Holiday Best Wishes to every Youth Organization Leader, Volunteer, Youth and Supporter
as end 2015 and Head into the Beginning of 2016.


December 2015                                                                                  Issue: #147
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2016

The ideas shared in this monthly newsletter can be used by resource providers, political leaders, non profit leaders, volunteers and youth to help mentor-rich programs thrive in all of the neighborhoods where they are most needed. There's a lot of information. Spend a little time each week reading the articles and following the links. Use in group discussions with people who are concerned about the same issues.

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This week holiday parties are being hosted by youth serving organizations throughout Chicago and other cities, celebrating the involvement of youth and volunteers in many different types of volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring programs.  If you browse my Facebook list of Chicago area tutor/mentor organizations, many pages will show photos of youth and volunteers enjoying holiday celebrations.

I hope that everyone enjoys the joy and love of this extended network of friends and mentors and that the eyes of thousands of big and small donors are seeking out your web sites with a goal of sending you unsolicited year-end donations, so you're all able to continue the connections you are building throughout 2016 and into 2017.

January will again be National Mentoring Month.  Visit this page to find details and events that you can use to draw support to your own organization and others during January 2016. 
What will it take?
What are all the things we need to know, and do, to assure that all youth born or living in high poverty are starting jobs & careers by age 25-30?

I have been writing a blog since 2005, and printed newsletters between 1993 and 2001) and many of the articles focus on ways to engage youth, volunteers, board members, staff, donors and policy makers in an on-going conversation that results in more consistent support for youth serving organizations with a long-term theory of change who are connecting with youth living in high poverty areas of Chicago and other cities.

Here's a link to an article I posted on December 10. Click here

Then, here's a link to another article, posted on December 14. Click here
In this article I point to an educator in Massachusetts and another in Kentucky, who have picked up this conversation. I also point to a group in Cleveland who has been amplifying my stories.

One link points to this page, created by Terry Elliot, who I met during the Making Learning Connected cMOOC.  Terry went through my blog and created an article where he points his readers to several related blog articles.

My goal in publishing this newsletter, and writing the blog, is that many will take similar roles, thus expanding the network of people who are connecting and learning from each other, with a common goal of helping build and sustain programs that reach youth in high poverty neighborhoods, and help those youth through school and into adult lives.

Here are some resources I encourage you to invite your volunteers to look at:

The Keys to Helping Youth in Poverty Thrive, written by Wendy Foster is the president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay."   Click here
The other problem with Chicago's segregation: Concentrated wealth, article on Metropolitan Planning Council web site. Click here

Race and ethnicity in the CMAP Region

Independent Sector 2015 report on trends in philanthropy: Threads Insights from the Charitable Community.  Click here. The more your volunteers, leaders and donors understand the challenges non profits face, the more likely they will be to help you overcome those challenges.  This report is one of many similar articles in this section of the Tutor/Mentor Library.

Is your web site providing enough information to motivate volunteers, donors and leaders to support you? Visit this Shopper Guide PDF and consider what types of information you could be sharing on your web site. 

I'm a Huge Fan of Maps.
Generals use maps to make sure they have forces in places where enemy forces are concentrated.  Businesses use maps to make sure stores are located near where customers are located.

Youth organization leaders and supporters should be using maps to make sure needed programs are available in all areas where map indicators show they are needed.  Poverty overlays on maps are one indicator showing need for well organized, mentor-rich, non school programs.

The map above shows the interactive map hosted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, The map enables you to zoom into specific zip codes to see donations made to different categories of social services. See the map and my story here.

I use the MappingforJustice blog to show case mapping platforms that I'm finding through my daily networking, and to show examples of map-stories that are created to share information from the interactive maps and focus attention and resources at specific neighborhoods in cities like Chicago.

In the Tutor/Mentor blog you can find uses of maps in sets of stories a this, and this, link  (scroll down the blog to see articles written since 2007)

Below are presentations that include maps.
* Youth Poverty Levels in Chicago Community Areas. Use for planning growth of needed programs in each area - link
* Role of Leaders - link
* Mentor Role in a Larger Strategy - link

I believe youth and volunteers from inner city neighborhoods and suburban schools can be creating map stories that show areas of unequal opportunity and that draw attention and needed resources to organizations operating in those areas.  If you'd creating such stories please share them on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms where we can connect.
Planning Ahead - Visualizing Strategy
GIS maps show where tutor/mentor programs are needed. Concept maps can show what programs should include and how others can help them grow.

I've been using free cMAP tools since 2005 to create concept maps such as those shown above. In 2015 I create one page with my entire collection of maps. See the link here.

In articles on the Tutor/Mentor Blog, tagged as 'systems thinking' I show various free and low cost mapping tools that organizations, businesses, collaborations and others could use to create their own visualizations of actions needed to help assure that more kids born or living in high poverty are starting jobs and careers by age 25.

I encourage you to look at these ideas over the year-end holidays and began to share them with your communities in 2016.  Engage your youth as researchers and map-makers. Help them learn what it takes for a high quality non-school program to be available to them, in their neighborhood.

If you embrace and take ownership of these strategies you can change the future.
Help Me Continue to Host and Share these Ideas

Visit this page and look at the range of information, ideas and resources made available to Chicago by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
Compare this to what other intermediaries offer on their own web sites. Your support is needed to help me continue this work.

Who else is building and maintaining lists of Chicago area tutoring and/or mentoring programs (click here and here) with a goal of drawing volunteers and donors directly to every program on a more consistent basis? 

Who will help me do this? Who will take ownership of this in future years?

Find more resources at:

Tutor/Mentor Connection

Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC

Tutor/Mentor Blog

Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, IL  60654

Archive of past newsletters - click here
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