In this article, I want to focus on -
"What are all the things we need to 'know, and do', to assure that youth born or living in high poverty areas of Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, New York City, etc. are starting jobs and careers out of poverty by their mid 20’s?"
I use graphics to stimulate thinking about ideas. Below is a graphic illustrating the path from “where we are now” to “where we want to be in the future”.
The graphic is from a blog article I wrote at the Tutor/Mentor Institute Blog, Getting From HERE to THERE in NonProfit Sector, August 20, 2012.
Getting from “here to there” can take many years, with many revisions to strategy along the way.
The steps to achieve goals are much less clear for future years than the steps needed in the first few months or year of such an action plan.
In his books focusing on Good to Great, (Good to Great: Why Some Companies make the Leap...And Others Don't) author Jim Collins writes about the constant growth needed for any organization becoming great, and the on-going work needed to stay great.
In my February 5, 2014 I-Open article, Career Pathways Out of Poverty, I used graphics to show the 12-16 years of continuous support needed over a period of 12 to 16 years to help a youth from first grade to first jobs.
Read the Tutor/Mentor Institute article, 'Good To Great' Philosophy by clicking on the screenshot below.
How many leaders in any city view their role as helping youth serving organizations in every neighborhood grow from “good to great” and then help them stay “great” as youth move through these programs toward jobs and careers?
I’ve been gathering information for my web library for almost 40 years, drawing from my own experiences, and adding the experiences and wisdom of others. This information gathering is never-ending.
Yet it is just the first part of an on-going 4-part strategy that increases the number of people using the information, and the number of people supporting individual youth serving organizations throughout a geographic area. This strategy is illustrated in the map shown right.
This is STEP 1 of a 4-part strategy I’ve been following since 1993.
Leaders in every city should be supporting the growth of a library like I’ve been building. Rather than start from scratch, linking to the Tutor/Mentor Library would be a way to start with an existing body of information, then build on by adding locally relevant information.
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(Above) Using network analysis and GIS Mapping, leaders can map the growth of their networks, and determine who is involved, and who needs to be involved.
In a section of articles at Tutor/Mentor Exchange-Mapping Network Growth, I show how geographic maps and social network analysis can be used to help leaders expand their network, understand its composition and show its growth over a period of years.
I point to numerous web sites where people are sharing ideas about geographic information system (GIS) and social network analysis (SNA) mapping. Click the image (right) to learn more.
The Tutor/Mentor Exchange-Mapping Network Growth page
Since I’ve never had many dollars for paid advertising, I’ve created a year-round calendar of events and actions that support the growth of my network, and help me draw attention and resources to tutor/mentor programs in Chicago, Illinois. The graphic below can be seen in many of my articles, such as, Collaboration Goals. Helping Volunteer-Based Tutor/Mentor Programs Grow.
Any time any person in Chicago says “mentoring is a way to help solve xxxx problem” some people will be prompted to search Google to find locations of tutor/mentor programs near where they live or work.
If the person sharing the message also shares a link to the web directory, more people will find that information.
If the person is a highly visible person, and gives this message often, the number of people who look for ways to give time, talent and dollars to tutor/mentor programs in different parts of the city will grow.
I focus on four time frames with events that repeat every year:
- Aug/Sept when school is starting and every youth organization is seeking volunteers.
- November when there is an opportunity for program leaders to connect and share ideas.
- Feb/March – National Mentoring Month is in January, and provides a boost in recognition for mentoring. However, I feel an event in February could have greater impact.
- May/June – a year end Tutor/Mentor Conference should be a celebration of the tutoring/mentoring taking place in the city. However it should also have more specific goals
This animation was created by interns from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Northwestern University to communicate this year-round strategy. View the animation here.
I’ve been building this calendar of events since 1994. I’ve never had much money or support from celebrities, business, the Mayor, or philanthropy. Yet, this “master plan” has been covered by print and broadcast media often over the past 20 years. You will find many media stories about the Tutor/Mentor Institute's work here.
Depending on the organizational strength and civic reach of the leaders, the strategy can grow at a much faster pace than how it has grown in Chicago. Furthermore, if intermediaries leading this strategy in different cities tie their events together via on-line learning, web links, social media, etc. the work done in one city can have a residual impact on work done in every other city.
Such tools would map the growth of networks, show who is involved, and show the distribution of support to all neighborhoods of a city. The connection of people from different places who are constantly innovating ways to improve upon this strategy creates an exciting community of leaders who support each other in many unique and important ways.
I believe the Tutor/Mentor Institute strategy can be duplicated in any city or state to support students in school to careers. ~ Daniel F. Bassill
A new initiative proposed by Governor Kasich, Community Connectors Initiative, will support the collaboration of schools, parents, communities, community organizations, students, and business leaders in creating solid mentoring programs. If passed by the Ohio Legislature, the initiative will be paid for through casino profits and will give communities a $3 match for every dollar they invest in building mentoring programs. Read more here.
Leaders in different Ohio cities could borrow the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy, and adopt it to their own communities, offering the Governor a well developed template for his mentor support initiative.
Within a few years every city could have a set of maps showing where tutor/mentor programs are most needed, what programs operate in those areas, and who is supporting the growth of each program so there are great programs serving kids in every neighborhood where they are needed.
Author, Daniel F. Bassill, D.H.L., President & Founder, Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, has been leading a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program in Chicago since 1974. Today's article focuses on the questions he has been asking in his own on-going efforts to help Chicago youth benefit from well-organized, long-term, tutoring/mentoring programs.
Learn about Tutor/Mentor Institute here. Subscribe to Tutor/Mentor Institute weekly blog articles here.
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