabrini Connections, I was as excited as Charles, not only because he got benefit from our program, but also because this proves that what we persist about is worthwhile.

For a small organization like us, helping poor youth in our neighborhood to grow is truly a grand vision. Some people may doubt whether it can really fulfill. But just as this week's theme song "Imagine" illustrates, if you believe all these things and do your best to follow what you believe, then we can turn the "imagination" into reality. This is the conviction which supports Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection.
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Edgewood College Experience

It's Cabrini's 12th annual Edgewood College Experience, fortunately I can take a part in it, a three day mini-camp. Youth from our program work with graduate students in Education from Edgewood College. We have fun activities, brain games, trip in the city, ect.

Compared with thoese cold-calling from local businesses, I see there are some people are really working hard to help youth to grow. I see patience and love.

And I made friend with Kristin, a graduate student from Edewood College. Tomorrow is the last day of Edgewood College Experience. It's hard to say goodbye.

Golf Benefit is coming on Thursday. Hope more people are coming. It's the busiest day since I came to Cabrini, but it's really enjoyable, because I can really join the activities and see how our T/MC works.






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The Third Week

After a long weekend attached with 4th of July holiday, I stepped into the third week of my internship. With the previous 2-week browsing-around on Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection's website and library, I started to think that I've already gone into the right orbit.

Much like last week, Mike assigned Jenny and me with a list of our local business neighbors to contact with. We were supposed to find their publication affairs offices' email addresses and ask them whether they are interested in sponsor our benefit concert in late August.

I remembered when I were doing the similar job last week, I was quited frustrated when I found my requests often grew out of knowledge. I was so confused why people can be so indifferent and showed my annoyance in my blog. Fortunately, Dan and Bradley's replies comforted and encouraged me to be persistent. I began to understand, working for an NGO or non-profit organization like this, I have to arm myself with persistence so that I won't be beat down by the up-coming difficulties. I should be trained to get a thick skin ;)

This change of my thoughts really leads to a better result! Instead of being depressed by the dull assignment, I checked all the companies' websites thoroughly and send them emails one by one as if they would never turn me down. Eventually, I've got a reply from AAIME Business Association who kindly offered us a raffle item!

To summarize my third week, I'd say it was successful. I say it like that is not only because I finally found myself make a difference for CC T/MC, but also because how I found the change of attitude help in my work. Now I enjoy my working time during the weekdays. Seeing people coming to our place on and on everyday is a great joy to me, since I know with one more people coming here, there are one less left in helplessness. Looking forward to more challenges next week!
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Transforming Young Lives Through Sport

Transforming Young Lives Through Sport

Participation in sport is an internationally recognized human right and is important for people of all ages to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Foryoung people, sport, play and exercise are vital for optimal growth andlearning, stimulating physical, cognitive, emotional and social development.But the benefits of sport extend far beyond the individual. Through sport, wecan lay the groundwork for positive, lasting change on the societal level.

Around Uganda, Beyond Youths Sports programs promote health awareness, accelerate psychological healing in areas affected by natural disasters andconflict, further social inclusion and cohesion, and contribute to economicdevelopment through a variety of sport-based activities. Our programs takeadvantage of sport’s popularity and convening power to mobilize young peopleand their communities, communicate key messages, bring diverse groups togetherand teach valuable life skills in a way that is fun and participatory.

Our sport-based programs also aim to empower and promote the inclusion of marginalized groups, especially minorities, girls, refugees, people withdisabilities and vulnerable children and youth.

Meeting Challenges with Sport
BYSPORTS strives to be a leader in the field of sports programming bydeveloping a series of innovative and replicable models that demonstrate thepowerful effect of sport in transforming the lives of young people.

BYSPORTS is organizing sports-related projects in Uganda. These projects have a focus primarily on helping youth overcome health challenges (specifically, HIV/AIDS) and thetrauma associated with natural disasters. Now, we are broadening the scope ofour work to include programs addressing conflict management and economicdevelopment using sports.

Protecting Against HIV/AIDS
we appeal to all local sports coaches to incorporate an innovative HIV/AIDSlife skills curriculum into their teams’ activities. Through their work, youngpeople will learn how they can prevent HIV/AIDS and live a healthy life. Theprograms also work to reduce stigma and discrimination against people affectedby HIV/AIDS.

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This graphic is one of many that I've created to try to illustrate ideas. In this case, I represent the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) which is the host of this forum. We're a small, thinly funded non profit in Chicago, so we do a lot of what we do with the help of volunteers and interns. Throughout this Ning site you'll see examples of how interns have converted graphics like this into animations, or how they are doing Social Network Analysis, or writing about what we do to help people in their own networks understand, and join us.

There are many people who could help us, ranging from faith groups, to alumni and business groups, as well as foundations, policy makers, etc. If you map your network as Willow and Jenny have done, you'll see that many people in your network have these skills, talents and assets. Many of them could help the Tutor/Mentor Connection, or Cabrini Connections, or any other non profit tutoring/mentoring program, in Chicago, or in any other city.

There are now more than 200 people in this Ning group, and we each are connected to hundreds, or thousands of other people via our networks and social media.

Every few months, there is an opportunity, and a reason, for each member of this group to share a message with the people in their network. This flash animation illustrates how the events on this graphic each have multiple goals. If you do this, with enthusiasm, creativity, and purpose, you can help the Tutor/Mentor Connection, and we can do more to help each of the organizations who are looking for the same resources that we are looking for.

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July 2, 2010

It's the second week since I started my internship at Tutor/Mentor
Connections. Willow and me have taken a part in promoting the Tutor/Mentor Jam which is coming-together of bands, entertaners and the local business community represents a village, coming together to draw public attention and support toward our programs in high-poverty/high-crime neighborhoods throughout the Chicago region.

The jam is going to take place at Darkroom bar on Aug 29, 2010. And we are going to interview bands and boss of the bar, ect. A video will be made later in order to inform and attract people to come. There is a Chinese community website called Douban and I found a Chicago group and I post our event there hoping that might help to expand our events.

Next week Willow and I are going to reproduce Minsang and Jiwon's vidoe which was made during their internship at T/MC. I hope it would be responded after we made it and post it on Chinese biggest video websites such as youku and tudou. No matter people click it or not, people would be affected even by a glimpse. This is called advertising effect. Hope more and more people would have an idea about us, about T/MC, about the children who need help.

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Yesterday I watched a talk on TED which I think is worth sharing to all of you guys who try to work someway to function Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection more effectively, or who participate in this program but have a question mark in their heads thinking if this's worthwhile, or even those who are still hesitating in front of CC T/MC's gateway.

Following are what I find it meaningful in the talk:

1. To draw more people's attention into CC T/MC's program and keep them stay in touch, our current members should build emotional connections with them. It agrees for no doubt that the person who someone cares the most is obviously himself or herself. So in our process, we should help people who take part in our program figure out why they, as individuals, are so important to us, and what kind of relationship can we provide with them to make them feel beneficial and happy. Once emotional connected, we breed their loyalty to this program. They'll be our longterm members since they know we are the people they can always count on.

2. As people who do NOT dare the ordinary, other than pursuit and manage what we can measure, shouldn't we focus on what's intangible, say self-actualization? Following is the pyramid showed by the speaker in his speech, illustrating people's needs in life. At the bottom is the basic tangible things to make us survive. As our needs go all the way to the top, we begin to want to achieve intangible transformation.

True, different people have different ideas about what their own self-actualizations are. Due to the social environment, majority view it as making great fortune or gaining popularity. As the speaker mentions in his talk, most people have been fooled by GDP so that we still wallow in "19th- and 20th-century industrial-era model of success". Now we've spent almost a decade in the 21st-century. Are we still going to stay in an era lowing our standards, viewing the basic needs as our ultimate goals? Maybe it's time for us to think about what is an alternative definition of success, besides money.

This talk provides a plausible answer. We should pursue real happiness.

Found in 1993, Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection prospect its actualization as helping kids from under-privileged families to get as much opportunities of study and work as other children. As a small non-profit organization, holding a big vision like this for 17 years is not easy. But why is this program still alive through all these years? It is the intangible fulfill that brace it. CC T/MC not only gives chances to those youth to compete with others at the same level, but also gives chances to the society not to miss real talents. It creates conditions for others' happiness to occur. It is a habitat of happiness.

3. Then, what is real happiness? Rabbi Hyman Schachtel said, happiness is not about having what you want. Instead, it's about wanting what you have. Many people nowadays spend most of their life time seeking quick success and instant benefits, even though they know they are not able to anticipate it all, or what's worse they themselves don't even really want what they pursuit! On the other hand, there a great number of people who lack of basic opportunities of living, study and work. These people in need are not faraway on the other side of the world, they are just in your neighborhood! In that case, why can't people share? Each takes what he needs so that everyone can have its own real happiness.

I know after reading this, some people may still argue that things won't work as what I said in reality. Because "reality" is something that is usually brutal, ugly and not satisfying. However, I'd say we should always cherish a heart of newborn baby, not with that can we succeed.
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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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