Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Season's Greetings from Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection!

2010 Holiday Sessions from Cabrini Connections on Vimeo.

I am excited to report some great news that we received last week: For the second year in a row, Cabrini Connections was recognized as the #1 Mentoring program across all 6 regions of Chicago!! Congratulations to
EL Da' Sheon Nix, Administrative Coordinator and Bradley Troast, Assistant Program Coordinator, along with all volunteers, students, staff, and donors for this huge accomplishment!

Cabrini Connections is a GREAT program that is clearly being recognized for its positive impact on the youth involved. Yet while Cabrini Connections is able to invest in 70-80 teens per year, there are an estimated 200,000 students in Chicago that would benefit from mentoring-to-careers programs. While there are over 200 programs in our Program Locator that operate within Chicago, these programs only reach a fraction of those 200,000 youth and many of those programs continually struggle for funding.

While supporting programs may seem a financial burden upfront, the number of youth not currently being reached by such programs could translate into staggering financial costs to society. As Dan Bassill writes in his recent blog, a study conducted by by Mark Cohen and Alex Piquiero from Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management asserted: “We e
stimate the present value of saving a 14-year-old high risk juvenile from a life of crime to range from $2.6 to $5.3 million.” If you look at the budget for a program like Cabrini Connections, the cost per student is close to $2,500 per year. That means that every $1 spent on a tutor/mentor program could save over $350 of societal costs later on! A program like Cabrini Connections is an investment in the positive futures of youth that may result in kids staying in school, staying out of trouble, and having opportunities to pursue the careers of their choosing.

When Tutor/Mentor Connection was founded, Dan Bassill realized that one great program in a city as large as Chicago is not enough. He also realized that there needs to be a strategic plan for helping tutor/mentor programs get started and for helping businesses and leaders realize the importance of supporting programs in their regions.
T/MC collects and shares research on the best practices of starting and operating tutor/mentor programs as a one-stop knowledge center for those building strategies to help youth from poverty to careers.

As this presen
tation states "No General Would Go to War Without A Map" and the war on poverty should be no different. We strive to create a "tipping point" that sets the actions in place to help every child (not just those reached by Cabrini Connections) graduate from high school and start college and careers by age 25. I encourage you to check out these links to build your own understanding of T/MC's strategy.

Thank you to the many people who have donated to our Holiday Fund. We are at almost half of our goal, and we hope that the generosity of our supporters will continue in the next few weeks. If you believe in our work and our mission, please show your support so we can continue to operate effectively in 2011! Thank you for all of your help!!!

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