Friday, July 31, 2009

Spring 2009 Interns Create Animated Strategy and Resource maps

Note: Animations talked about below can be viewed in videos on this page.

From late May through early July three interns from the Illinois Institute of Technology worked at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. Shown here are Gun Woong Go and Sung Joong Kim (pictured with Toni Pullen of the T/MC). This was the fourth cycle of interns from IIT to volunteer time with Cabrini Connections in the past two years. KG and Karse's work followed up on work started in in January by Alan Yoo and Rack Hyu Shin.

This image is of a Strategy Map flash animation, created in February by Alan and Rack. They converted a concept map created by the Tutor/Mentor Connection (see here) into a flash animation, that enables visitors to drag their mouse over an image, and get information specific to that image. Between January and June the links in the strategy map had broken, so when Karse and KG began working on this project they first had to figure out how to deconstruct the original project, so they could rebuild it with new links. Then, working with Chris Warren, our 2008-09 NUPIP Fellow, they added a voice-over narration, so that when you click an image, a narrator tells you what you are seeing. This was a huge improvement to what had been started in January.

Then, KG and Karse created a second animation, this time showing the resources that the Tutor/Mentor Connection makes available through its web sites. This map points to the different sections in the T/MC Links library, while also showing the homework help section. This was the concept map that they converted.

This is pretty impressive work, and we hope that it helps visitors to our web sites find and use the resources we make available. Visit our Ning site to learn more about work that interns from Korea (via IIT and the University of Michigan) have been doing to help us help inner city kids in Chicago and beyond.

If you have a team of students interested in working with the Tutor/Mentor Connection (you don't need to be in Chicago) just contact us and let's talk of ways you can provide a learning experience, and a leadership and service opportunity, in one on-going project.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A letter to Michael Jackson

Dear Michael Jackson,

I think you'll be surprised to receive a letter from a girl, who is from shanghai, China. We were growing up with your song during our childhood. It was very popular to copy your signature moonwalk on our teenage. There is no doubt that you are our king of Pop. We will remember the day- June 25th.

You were an American recording artist, entertainer and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, you made your debut on the professional music scene in 1968 as a member of The Jackson 5. You then began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group and was referred to as the "King of Pop" in subsequent years. Your 1982 album Thriller remains the world's best-selling album of all time,and four of your other solo studio albums are among the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987),Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).

In the early 1980s, you became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of your music videos airing on MTV, such as "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and "Thriller"—widely credited with transforming the music video from a promotional tool into an art form—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made you an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, you popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. Your distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced many hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists across several generations.

You're not only a King of Pop, singer,entertainer,artist……

You're a great man with love, caring, compassionate. In your whole life, you did a lot of works for charities. and many of these charities help special needs children. People mentioned you was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993. The child in this case admitted the charge was fake because of benefit after you died. I knew you felt lonely and helpless under the pressure of media attack during that time. Now, you will be peace in the heaven and last forever. We will
remember your song, your dance move, your contribution to the society and else.

Not so many people can do the one thing in his life, because people always like changing their mind. Some people still hold their belief and do one thing in their lives. Dan is one of them, who is the president of Cabrini Connections, which I worked for an intern during this summer. He contributed his whole life building up his tiny wish to help the children.

Cabrinin Connections & Tutor/mentor Connection was founded by Daniel F. Bassill. Their mission is to engage workplace adults in structured activities that make a life-changing difference for youth living in economically and educationally disadvantaged neighborhoods. I would like to make you know there are a lot of people doing charities work for the needs children.

I think you won't feel loney in another world because we all remember you in this world.



What's happiness?

A lot of people think money is happiness.

Sometimes they thought material things will make them happy, but the think might make them happy for a little while.

In fact, what's it really goanna bring you—one more outfit, one more mile in a new car? It's not goanna get you any closer to heaven, it's not goanna get you pure contentment in Christ. It's going to give you happiness on earth, which means nothing in the whole scheme of things.

It was the third week I worked for the Cabrini Connections, I felt sorry I didn't do a lot of specific job for them.
But I will tell my friends my president of our organization, who has been volunteering for non-profit over thirty years, still has a dream in his hand.

He wants to make more people join his team, not for Cabrini Connections, not for tutor/mentor programs, just for helping the people when they need help.

I encourage you read his blog, know his dream and join his dream.

What's real happiness?

Happiness is not about being immoral nor having food or rights in one's hand. It's about having tiny wish come true.
Or having something to eat when you are hungry or having someone's love when you need love.

Happiness is very simple from real life.

why you are living for it?

When I was working for my Dream Program proposal, I did some surveys for my friends who live in America and China.

I'm not surprised that not so many people still have dreams. They said the dream was a long time ago when they were children. Maybe not all of them will agree my opinion. Dream doesn't belong to your childhood; it can be your current and future.

But it is not key point.

One day, they stop dreaming because we start to lead lives of quiet desperation, and little by little the passion and energy begin to disappear from our lives.

How can you figure out this life question? I remembered I published the English Finance and Economical Magazine when I was studying my university, my parents were strongly against my childish thought. But I never gave up my dream what our country needed a good Finance and Economical Magazine open to the world as a universal language.

It was difficult to start my dream at the beginning without good staff writer and finance support. And also my English wasn't very good at that moment. I was looking for sponsor, at the same time; I had to finish my studying. No one can know how difficult it was at the beginning. I found my business partner after unremitting effort. In fact, I contributed my
all time on my dream, some people thought it was just a business. I didn't argue with you that it was part of business with your dreams.

The most powerful businesses/ideas are almost always the simple ones, which make it simple and easy that will be going very well.

Eventually, I was failed with my first dream after publishing 10 issues. Because we needed more money to run our dreams, unfortunately, our investors met some money problems. I still remembered we had to sell and move all the stuff in the office. All the stuff was depressed in their faces, I was crying at the restrooms. I never regretted making the decision then I learned from my failure. After that, I had to follow my parent's opinion and work for the company. But I never stop my dreaming, my friends were confused my decision, 'why you quit a good career and came to America?'

I had to bring the changes into my life, I needed them change my mind and enrich my view.

Thank you for your supports. I know it is a lot of difficulties in front of me. but you never know what you can do till you try.

Why you living for your life?

You have to create two worlds, one is you, and another is without you.

How can you do more things when you are in the world?

You need a life mentor in your life. Finally, you have to figure out your life by yourself, you have to find the stuff what you want to do and would like to do.

Notes from "the Dream Manager"

I spent the whole week reading the books, which Dan gave to me last week.

And I want to share some notes from "the Dream Manager" before reading that.the most powerful ideas are almost always the simple ones.

Machinery and computers are categorized as assets and people as liabilities.the right people are an organization's greatest asset.

A company's purpose is to become the-best-version-of-itself.

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.

People are unique in that they have the ability to imagine a more abundant future, to hope for that future, and to take proactive steps to create that future. This is the process of proactive dreaming.

In many ways, we are our dreams. But people stop dreaming because they get caught up in the hustle and bustle of surviving. And once we stop dreaming, we start to lead lives of quiet desperation, and little by little the passion and energy begin to disappear from our lives.

I was reading a story the other day about Henry Ford giving some guests a tour of his factory and offices. As they passed one door, there was a man with his feet up on his desk and his eyes closed. The guests asked Mr.Ford why he didn't seem to mind that this man was sleeping on the job. Ford replied that he wasn't sleeping, he was dreaming. 'Doesn't that bother you?'they asked Ford. He replied,'No, He is just doing his job. You see, that man invented the six-cylinder motor and disc brakes. His job is to dream up things that my competitiors think are impossible.'

One of the first principles Simon taught me was that as a Dream Manager you always have to remember that every person has different dreams, and that you cannot force your dreams on another person. Think about how much damage is caused when parents try to force their dreams on their children, or when one spouse tries to force his or her dreams on the other.

Dreams bring us to life. Dreams animate us, and what dreams do for individuals, they also do for relationships……and companies. The pursuit of dreams creates passion, energy enthusiasm, and vitality.

"What I'm realizing is that we are all Dream Managers,"Lauren announced to the team. Lauren was Admiral's CFO and was one of those quiet and meticulous personalities. She continued,"If we really want to help people, we have a responsibility to help them identify and pursue their dreams. In that way, I'm a Dream manager for my husband, for my children, for my friends, for my colleagues here, and for people who just pass through my life.Not in the same way Sean is a Dream Manager, but every relationship improves when we are mindful of each other's dreams."

I didn't know it myself at the beginning, but there's a psychology to being a Dream Manager.You have to focus on encouraging people and giving people permission to pursue their dreams. You have to avoid judgment, and provide tools and accountability, but you can't take responsibility for them achieving their dreams.

The employee-employer money paradigm is a thing of the past. The modern employee is looking for things much more abstract than a simple pay raise. Sure, they want to be well compensated but they are conscious of lifestyle, work environment, and more than ever they want work that is engaging. So when I explain the program to other managers and business owners, their resistance is natural, because they are operating from the old paradigm that assumes that people come to work just to make money. To some extent it may be true, but in most cases, people don't come to work just to make money, and the more money they make, the less it becomes about the money.

Money is certainly a factor, and, for many, the biggest factor. Another factor is meaningful work,but most people don't have their sights set that high. Most employees aren't that ambitious. Many have simply given up on the possibility. For hundreds of years, the battles between employees and employers, between owners and workers, between unions and corporations have created an 'us versus them' mentality that is detrimental to the collaborative spirit of teamwork needed to succeed in business.

So what else,besides money and meaningful work?

Employees want to feel appreciated. Eighty-five percent of people who leave a job leave because of their relationship with their direct supervisor. And when you ask them about their relationship with their supervisor, they almost inevitably say that he or she didn't appreciate them or their contribution. The predominant concern of employees isn't money or benefits, and it's not hours. They want to feel appreciated.

You better believe it. The Dream Manager Program is living proof that Admiral cares about their employees. It is proof that we care about who they are and that we appreciate the contribution they make to our enterprise. Appreciation is the strongest currency in the corporate culture.

Our people are ordinary people, from different backgrounds, no doubt, and they have their struggles. But people need someone to help them articulate their dreams,someone to speak with openly about their dreams. It's simple stuff, but it really is powerful. I lie awake at night sometimes, thinking about my employees' dreams, and I get so excited for what's happening in their lives.

So to finish, let me just say this. We all have dreams. The earlier we start dreaming and the more mentors and friends we have who urge us on toward our dreams, the richer our lives become. In time, we learn to help others achieve their dreams, and so the cycle continues. Many of the people who work for Admiral come from a background of poverty.

What I have realized over the past three or four years is that poverty is not about money. The real poverty is the poverty of opportunities. At Admiral, we believe in dreams, and we give people the opportunity to live their dreams!We set out to solve a very specific problem and instead we discovered the essence of life. What's your dream, and why aren't you living it?

Most businesses fail because they have a few rainmakers and an army of administrative support. In any successful business, everybody has to be part of the sales force. When everybody sells, you're destined to succeed.

BusinessWeek reports that over the next ten years, 21 percent of top management and 24 percent of middle management positions across all functions, regions, and industries will become vacant. In the areas of unskilled labor, we all know that the statistics are much harsher and the shortages more drastic.

But make no mistake-dreams are the currency of the future. The greatest problems we will face in corporate America in the next twenty years all surround the area of human resources, in particular, talent and labor. Executives will ignore these challenges as their peril. CEOs have to become as dedicated to scouting nurturing, and acquiring talent as football coaches are. The future of any sporting franchise depends on the talent that takes the field. What makes you think your business is any different?

You can ignore people's dreams, but it will be at your peril. You are free to ignore your children's dreams, your spouse's dreams, your employees' dreams, your customers' dreams and your nation's dreams. But in each of these areas of life, you will pay an enormous priceif you do.

Dreams are invisible, but powerful. Think for a moment of electricity. You cannot see it, but it keeps everything going. Invisible, but powerful!If, for a moment, you doubt the power of electricity, consider what would happen if you stuck your finger into an electrical outlet. You would quickly be reminded of its power. Should you doubt that electricity keeps everything going, may I suggest that you turn off the electricity at your office tomorrow!I think you will find that little if anything gets done and that most of your employees will go home for the day.

So it is with dreams. They are invisible, but powerful. You cannot see them, but they keep everything going.

I have a dream

"And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream." From Martin Luther King, Jr.

What's America Dream?

I witnessed that Obama became the first African-America President Last November at Grant Park in Chicago.

I was proud that I was there with my best American friend-Meg, who's she lived in the Oak Park of Chicago.

Everyone came to America and hold their dream, because they thought America can make their dream possible.

"Yes, we can" said by Barack Obama from New Hampshire on Jan 2008.

People never know what they can do till they try.

Barack Obama can bring the changes to America because of their supporters. Everyone can have a dream since the dream is very little.

In many ways, we are our dreams. But people stop dreaming because they get caught up in the hustle and bustle of surviving. And once we stop dreaming, we start to lead lives of quiet desperation, and little by little the passion and energy begin to disappear from our lives.

No matter who you are, where you are from, which color and culture you have, you could never stop dreaming.

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. I'll start my special program called "Dream Program" and make people achieve their dream.

And I'll post my "dream program" proposal later. If you have a dream, don't hesitate to let everyone know.

June 4 End Year Dinner

I was glad to come to our organization 2009 End Year Dinner, the theme of this year was called "Hope, Build……Believe and Achieve" selected by the 2009 Cabrini Connections Year End Dinner.

Nearly 200 students, volunteers, parents and alumni were registered to attend yesterday's year end dinner in advance where they would celebrate the work of one year, and began the work of the coming year!

When I was arrived the dinner place on 1111 N Wells, Chicago, some staffs and guests were already there. They were busy with last-minutes preparation before people coming. There were bread, chicken wings, pasta, varieties of salad, chocolate cupcakes, cookies, drinking for the guests on the food table.

The batches of people were coming around 5:30pm, Toni, who was our administrative assistant, was busy with guest registration. I was standing behind her and took some pictures. The End Year Dinner started the video of look back on the history of Cabrini Connections created by the teens and volunteers who were in the 2008-09 Cabrini Connections Program. I saw most of attendances concentrated on watching the video with smiling, because most of people, who attended the dinner, took their efforts to the students and Cabrini Connections last year. There was no doubt that students became the leading role over the dinner. It made people happy with not only their singing and dancing but also their drama. I was catching the time of taking the photos of their momentary.

There was such wonderful dinner that I couldn't forget inviting my friends to come. In fact, he was my god brother in America, I was grateful for his care and help when I was in America without my family member. He said he considered joining our Tutor/Mentor Program in his spare time. My brother had two master degree in Economy and Mathemateic in Michigan State University, now he is working for Finance Analysis at Aon Insurance.

I really enjoyed the End Year Dinner, thank you for everyone, who is the staff,students,volunteers and parents, support Cabrini Connections and Tutor/Mentor Connections.

(Video Information, feel free to check on the youtube and search the key words of Cabrini Connection History)

1kg more

I was thinking about writing something about NGO development in China since we started for a short time.

One of NGO's names came into my mind, which called 1kg more founded by Andrew Yu. I deeply knew their organization because of Sichuan Earthquake last year. We all together organized events called" Bring your hearts to Children after Sichuan Earthquake". As we all know, no one can forget the Sichuan Earthquake last year, which was killed at least 68,000 people and more than millions people became homeless. I still felt pain of the past when I was remembered a lot of scenes and memories into my mind. At that moment, hundreds of millions of Chinese people were coming together. Some of them came to Sichuan and became a volunteer; even they didn't know each other. Others donated money to the Red Cross and other international charities. The earthquake was happened in the middle of China. Some of my friends were studying and working there, they said" you couldn't image thousands of lives vanished from the world in seconds on May 12, 2008". You just saw them yesterday.

I decided to do some efforts for them. I heard more than hundreds of school buildings collapsed. Students lost their classmates, books and classrooms. Since the International Children's Day on June 1st, I posted my ideas on the internet, more than hundreds people came to our teams. Finally, we received thousands of gifts including clothes, toys, books and stationeries. More than hundreds people on the street wrote their best wishes to the children who were on the Sichuan Earthquake. After that, love was still continuing and spreading to others. For a while, I considered if I didn't come to U.S.A, I would quit my job, come to Sichuan and help them build up their new house.

I talked too much about Earthquake. Actually, I want to introduce 1kg more, which they got successful just for five years in China. It was very short time to let other people know your NGO without government support. April 18, 2004, Andrew founded 1kg(Chinese name called: Duo Bei Yi Gong Jin), a NGO that sought to build up a volunteer network of travelers to help kids in remote areas of China by delivering much needed books and school suppliers. You just carried 1kg old books, stationeries and garments to the students in un-development and poor area in China. In fact, not so many organizations like 1kg more were seen in the mainstream media in China five years ago. Today, Andrew, with many volunteers in different parts of China, manage a database of over 200 elementary school which includes information on: 1) how many students are in the school; 2) what is the kids’ primary need; 3) the school name and contact person; 4) detailed directions, including method of transportation, of how an independent traveler can reach the school. Unlike the United States and Europe, independent travel in China is very small percentage of the market.

"There are more than 400,000 elementary schools in remote villages, but less than 10% of these schools received any sort of governmental or NGO support in order to improve education quality, ” shared Andrew. During the past three years, after many 1kg trips, Andrew realized that “the original idea to encourage more and more travelers to help kids hasn’t changed". But “I have a deeper understanding of what the kids really need for education, other than books and stationery”, Said by Andrew.

There are only 3 FULL time people for One is responsible for the web development, another is in charge of program administrator, and Andrew is PR and marketing. Now more and more volunteers are joining their teams, they contribute their ideas, take their efforts and make 1kg growing up better and better.

On the question of why this service model will work, Andrew compares with traditional NGOs in China. He believes that traditional NGOs operate as agents responsible for results, control information, and direct the work of volunteers. This process generates a lot of administration & management cost and leads to low working efficiency. It furthermore limits the creativity and initiative of the volunteers. 1kg, a grassroots NGO, has a different operating model, and is inspired by the social collaboration power of Wikipedia, encouraging knowledge creation and sharing to understanding the needs in order to help them.

When I was leaving for America, I had a chance to talk to Andrew. He said he would an ambitious objective to reach 5000 schools, cover 1 million students and collect 3 million books by the year 2012. I would give him best wishes come true his dream. More information, you can visit their website (not so many english page for your reference).
Maybe I have to email them do the English page for the travellers who are out of China.

Dan, thank you for your book called "the dream manager". I will read them carefully in the rest of week. And I will post my reading experience with others.

(Some of resources above my blog was from Min Guo,who write the article about 1kg more, posted in Charity & Donations)

Time for questions

I just spent the time on browsing the website.

When I started to write down my marketing proposal, I had to ask some questions.

1. What's difference between Cabrini Connections and Tutor/Mentor Connections?

I think Cabrini Connections under Tutor/Mentor Connections. If they are the same, why you keep two names?

2. Do you build up both of connections or Tutor/Mentor Connections belongs to other organizations?

3. I see your organization mission, but I still concern about your target areas, it is just in Chicago, or you want to promote the program across the America.

Current Situation:
Students Part
1. Who are your students? How many?

I know 525 low incomes, inner city teens have participated in this program since 1993. I'm not sure it is actual number for the students currently.

2. What do your students learn? What do they read/ write? How do they speak with one another?

3. How do you find your target students?

4. What is your future plan? How many students do you want to develop in the next five years or every year?

Volunteers Parts
1. Who are your volunteers?

2. How do they work for the program?

3. How many volunteers work for the program now?

Donors Parts
1. Who are your donors? How do you find them?

2. How do they donate their money through the internet or other ways?

3. Do you have some company/enterprise sponsorship?

4. Do their donation keep your finance balance (including everything expense)?

Marketing Parts
1. Do you have marketing person work for the organization?

2. What do they do?

3. What is the prospect for them?

Future Parts
1. What is your goal in the next five years?

I really want to help you make your organization better and better. I feel sorry some of questions are more agressive.
Though I am an intern for the company, but I still want to contribute my efforts to you.

Finally, I use my country's proverb "Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles with no danger of defeat".

Tutor/Mentor Leadership & Networking Conference on May 28&29th

I was honored to be invited to the leadership conference organized by Cabrini Connections on the first working day.

I with another two interns KG & Karse from South Korea was helping the staff collecting some conference files before Thursday. Dan was showing me related links with introduction of this conference. I already knew what was going on between Thursday and Friday.

We had to arrive in the conference earlier than working days around 8:30am. The conference was located the downtown Northwestern University Law School, which I dreamed of studying there one day. The place was such wonderful as hold the conference. You could see the beautiful Lake Michigan from the windows. The weather was so nice during two days.

When I was arrived there, I already saw some staffs were busy with some preparations before guests came in. I was told to be a photographer during the conference, and upload the photos to our website.

The conference schedule was very informative, which was a good way to know the tutor/mentor program in America. When I talked to the people who took part in the conference, they were not only from Chicago, but also from other states in America. The reason was why they came to the conference, because they wanted to know more about updating information of program and took advantage of meeting new people who did the same thing in America. I was surprised to see a lot of people enrich the tutor/mentor program in America. In my home country-China, we called Hope Program.

As the organizer of this conference, Cabrini Connections took a lot of efforts. They arranged varieties of workshops for different participants demands. And also they invited good speakers to share their experiences during the opening and lunch time. I thought it was very valuable and worth going there.

Some speakers impressed me that was Jeffrey Fields and Thomas M. Donnelly. And I learned a lot from the workshops.
Like I know the Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth's (LAH) can encourage one-on-one, long term tutor/mentor relationships and to support the work of tutor/mentor programs by awarding grants, recruiting volunteers, and promoting best practices. Since January 2008, LAH has awarded $200,000 annually to exemplary tutor/mentor programs. With this recent increase in the excess of $800,000 to programs serving disadvantaged youth, more details you want to know LAH, please visit their website

Liz Livingston Howard, who was the professor of Kellogg School Center for Nonprofit Management in the Northwestern University, was introducing the current Nonprofit Environment, and shared her management experience on nonprofit how to improve the donor/member/customer.

Eric Davis, who was the founder of the Global Citizen Experience, told us to build community engagement: A global model with local foundations. His workshop looked like a panel discussion and leaded us to figure out what your nonprofit organization goal is.

I was very tired to acquire a lot of knowledge from two-days, but I felt very excited to take part in this leadership and networking conference. Cabrini Connections was doing a great job for the conference and gave me a chance to participate in it.

Now I have to start thinking about what will I do and how can I enrich my internship……