Today on the Tutor/Mentor blog I included this map, showing the Austin neighborhood on the West side of Chicago, where two men were gunned down on the front steps of a church on Sunday morning.
In that article I pointed to a series of articles and maps that I’ve created in the past 8 years, pointing to the same neighborhood, and offering the same call-to-action intended to get people from businesses, faith groups, hospitals and universities in the map area, as well as political leaders, students and media, involved in on-going learning that would lead to building and sustaining many more mentor-rich non-school youth programs helping kids move safely through school and into adult lives and jobs.
At the right is a photo of me, from a volunteer recruitment campaign press conference, held in Chicago in the late 1990s. I’m holding a copy of the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Programs Directory, which the Tutor/Mentor Connection started distributing in May 1994. It contained lists of known non-school tutor/mentor programs, organized by section of the city and coded by type of program and age group served.
It also contained lists showing others who work with youth or provide resources to support tutor/mentor programs.
I started putting this on the Internet in 1998 and you can find the entire collection of Chicago youth programs and related information on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site, and related sites.
If you do a Google search for “tutor mentor” and any of the words on this tag cloud, you’ll find multiple listings on the first two pages showing content I’ve put on the Internet over the past 20 years. If you look at the “images” feature on Google, you’ll see dozens of maps and visualizations that I’ve embedded in my articles.
All of those stories and posts are intended to influence what you and others do with your own time, talent and dollars (and votes) to help kids in poverty areas have greater hope and opportunity to move safely through school and into adult jobs and careers.
While most of those we seek to help in Chicago are minority kids, throughout the country a larger number of youth living in poverty are White kids. What I’ve been doing in Chicago needs to be duplicated on other cities and states.
Every story I have created over the past six or seven years has hyperlinks pointing to other articles I’ve created or to the web library I’ve been building since 1998, which has ideas from more than 2000 other organizations. View printed newsletters from the 1990s and see how I was pointing to other resources than myself before the Internet.
As you read this and other articles I’ve written, I want YOU to think of how you could do exactly the same thing, reaching your network and influencing their involvement in causes you care about.
You can take the same role as I do (and even borrow and re-do articles I’ve written), and probably be more creative and effective than I have been in how you draw attention and point people to information they can learn from and places where they can help.
I hope to see many more people taking this role. That’s how YOU, and many other, can make a difference.