The Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC (T/MI) seeks to recruit volunteers from every profession and industry in Chicago who can model different career aspirations than are normally modeled in high poverty neighborhoods, and who can provide coaching, mentoring and support to help kids succeed in school and move to college, then careers.
See full size version of this graphic. See animated view of this graphic.
Click this link to see strategy map that illustrates this concept.
OUR VISION: Business must take the lead.
By recruiting volunteers from the business community, and supporting their long-term connections with kids, we create a link between our programs and the strategies of large and small corporations who are seeking strategies that lead to greater workplace diversity, greater learning and innovation, and more workers prepared for 21st century careers.
Business leaders are frustrated that the public school system is not preparing enough youth for the jobs and careers that they need filled. The Tutor/Mentor Connection feels this is an opportunity for some leaders to open another channel of learning and another path for reaching kids with career education.
That path is the non-school hours and the Internet.
See Leadership Strategies section.
CREATE A PUSH-PULL SYSTEM, WITH LEADERSHIP IN EVERY INDUSTRY
Every year the major papers have headlines reporting that 75% of Chicago elementary schools were being put on a "watch list" because of poor student learning performance. Editorials call for more accountability. Business leaders call for better results. However, few are calling for more accountability from our business, professional and media leaders.
However, the chart above shows that while parents, educators, tutor/mentor programs and others are "PUSHING" youth to careers, we need industry to "PULL", using their employee-volunteers, their jobs, their technology, and their dollars. We need "scorecards" that show which businesses, faith groups, hospitals and universities are doing better than others in distributing their help into neighborhoods where they do business, or get tax breaks, or draw workers. We need to be able to visit business web sites and learn what they are doing to help youth to careers, and how others can duplicate successful efforts in one location to help youth and families in other locations.
HOW DO WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN?
The articles in the various sections of this web site, such as Role of Leaders, and the information on other T/MC web sites, are intended to inspire innovation that leaders in many cities will use to develop their own strategies to engage the resources of the workplace. We encourage you to form learning teams, who draw from this information and lead discussions in the same way that college professors encourage group learning, or that faith leaders post passages to scripture and encourage reading and reflection among members of each faith.
LEARNING LEADS TO INVOLVEMENT AND INVOLVEMENT LEADS TO OWNERSHIP
As members of business and faith communities learn more about tutor/mentor programs, some will become volunteers in different programs around the country. As these volunteers bond with kids they will become more like parents, who demand more from schools, and the kids themselves. They will become leaders who mobilize others to get involved.
THIS BECOMES A CONSTANTLY EXPANDING NETWORK
One day visitors to this web site will be able to click into each section on the chart shown on this page, or the TQM chart shown on other pages, and find links to libraries of information that help youth move from one level to the next, and then to careers.
By using the T/MC's Program Locator, visitors are able to search a database by several sort categories, such as type of program, age group served, time of day, and zip code to find programs in specific areas, or to learn if such programs are available in certain areas. With help from business and foundations, the T/MC hopes to create a GIS service that would enable visitors to click onto the map and find links to programs in each neighborhood, as well as tables that show the demographics of the neighborhood, the indications that children need extra help (like schools on probation, poverty rates, crime rates, etc.).
The chart will help people find resources to learn from, build networks, expand capacity, and give help. The map will help stakeholders connect with others in the same neighborhood or other neighborhood, and will provide a measure of accountability for ourselves and our leaders. If we all think tutor/mentor programs are important, our map should show that we have programs in neighborhoods where kids need help. If there is no "dot" on the map showing an existing program, we are failing to provide this service to the youth and families in that neighborhood. If we think technology access is important, then we should also be able to look at a map showing where access is available and where it is not available. In a similar manner, when our State or Chicago Board of education puts schools on a watch list, or probation list, we should be able to find a map that shows where these schools are located, and provides contact links so those who would want to help that school, or that neighborhood, can find ways to connect and give help. They should also be able to find libraries of best practice so that when they give help they are not reinventing the wheel, but drawing from existing knowledge of what works.
WHAT PROGRESS HAVE WE MADE?
Visit the links in the sidebar and judge for yourself. We have a library of programs, a growing capacity to produce maps that show where programs are located and who else in an area could be helping. We have a growing library of links to research and promising practices. This web site and www.tutormentorconnection.org demonstrates a growing ability to organize this information into categories and "hubs". The www.tutormentorconference.org demonstrates a growing ability to get people together from time to time to share their knowledge and build connections with each other.
However, what you see also demonstrates a need for more help and more sophistication in each area. That's where you come in. Volunteer your time, your dollars, your talent to help. Visit this planning wiki to see our ideas and where investments of time, talent and dollars are needed. Visit the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum and join one of the groups working to build capacity. Read about the Tutor/Mentor Learning Network and help us locate HUBS who are already building libraries of knowledge and trying to build public participation in sharing, learning and applying this knowledge in more places and with more skill. Add your organization as a link to the resource pages. Send us an email and offer ways we can work together to build this network of knowledge. Add a link to this site from your own web site.
HELP US MAKE THIS VISION A REALITY.
Without an investment by innovators who want to assure that No Child in America Gets Left Behind because of poverty, poorly performing schools or an inadequate adult support system, the T/MC cannot maintain it's database, this web site and it's innovations. From 1993-2011 we operated as a non-profit and were not able to find the philanthropic investment needed to support this vision. In July 2011 we created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC to expand the ways we can generate revenue and partnership. We still need help from people who have supported us in the past. We also need help finding investors to dramatically expand what we can do in the future.
if you'd like to become a sponsor or donor.