Home History - Who has helped T/MC
History. Who has helped?

In October 1992 seven volunteers launched a new program aimed at helping a small group of inner-city teens move from 7th grade through high school with the help of adult volunteers. The formed Cabrini Connections.

As they did that the also created a vision for helping similar programs reach k-12 youth throughout the Chicago region. They formed the Tutor/Mentor Connection.


It takes a village…. Below you can find names of many people and organizations who have helped create the T/MC and Cabrini Connections and helped it grow from 1993, when it was just an idea of a small group of volunteers in one Chicago tutor/mentor program until 2011.

The Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) is a shared VISION. It was created over a period of 35 years by volunteers who tutored and mentored children and youth living in the Cabrini-Green public housing neighborhood of Chicago. It was formalized by Daniel F. Bassill and a team of six other volunteers into a non-profit organization named Cabrini Connections, in the fall of 1992. During 1993 the leaders of Cabrini Connections created the vision of an outreach that could help children and youth in every poverty neighborhood, of Chicago, and other major cities, by helping the programs serving those kids get the visibility, volunteers, dollars, training and technology each needs to be an effective program. This became the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC). Since 2011 the T/MC has been kept available to Chicago as part of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, created by Dan Bassill (see below).

In April 2011 the Board of Directors decided they could no longer support the Tutor/Mentor Connection portion of this vision after June 30, 2011.  In order to continue the Tutor/Mentor Connection in Chicago and help similar intermediary groups form in other cities, Dan Bassill created The Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in July.  It's purpose is not changed from the commitment made in October 1992. It's tax structure has.  We hope people who helped over the past 18 years will continue their help in the future.

The reason the founders of Cabrini Connections created the T/MC was that they realized how difficult it is for small non profits, especially start-up organizations, to find the resources that it takes to build effective organizations, and sustain them for many years.  While the tutor/mentor program our leaders were creating in 1993 would have great benefit to the teens we serve in the Cabrini Green area, one more small program would have limited impact on the 200,000 youth living in high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago.  It would struggle to survive and thrive,  unless a new form of leadership emerged in Chicago, focused on helping high quality tutor/mentor programs reach kids in every poverty neighborhood.


Following is a list showing many of the friends and partners who are currently helping the TMC and our Cabrini Connections program, or who have helped between 1993 and 2001.

There is no particular order to this list. Each contribution is equally important. While it takes a village to raise a child, it takes dedicated, hard working people to build and sustain the village.These are individual volunteers and groups who have contributed time and energy to build the T/MC. We thank you all!  And we invite those who are visiting this site for the first time to join in this effort.


* The original founders and board of directors of Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection Includede Arthur Stephens (shown above); Donna Giampietro Pareti, Sara Coover Caldwell, Debbie Essax Cohen, and Daniel F. Bassill. Gena Schoen and Claudia Crilly Bellucci became the first paid staff in 1993, and helped create the programs we operate today. Ray Dowdle became Chairman of the Board of Directors in 1994 and has been the top volunteer fund raiser for the organization.
See current Board.

* Matt Mead, webmaster of www.tutormentorconnection.org from 1998 to 2005. Matt currently works at Redpoint Technologies. He has been a long-term volunteer mentor with Cabrini Connections. In 1998 Matt took the lead to expand T/MC web site capacity. The different companies that Matt has worked for since then have hosted the T/MC master web site, while Matt has led a Technology Team which is building and maintaining this Web site. Matt and his wife Rebeca are generous contributors to Cabrini Connections fund raising as well as volunteers. They also led the effort to obtain financial support from Microsoft in 1999. This shows the many ways volunteers who first become involved as tutors or mentors, can help an organization expand its capacity. We hope others will follow the lead of Matt Mead and Leapnet.

* Public Communications, Inc.- helped design the T/MC 10-point plan in 1993 and provided more than $80,000 in pro bono services between 1994 and 2003 to increase the visibility of tutoring and mentoring in Chicago. The result is a 2" thick stack of print media stories, a variety of TV and radio interviews, and recognition as one of the most important resources for tutor/mentor information in Chicago. Visit PCI at

* Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Lend-A-Hand Program of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA)/Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) - In 1993 Tom Demetrio, Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz and a few other leaders of the Chicago CBA/CBF created a Lend A Hand Award to recognize an outstanding tutor/mentor program in the Chicago region. In 1994 the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) helped expand this award into a vision that the legal community could support the growth of one-on-one tutor/mentor programs in all poverty areas of the Chicago region. Between 1994 and 2003 this led to a variety of actions that drew volunteers to tutor/mentor programs and raise more than $280,000 in money that was awarded as small grants each spring to one-on-one programs. In June 2003 the Lend A Hand Program became the Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Lend A Hand Program, under the sponsorship of the Chicago Bar Association/Foundation.

This partnership that existed between T/MC and LAH from 1994 through 2007 is the best example of what a T/MC business partnership might look like. The LAH is led by a team of lawyers, judges and other volunteers. It recruits volunteers, co-sponsors the annual Tutor/Mentor Week, and uses the Daily Law Bulletin and other legal community media and PR to draw visibility and raise dollars to fund one-on-one tutor/mentor programs. Any alumni, professional, civic or business association can, (and we hope, will) duplicate exactly what the Lend A Hand Program and the Chicago Bar Association are doing to build capacity and quality of all of Chicago's tutor/mentor programs. For more information, call 312-554-1204.

* IUPUI (IndianaUniversity PurdueUniversityIndianapolis) has taken a growing role in the T/MC since 2003. The new Tutor/Mentor Connection web site was created by volunteers at IUPUI. In addition, IUPUI started hosting Tutor/Mentor eConferences in May 2004.

* Amphion Productions, based in Los Angeles - Organized a Lend a Hand program to invite artists, writers, producers to support charities like Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Conneciton. Visit the Amphion Productions site to learn about the International Art Festival and the Touched by a Mentor video documentary project. These are intended to raise awareness and increase volunteer and donor involvement in one-on-one tutor/mentor programs throughout the nation. www.amphionpro.com

* Jordan-Webb - Paul Collins, a partner with Jordan Webb and a "master facilitator" with consulting contracts with NASA, has supported the T/MC since 1998. Paul has done workshops at T/MC conferences, hosts on-line T/MC surveys on his web site, and seeks to facilitate on-line meetings in the T/MC Learning Network. View the Tutor/Mentor Survey at  

* Akouo.org - Evaluation is one of the most important components of any business and Akouo has been a partner of the T/MC since 1999 in building resources that help stakeholders understand the T/MC and its work. Stergios Roussos of Akouo is a regular presenter at the Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conferences and a key volunteer in the development of the Tutor/Mentor Connection. The www.TutorMentorExchange.net web site was created in 1999 by Steve. www.akouo.org

* Digital Workforce Education Society of City Colleges of Chicago took a lead in 2004 in hosting Tutor/Mentor eConferences. Click here to learn more: www.aladolnet.econference

* Chicago Access Corporation TV - works with T/MC to list tutor/mentor programs during annual Aug./Sept. volunteer recruitment event. More than 15,000 inquiries were recorded (potential volunteers, donors or parents looking for a program) during the 1998-2004 recruitment campaigns. If you have cable TV in Chicago, look at CAN CALL 42 for a listing of volunteer opportunities with Tutor/Mentor Programs throughout the city.


* Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conferences have been hosted by a variety of Universities and Colleges in the Chicago area. Some of the colleges that have hosted conferences:

· Children and Family Justice Center, Northwestern University Law School, Spring 2005-Spring 2009; Northwestern University, Evanston Campus (Nov. 1999)

· The Chicago GEAR UP Alliance and Northeastern Illinois University - Spring 2003

· City Colleges of Chicago – Daily College, Malcolm X College, Kennedy-King College, Wright College have each hosted one or more conferences since 1994

· Loyola University Chicago (1995 conference)

· University of Illinois at Chicago (May 1996 conference)

· Shedd Acquarium (Nov. 1994); Field Museum (Nov. 1998)

· Olympia Fields Country Club (Nov. 1997)

* Associated Colleges of Illinois- organized College Bridge Program in1997 targeted at tutor/mentor programs working with high school youth. Funded the 1997 T/MC survey and Collaborative Study, the first formal report showing the number of tutor/mentor programs in Chicago. Members of ACI have helped organize the T/MC Conferences since 1994. In 2004, Daniel F. Bassill, President of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, was honored as a 2004 Shining Example of Liberal Arts Leadership during the ACI Annual Meeting.

* Faculty and students from almost every Chicago area college and university have had some involvement since 1994 in building the T/MC. Here are some examples:

Illinois Wesleyan University - faculty member helped design first survey in 1993 and produced first preliminary report in 1994. Students have interned. Alumni are volunteers and donors. Daniel F. Bassill was presented with the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, degree in September 2001 by IWU.

Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin - Since 1998 Cabrini Connections teens have participated in college bridge programs organized by the Education faculty. The same faculty leaders do workshops at Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conferences. See video.

University of Chicago – The T/MC was created, using research done by The Chapin Hall Center for Children. In 1998 Chapin Hall did aI Working Paper, titled, "A Case Study of the Tutor/Mentor Connection of Cabrini Connections: An Effort to Build a Supportive Infrastructure for Tutoring and Mentoring Programs in Chicago." This can be downloaded from the Chapin Hall web site.

Loyola University Chicago - began Family Studies intern program with Cabrini Connections in 1995. Meet Loyola Interns on Ning.com site

Chicago State University - provided student interns to aid T/MC operations.

Northern Illinois University Department of Geography - Graduate students transferred GIS system from MCIC to Cabrini Connections in 1995.

DePaul University, hosted volunteer recruitment site for 1997, 1998 and 1999 Volunteer Recruitment Campaign. Team from DePaul U. Mental Health Service work directly with Cabrini Connection staff, volunteers and students; one grad student created informal evaluation of Kids’ Connection. Other graduate students created Health Care and University T/MC Strategic Plans, which can be found in the Tutor/Mentor Institute

University of Kansas. Steve Roussos, with Work Group on Health Promotion, and partner to Kansas City YouthFriends Program, is also co-developer of the Tutor/Mentor Connection Learning Network

Northwestern University - In addition to hosting conferences since 2005, we have hosted one NU Public Interest Program Fellow each year since July 2007.  Read blogs by these fellows:  Nicole White, Chris Warren, Bradley Troast.

Chicago Public Schools - Past CPS CEOs Paul Vallas and Arne Duncan have both been speakers at Leadership Conferences and the annual Volunteer Recruitment Campaign kick-off events. CPS was an Event Sponsor of the Spring 2003, 2004 and 2005 Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conferences. The Tutor/Mentor Connection is the main resource for non-school tutor/mentor program information listed on the Chicago Public Schools After School and Community School Programs Web site - http://www.cpsafterschool.org/home.html.

* The Black United Fund of Illinois, Inc.- helps T/MC raise dollars through the annual CFC workplace fund raising campaign. If your company offers donor choice, make Cabrini Connections and/or the Black United Fund of Illinois your choice and you're helping build this web site and the service the T/MC offers. www.bufi.org

* Leaders of Chicago and National tutor/mentor Programs: More than 150 different tutor/mentor and youth development programs are involved each year as speakers, organizers or participants in T/MC conferences, volunteer recruitment and Tutor/Mentor Week efforts. At http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/conferecnes-and-online-forums/previous-conferences you can find a list of participants in the May 2005 to Nov. 2009 conferences. At http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/chicagoland-volunteer-recruitment your can read more about the Recruitment Campaign and see a list of organizations who participated in the 2004 recruitment fairs.

* Junior League of Chicago - teams of JLC volunteers have worked with the T/MC and the Cabrini Connections Tutor/Mentor Program each year since 1998. Daniel F. Bassill, President of Cabrini Connections served on the Advisory Council of The Junior League of Chicago from 2000 to 2004.  The graphic at the left is one of three created in 1998 that we still use in many T/MC communications.




* ESRI (Environmental Research Corporation, Inc.) donated more than $20,000 in GIS map software since 1994, such as Arc View, to enable T/MC to begin mapping neighborhoods. With information companies beginning to recognize the market potential of linking GIS maps with database technology (information is 85% spatial according to ORACLE), the T/MC's use of GIS represents a unique marketing demonstration for any company who wants to help us help kids and help themselves build business. ESRI featured the T/MC in the Fall 1998 edition of its ArcNEWS magazine. http://conservation.esri.com/industries/k-12/hrexphor.html

* HEALTH COM PARTNERS and PRINT MANAGEMENT PARTNERS - helps T/MC obtain low-cost printing for its newsletters and other communications pieces. Co-sponsors Annual T/MC golf outing along with Legacy Mortgage Corporation and a host of other companies (http://cabrinitmcgolf.org ).

* Montgomery Ward Corporation - Between 1993 and 2001 Wards donated more than $300,000 along with 17,000 sq ft. of office space, parking and services for Cabrini Connections operations. When Wards went out of business in 2001 we lost a friend and a long-term supporter of Cabrini Green children and youth. On behalf of all who have been helped, we thank Wards for the role it played in creating Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

* Lightfall Interactive - In 1998 this Evanston, Illinois marketing and training company created an interactive CD ROM (services valued at $30,000) to describe the T/MC action plan to potential users and partners. Copies are available. Lightfall followed the development of the CD ROM with a public awareness campaign which resulted in four 1999 stories in Direct Marketing media, a group which the T/MC and mentoring movement would value as a communications partner.

* Chicago Tribune Digital Communities - While this service has been discontinued, we thank the Tribune for providing space for Cabrini Connections to host an on-line version of its Kids' Connection newsletter between 1998 and 2001. In addition, the Tribune used its on-line communities web site to help promote the 1999 and 2000 Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conferences, the August/September Volunteer Recruitment Campaigns.

* Film and Video Production Companies and Studios. The Cabrini Connections Video Festival is a combination of arts outreach, student learning and T/MC advocacy. Volunteers come from film and video groups, local universities, The Jenny Jones Show, Fletcher Chicago, Jellyvision, and many other companies.

* Merri Dee and WGN TV Children's Charities- Merri Dee's slogan, "If it is to be, it is up to me." is the war cry of the T/MC. Merri has been one of the T/MC's strongest advocates since 1993, serving as a speaker for events, spokesperson for the 1996 and 1997 Volunteer Recruitment Campaign, and keynote speaker at the May 1998 T/MC Leadership Conference. The WGN TV Children's Charities provided over $80,000 in grants to Cabrini Connections between 1993 and 2001.

* The Revere Group - built the initial tutor/mentor connection web site for the T/MC in 1997 and provided $10,000 grant to support T/MC technology expansion.

* Metro Chicago Information Center - helped form T/MC in 1993. Designed first survey, produced the first GIS maps for T/MC and provided lists of CBO's to contact as part of 1994 launch of T/MC.

* BUSINESS PUBLICATIONS - in 1997 the Old Kent Bank, Kiwanis International, Tooling & Manufacturing Association and Continental Air Express all included Tutor/Mentor features in their publications. In 1998 ESRI included a T/MC story in the Fall issue of ArcNEWS. In 1999 USRISA included T/MC story as front page feature in their quarterly newsletter.  See list of stories written about T/MC

ADDUS HEALTH CARE - Employee fund raising campaigns between 1996 and 2000 raised workplace funds for the T/MC and Cabrini Connections programs. Workplace campaigns at Abbott Laboratories, AllState, Schwarz, Aon, and other companies enable their employees to donate to CC, T/MC via workplace dollars. Learn more.

IBM - provided T/MC’s first introduction to GIS users in spring of 1993 which led to Metro Chicago Information Center, who provided low-cost GIS services to the T/MC through 1996. Provided more than $30,000 grants since 1995 along with two IBM 486 computers which enabled T/MC to move GIS function to its headquarters in 1996. Shawn Dalcour, IBM's Y2K Manager for the midwest region, was a member of the Cabrini Connections Advisory Council for many years.

CHICAGOLAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Paid for printing of first 600 copies of the 1997 Collaborative Study for distribution at the Fall 1997 T/MC conference. Hosting bi-monthly gathering of business and non-profit leaders of college-bound programs.

More than 800 adult volunteers have served as tutors/mentors, organizers and leaders in the Cabrini Connections Tutor/Mentor Program since 1993. Many serve on special boards and committees that have raised more than $5.5 million since 1993 to fund ALL of the programs offered by Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection. The commitment of one non-profit to raise money that supports its competitors in the same city is unique, but illustrates the T/MC core commitment to a collaboration strategy that supports the growth of all volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in the city, instead of just its own program.

The list above covers the years 1994 to 2011.

While we started the T/MC in 1993, we started documenting our actions on an Internet system titled Organizational History and Tracking System (OHATS), in 1999 and 2000.
Before OHATS, the T/MC maintained a journal showing the many volunteers and organizations that had contributed time and talent to help the T/MC help others.

You can visit the OHATS page at http://www.tutormentorprogramlocator.net/OHATS/home.aspx.  You will find a PDF report showing actions documented until 2002.  The original OHATS was rebuilt in 2007.  Between 1999 and 2013 more than 1,700 actions were documented, and which illustrate how a few people, with a commitment to a cause, can have a large influence in the lives of disadvantaged children and youth.  Unfortunately, these records and OHATS have not been accessible due to technology problems since 2013.



How can you be part of this team in 2019 and beyond?

If you are reading this message, you've already taken the first step. Any person who visits the this web site comes to get information about building and sustaining effective tutoring, mentoring and school-to-work programs throughout Chicago and the country. As technology and marketing experts, educators and leaders and volunteers of other tutor/mentor programs visit the site, you'll see the potential to also give information——from how to improve a tutor/mentor program to how to better use this web site to gather and share knowledge. As you begin to send your suggestions to the T/MC, you become a member.

Because the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC has been created as a social enterprise, we need to think of new ways to raise money to fund our innovations. We need to find younger owners to carry this on in future years. We need to find ways to sell "naming rights" for sections such as the Program Locator or activities like the May and November Conferences.

A planning wiki has been created to show ideas that have been developed over the past 18 years but which we have not had the financial capital or talent to develop. With your help we can find those resources and develop those ideas.  These blog articles talk about building "A new T/MC".  If you read the wiki and the blog and want to take a role in helping rebuild the T/MC please contact Dan Bassill @tutormentorteam on Twitter or @ tutormentor 2 at Earthlink.net 

A Harvard-like gathering of the "best minds" in the country.

The T/MC and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC goal is that this web site, and others that are LINKED to it, will be a meeting place of the best and brightest -- people from all over the world will join together and contribute their knowledge and passion to build and sustain afterschool and school-based programs that consistently help children born to poverty move to careers.

As an Internet or 'virtual' meeting place, we have tremendous flexibility and convenience for all members to become engaged in this process and to borrow from it for your own community or organization. You never have to leave your office or home community, yet you have the potential to brainstorm, vision and imagineer with the best and brightest minds in the world. With this power, think of the potential we have to make a real difference in the future of America and the world!

Join online at http://tutormentorconnection.ning.com.

While it takes a few general contractors to help build the T/MC, support is needed at neighborhood tutor/mentor programs throughout every city.

Can you help? http://tutormentorexchange.net/helptmi

All services of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, including this web site, were provided at a cost of less than $120,000 per year from 2000 to 2011. A comparison with Mentoring Partnerships in other cities and states shows that while we serve the largest regional population we have had by far less dollars to work with than other citywide and state-wide efforts.  

Since 2011 the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC has constantly searched for donors and partners to re-build this web site and provide the many services described throughout. While we do not need huge sums of money, we do need more donors to come forward.

Because this organization is a "virtual" organization, with partners, volunteers and beneficiaries all over the world, our donors and financial supporters can come from beyond our base in Chicago. We urge you to consider a role in supporting the T/MC and making its resources available to more youth serving programs throughout America and the world. The money we need to do this work is a drop in the bucket to the millions which the government and private foundations spend each year on research and programs. By pooling resources and sharing successful ideas with entrepreneurs and committed adults who run neighborhood programs, we leverage and improve the value of every contribution. As the Quantum Opportunities Program said, "We can franchise structure, but we cannot franchise love and hugs." This is what kids in big and small neighborhood programs throughout the country need to grow up and get a healthy start in life.

What we seek is that each year millions of Americans look in their personal mirror and say "the buck stops here." Once the need is acknowledged, it's imperative to take action and find a tutor/mentor program in your neighborhood and make it your personal passion and commitment to help that organization be everything it can be.

Do this for the rest of your life .... based on your capacity to give time, ideas, money, etc. and you'll leave a legacy of a greater America for your grandchildren and thousands of other children throughout America.

Thank you for visiting the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and celebrating who has helped us in the past! We hope to hear from you soon so you can help us in the future.

Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, c/o Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, Il. 60654 Phone. Skype #dbassill; FAX 312-787-7713; email: tutormentor2@earthlink.net | Powered by OpenSource!