Wednesday, January 15, 2020

NU PIP Intern 2007-08

In 2007 Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection began a four year partnership with the Public Interest Program at Northwestern University, which resulted in one new NU graduate each year serving a full time, one-year paid fellowship.  Nicole White was the first, starting in July 2007. Below are excerpts from her NicoleCabrini blog.

On June 19, 2007 Nicole posted her first article, saying:

In this blog I hope to inform you about what is happening not only at Cabrini Connection but also in the general realm of tutoring and mentoring non-profits throughout the Chicagoland area.

On July 8, 2007 Nicole wrote:   Tomorrow I start my great adventure of my first adult job. Before starting, I've been encouraged to read through several websites and blogs in order to begin to conceptualize what I need to accomplish in the upcoming year. My boss, Dan Bassill has pointed out time and time again, it's one thing to build a house on a Saturday afternoon or volunteer at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving, but it's another to build a relationship with someone and help them week in and week out.

On July 24, 2007 Nicole wrote about the Business School Connection strategy of the Tutor/mentor Connection

One of the more interesting projects I've been given in these past three weeks is to maintain our Business School Connection, a concept that was launched last year by a fellow through the University of Chicago Graduate School.

The idea is very simple: why not enlist business schools to use their expertise on running businesses and taking that expertise to the realm of non-profits. After all, non-profits are pretty much businesses, just as their name indicates, not-for-profit. 

Back in May, when I attended the Tutor/Mentor Conference at Northwestern Law School, I sat in on a seminar about creating ties between corporations and non-profits such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Cabrini Connections. Why not take this a step further? Why not instill this idea of contributing to the public interest while business execs are in business school? This is the whole idea of business school connection so that business schools themselves can have connections to non-profits. 
Nicole White visiting
Indo American Center - 2008 

On August 16, 2007 Nicole wrote:  Yesterday I had two very constructive and eye-opening meetings. The first meeting was for every youth-centered non-profit organization that is funded by the city in our region. It was at the Union League Baretto Boys and Girls Club in Humboldt Park. The meeting overall was very interesting to me because I got to meet a lot of people I had been contacting these past couple of weeks.

However, it was also very eye-opening to go into another neighborhood where there is high crime and fairly high poverty. Humboldt Park, like the area around Cabrini-Green is being gentrified (the city is now calling it Bucktown so the negative connotation of Humboldt Park won't stay with the area) and there is a lot of construction going on in the area.

However, the real state of things in the neighborhood really came to light for me when I met a gentleman who worked at another Boys and Girls Club four blocks away (the two Boys and Girls Clubs can actually see each other from their buildings). Of course I was naive enough to ask "Why would you need another Boys and Girls Club four blocks away." His answer was painfully obviously: "Because the kids can't cross gang lines." What makes this even more interesting is that each of the Boys and Girls Clubs in this small area host over 1000 children.

On March 18, 2008 Nicole wrote an article following a shooting of a Crane High School student, on Chicago's West Side. 

On March 7th, a fight at Crane High School, on the West Side, resulted in the shooting and killing of one student and another student being in a coma after a savage beating with a golf club. Police are saying the fight was due to gang rivalries and as of today, more than 200 students who live in the ABLA housing projects where the shooter was from have to be given a police escort to school when it resumes next Monday due to fear of retaliation.

There are many fingers being pointed at different directions, but just for curiosity's sake I looked up in our Tutor/Mentor Connection Program Locator, where Crane High School and the ABLA homes are located, and how many tutoring and mentoring programs for high school students are in that zip code. Not surprisingly, there are only 4 programs in the 60612 zip code that offer tutoring and mentoring programs.

Finally, on another sad note, 20 CPS students so far this year have been killed by some act of violence. It's only March 18th and that is way too many young lives lost too soon. Almost all of them are from neighborhoods where tutoring and mentoring programs are few and far between.

In May 2008 Nicole White transitioned to a new role for the next year as the Tutor/Mentor Connection Coordinator, funded through a grant from the Chicago Bar Association/Foundation Lawyers Lend a Hand to Youth program. 

As she wrote in her March 18th article, One of my roles will be doing outreach to programs in areas such as that around Crane High School and helping to possibly new programs out there.

Nicole White served for two years as the Tutor/Mentor Connection Coordinator, building a deep understanding of the different youth tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and helping to draw them together for networking, learning and capacity building.

On June 8, 2010 she wrote this article, as one of her final  posts.

Nicole White
T/MC Coordinator
It’s been a great year at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. 80 kids and 100 plus volunteers have made the Cabrini Connections program an award-winning success. Both the November Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference and the May Conference saw well over 100 people attend.

It would be nice to say that the year is ending with a bang and if financial issues weren’t a part of the picture, we indeed are. Unfortunately, just as we’re ending a stellar year with both programs, we’re seeing funding dry up to pay payroll, rent, insurance, electricity and much more. I will be leaving Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection in two weeks, and the fact that this is the current situation deeply saddens me. Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection has been the best thing to happen to me and I am so deeply grateful to have worked here.

Each of these articles is an example of how Tutor/Mentor Connection / Institute, LLC has encouraged interns to learn and make sense of our strategies, then communicate their understanding, to their readers, via blog articles, videos, and/or visualizations. This is work that students from any part of the world could be doing.

Visit Nicole's blog and read more of the articles ahe wrote between July 2007 and April 2010.

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