Edition: July 2011
Issue No. 100
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* New Beginning for Tutor/Mentor Connection
* Be part of November Tutor/Mentor Conference
* Chicago 2011 Transition Plan
* Expanding ideas available
* President's Message - It's a Journey.
issue 01
Launching a new strategy to support Tutor/Mentor Connection

The Tutor/Mentor Connection has been part of the non-profit Cabrini Connections tutor/mentor program in Chicago since 1992 when the organization was created by Dan Bassill and six other volunteers.  Due to constant funding challenges the Board of Directors voted in April 2011 to no longer support the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy as of June 30.

The Board has assigned the rights and intellectual capital for T/MC to Dan Bassill who has resigned his role as president, CEO of the combined organization in order to continue to pursue the goals of the T/MC.  In order to do this Bassill has created Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC which will continue to innovate ways to help volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow, and which will take responsibility for organizing events like the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences, while also hosting the Tutor/Mentor Chicago Program Locator and other web services.

Within the next 12 months Bassill seeks to form a new governing board of volunteers and re-incorporate the Tutor/Mentor Connection as a non-profit organization serving the Chicago region.  At the same time, through the Tutor/Mentor Institute LLC, Bassill hopes to help other cities form structures similar to the T/MC to help build a more even distribution of non-school tutor/mentor programs in those places.

This is a process still taking shape. Follow at http://tutormentor.blogspot.com or join in the discussions at http://tutormentorconnection.ning.com


Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference, November, 2011  

mage created by
Tutor/Mentor Connection

Help needed with conferences.  
The Tutor/Mentor Connection has organized a networking conference every six months since May 1994. In order to offer a November 2011 conference in Chicago donated space needs to be located or conference sponsors need to step forward with the money needed to rent space and pay for the work needed to organize and market the event.  Email tutormentor2@earthlink.net if you can help with this.

Visit this page to learn about conference goals.

Read case for collaboration:

Help identify volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring programs not yet in the Tutor/Mentor Connection on-line library.    One goal of this conference is to identify and give recognition to tutor/mentor programs operating in the South part of Chicago, the South Suburbs and Northern Indiana. If you operate a program in this area please make sure you're included in the Program Links library at http://tinyurl.com/ChiTM-Program-Links

Share you ideas about the conference, networking, and challenges facing tutor/mentor programs in the groups at http://tutormentorconnection.ning.com/groups


issue 02  
Mayor Emanuel Shares Chicago 2011 Transition Plan  

Chicago has a new Mayor. Have you read the Chicago 2011 Transition Plan?
Here's a link to the plan. http://www.chicago2011.org/transition-report.pdf


I wrote about the plan at http://tutormentor.blogspot.com/2011/05/chicago-2011-and-beyond-are-you.html and invited people in Chicago, the Chicago suburbs and surrounding states to use this week's Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference as a place to meet and begin discussing the plan. We still have space if you'd like to register today or tomorrow. See http://www.tutormentorconference.org

Graphic provided by Tutor/Mentor Connection -

I've been collecting and sharing information related to the well-being of youth and families in the Chicago region for many years.  The Tutor/Mentor Connection offers a strategy that might lead to more people looking at this information, building their own understanding, and becoming personally involved. While we have very little public visibility, imagine if the Mayor were creating videos like this one to invite people to look at his plan, and the ideas we and others share on our own web sites.  See this at http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/cabrinivideos/188-imagine32011

Working Collectively to overcome this Challenge

The Mayor's Chicago 2011 plan does not include an initiative focused on getting volunteers involved in the lives of inner city youth as part of an effort to increase the number of people working collectively to make the Chicago region, not just Chicago, a better place to raise children and earn a living.  However, this image shows the range of volunteers that have come together for many years at just one small tutor/mentor program.

Imagine if several hundred programs in the Chicago region were connecting youth and volunteers in this same type of strategy.  The ideas we share on our web sites, and at the May and November conferences, are intended to stimulate the growth of this type of volunteer involvement.  There's still time to send a representative, even from the Mayor's office.


Volunteers, parents and donors can also browse the list of links to the nearly 200 Chicago area youth organizations that we know of at: http://tinyurl.com/ChiTM-Program-Links

We're constantly updating this information and we don't have much money or manpower to do this. If you'd like to help email tutormentor2@earthlink.net

issue 03  
Tutor/Mentor Connection - Expanding the Ideas Available for Planning  

The Mayor's Chicago 2011 transition plan calls for many task forces to focus on different initiatives and come up with strategic plans in the next 100 days or coming year.  The links below point to information these teams might use to expand their own range of ideas.  Videos at http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/video illustrate ways this information can be used.


Here are some other sections of the T/MC library

Collaboration - http://tinyurl.com/collaboration-and-capacity-building-articles

 Drop out crisis information - http://tinyurl.com/TMC-dropout-crisis

*    NCLB, Education links -  http://tinyurl.com/TMC-NCLB-educaton

*    Challenges facing non profits - http://tinyurl.com/TMC-ChallengesFacingNPOs

  Service Learning opportunities discussion forum - http://tinyurl.com/TMC-service-learning

Various types of  tutor/mentor programs in other cities - http://tinyurl.com/T-MCLibrary-programs-network

*    Link to research section of tm library - http://tinyurl.com/TMLibrary-research

Submit your own link recommendations and post articles that talk about this information. Just register and log in at http://www.tutormentorconnection.org



president's message
Life is a journey. Detours happen.

by Daniel F. Bassill

Image created by Tutor/Mentor Connection

Since 1975 I've led a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program connecting inner-city youth with adult volunteers. More than 5,000 volunteers have connected with a similar number of Cabrini-Green area youth over those years. I'm still connected to the first boy I mentored and to many other kids and volunteers who have joined this journey. I've been rewarded by all of the things I've learned and all of the love that has been shared.

I never did this on my own. I've had mentors and people helping me since the beginning.  One of the best advise I ever received was from an executive at the Montgomery Ward company where the original tutor/mentor program was created. He said back in 1976, "You obviously don't know much about leading a tutor/mentor program. Why not find people in the city who lead programs and invite them to come to lunch so you can learn from them."

I did. I've been doing that every year since then. The Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences and the entire Tutor/Mentor Connection came from that suggestion. This timeline shows the growth of the T/MC over 40 plus years, starting with the creation of the tutoring program at Wards in 1965.

There have been some bumps along the road.  In 1990 I was given one-day to clean out my office at Montgomery Ward as a new advertising executive decided I was not needed. This led me and the volunteers leading the Montgomery Ward/Cabrini Green Tutoring Program to convert the company program into a non profit Cabrini Green Tutoring Program Inc, which enabled us to raise money so I could continue my 17 years leadership, but in a paid role instead of as a volunteer.

In October 1992 the board of the Cabrini Green Tutoring Program gave me one afternoon to clear out my office since we could not agree on a way to operate the program. (I had recruited these people to form a board in 1990 when I left Wards.) This led to the formation of Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection with the help of six other volunteers from the original program.

Now change is taking place again. The Board at Cabrini Connections has decided to no longer support the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy for a variety of reasons, primarily the difficulty in finding money to operate the organization.  Read more here.

As with in the past, I'm not looking backwards. I'm taking the experiences I've gained, and creating a new structure that I hope lasts another 20 years, and has more success in generating the revenue and support needed to help us help volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs reach youth in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago and other urban areas of the US and the world.

This is the lesson mentoring is supposed to show. It's not how often you get knocked down that matters. It's how often you get back up and keep moving forward. I've been knocked down in big and small ways over and over during the past 20 years as I've trying to find the resources to build Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

With your help we'll be stronger in the future than we ever were in the past.

To learn more of these changes read these blog articles.  To help with creating the Tutor/Mentor Institute and a new Tutor/Mentor Connection, join in this forum or email me at tutormentor2@earthlink.net



The Tutor/Mentor Connection is part of a two part non-profit. Learn about the T/MC 4-part strategy at  http://tinyurl.com/TMC-4-Part-Strategy

The Tutor/Mentor Connection is now organized by Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, which is not a 501-c-3 non profit, but a social enterprise that seeks to generate revenue from multiple sources including fees and sponsorships for conferences and training events, and an annual Chicagoland Tutor/Mentor Volunteer Recruitment campaign. 

Daniel F. Bassill
Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
and Tutor/Mentor Connection

Read the blogs at :

Follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/tutormentorteam
Linked in group on volunteering - http://tinyurl.com/TMC-LinkedIn-Volunteering
Tutor/Mentor Institute on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/groups/225694987463116?ap=1

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