Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sense-Making. Role of Interns

This is a project created by Mina Song, IIT intern, to show the knowledge management strategies of the Tutor/Mentor Connection. Mina had to read through many pages of information to build her own understanding before she could create this presentation. Mina is part of an internship program sponsored by Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) which has been working with Tutor/Mentor Connection for several years.

This is the second project Mina did, which shows the efforts T/MC makes to increase the number of people who look at the information we collect and share.

If you browse through articles posted on this blog since 2006 you can see the work of many interns and volunteers. This collective effort is intended to increase the number of people who are strategically involved in helping youth in high poverty areas of Chicago and other cities have access to non-school adult support systems that help them move from first grade to a job and adult responsibilities over a 10 to 20 year period of continuous support.

As one volunteer wrote in 2010 in an article titled Thinking like Google, "It occurred to me that this forum is essentially modeled on a similar format as Google's. a) looks for information, or content, and people relevant to the cause of tutoring and mentoring; b) organizes, analyzes, and archives that information for future reference; and c) utilizes those references for targeted advertising campaigns, social networking, grant-writing, and the like. Even more to the point, this forum is a way of attempting to grow the idea of tutoring and mentoring to scale, or to a point where it "tips".

The "In-Forming" Process works something like this:

1. Uninformed people interact with information and become informed.

2. Informed people interact with uninformed people, producing more informed people.

3. Informed people interact with each other.

4. To the point where new information is being passed along to all parties involved, starting the process over again."

With the help of students from hundreds of colleges and universities we can dramatically increase the number of people who are becoming informed, and then interacting with others, so they also become informed, and then more strategically involved in helping a city-wide network of youth supports grow and be sustained for many years.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Unleashing Power of Young People

This video has had 19 million views. If you browse the articles on this blog you'll see that interns and volunteers from a variety of universities have been creating graphics, videos, blog articles, etc. intended to show adults ways to help kids in poverty neighborhoods. This needs to be an ongoing effort by young people and adults in many neighborhoods, cities and countries. It needs to support a year-round mobilization of people, ideas and resources that are distributed to thousands of places around the world. This graphic illustrates how events that repeat year-after-year can increase the number of people involved and the dollars available to help tutor/mentor programs be available to youth in more places.
When I was working in corporate advertising for a major retailer in the 1980s we spent $250 million a year to attract customers to over 400 stores in 40 states. None of us in the non profit sector have that type of advertising so we need to innovate other ways to get our story in front of a growing number of people every day. Young people can be part of this solutions, and in the process they can learn to be leaders and problem solvers. At the June 14, 2012 Tutor/Mentor Conference we are organizing a panel where programs can show how young people are raising their voices for social justice. If you have such a program and would like to share, please visit the conference web site and introduce yourself to us.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Meet Spring 2012 Interns

On Wednesday, May 16 two new students from Korea, via Illinois Institute of Technology, joined the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC for a six week internship. See introductions of Mina and Chul. Mina posted this introduction in her blog space on the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum and said "I used for creating my introduction." She later told me this was her first experience using This illustrates one of the benefits to students who participate in this project. It challenges them to learn new ways to build understanding and share complex ideas. These are skills the students can take with them into the rest of their lives.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Unleash Student Talent to Motivate Change

This flash animation was created in 2008 by a team of students at Indiana University. It shows the need for volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in many neighborhoods of Chicago and the need for leaders in business to support them. This is a graphic from this animation, which introduced the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator in 2008. It was created in one week by an intern from the University of Michigan!
Two new interns are joining me this week. You can follow their work on this Ning forum. You can even join in if you want to unleash your own talent to make good things happen in Chicago or other places.