Wednesday, July 7, 2010
As the saying tells us, it takes a village to raise a child. Although I have heard this adage countless times, it is acquiring new meaning as I continue reading articles from the Tutor/Mentor Institute PDF Library. As these articles, experience, and even common sense teach us, in order for kids to thrive, they need support networks of adults who care about them outside of a classroom.
Many of these articles and presentations assert that kids living in high poverty neighborhoods have smaller networks of adults who provide support to get them through school and model various career opportunities. Simply put, these kids are at a major disadvantage from day one.
In looking at Cabrini Connection, T/MC's goal to get all of Chicago's youth through college and into careers by the age of 25, I couldn't help but think of the armada of support that I have relied upon from birth through now as I creep toward age twenty-three. While creating a diagram of my network of opportunities and adult support, more role models and experiences came to mind than I could possibly fit on one page.
As I begin to get my feet wet in launching a career path, I realize how many people helped "raise" me. I also recognize how fortunate I am to have been granted these opportunities and connections. Growing up, I was privileged to be exposed to many types of adults and many outlets for budding interests. While some of these activities did not lead to any lasting passion (ie: basketball, much to my athletic father's chagrin), others--like internship experiences with youth in high school--have sparked career aspirations or enabled me to discover emerging gifts. It took a lot of people believing in me and a lot of adults guiding me to get me through elementary school, high school, and now college.
While I have been incredibly fortunate, many youth do not have a wide network of adult encouragement. This is where one-on-one tutoring/mentoring programs fill in a gaping hole. Organizations like Cabrini Connections and many others throughout Chicago provide youth with programs to develop talents, achieve academically, and--most importantly--form lasting relationships with people who are cheering for them to succeed and know that they can.
As I continue learning about my role within Cabrini Connections, T/MC I will keep my own "village" of role models in mind realizing that launching youth into careers calls upon each and every member of a community.
Posted by Karina Walker at 5:15 PM