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An Introduction

Hi All,

My name is Daniel Isherwood and I'm excited to be formally involved with the Tutor Mentor Institute.  I have known about the institute and been a colleague of Dan Bassill's since I started teaching at Byrd Academy in the Cabrini Green neighborhood in 2002.  When I first started teaching at Byrd, the one thing that really stood out to me was the amount of free time the children had before and after their school day.  I realized right away that in order for them to reach their full potential there had to be before and after school opportunities for them to connect with mentors with in one capacity or another.  I had a philosophy that it did not necessarily matter the type of program whether it be athletics, arts, or educational enhancement as long as there was a consistent mentor dedicated to that young person's development.  After a year of teaching I decided that I would start a not for profit to help fill this before and after school time.  I created an organization called Urban Initiatives, which has steadily grown over the years and now reaches student's with a number of different high impact programs at 29 Chicago Public Schools. Urban Initiatives does amazing work, but I felt like there was more that needed to be done which is how I ended up getting involved with the Institute.  The Institute takes a global perspective at a local level.  The aim is not to create one great program that helps a certain number of children, but to give every program a set of resources and best practices to continually enhance and modernize their program's to have a much deeper impact across this great city.  I am very excited about the building this organization and in turn helping every child in Chicago get on a path from birth to work.

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