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Tuesday, August 22, 2006
See what others say about the Tutor/Mentor Connection
By nsbyrer @ 4:40 PM :: 8398 Views :: Article Rating :: T/MC
Every day we hear from people around Chicago and from other parts of the country. We'd like to hear from more of you. Please post a message in the Discussion Forum of this site, or send us an email to tell us what you think of our work, or how we can improve.

Here are comments from a few of the Letters sent to the Tutor/Mentor Connection and messages posted in the GUEST BOOK on T/MC web sites.

Comments posted on T/MC web site in past few years:

We are in the process of setting up a tutor/mentor program. I enjoyed visiting your site and intend to share with team members. from Education Coalition, Columbus, Indiana

Your site is being used as a reference for those who are developing a county, state and nation wide civil defense program. Thanks for the mentoring references, they have helped many who do not believe that they had no further use in life. We now have many 60-70 year olds performing digital research. from Nokomis, FL

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am thanking and praising God for your organization! You are truly a blessing to those whose lives you touch directly through tutoring and mentoring but also those interested in following your lead. I am a volunteer at the FBCDC and my assignment involves putting together a plan for involving volunteers. I had no idea where to start and then I stumbled in to your community toolbox. Your work is greately appreicated. from Somerset, NJ

Very interesting site. As someone new to the mentoring scene, I found quite a lot of good information here. our program is in a transitional stage where we really need to study the practices and programs of other successful mentoring programs in order to shore up our own programs and branch out into new areas. thank you! from Mentoring USA, New York, New York

Hi! I was just browsing your website. It looks great and is packed with tons of useful information! Just wondering when the next tutor/mentor nonprofit fair is coming up? I attended one last November and it was great. Please keep me posted. Thanks. from Raven Patterson -Chicago Access Network TV

I think that this is a great site, I am a receptionist at a school in Australia. I think that this is excellent. from From Karen WIse, Swan Hill Kode School

I am very impressed with the information you offer on your web-site. I am looking forward to assist your organization through speaking engagements and other areas. I am looking to start a tutoring program in the Stateway Gardens community and would like to mirror some of the ideas and directions your agency is moving in. from Anthony Lindsey, Chicago, IL

Good job with your site! It sends a reassuring message that the so-called digital divide can be (and is being) bridged. Thanks for sharing your blueprint. It is just what the doctor ordered for those of us who work to provide the ABC's of Computer Fluency. From Anthony Thomas, Western Michigan University United Campus Ministry

You're doing a wonderful job. Keep up the good work. This (the web site) is a wonderful resource location for new mentors and program directors such as myself. From Carla Nix, Program: Mentor -- TORCH Foundation, Save Our Youth Program, New Orleans.

A Letter of Gratitude to You and the Tutor/Mentor Connection, from Chuck Lewis, of the MENTORING YOUTH Program in Northeastern Wisconsin.
TO:Dan Bassill, President, CEO, Tutor/Mentor Connection, Cabrini Connections

Here?s a letter sent to the T/MC from a mentoring leader in Northeastern Wisconsin.
Even though this letter of appreciation is long overdue, it is never too late to let you know that the Tutor/Mentor Connection, and you personally, are directly responsible for the existence of the MENTORING YOUTH program in Northeastern Wisconsin.

Here's how it happened. As you can see in the attached information sheets, a terrible tragedy occurred in June 1995 in Appleton in which three teenagers killed themselves in murder/suicide pact after they had killed still another teen-ager in a drug and "disrespect" incident. This resulted in the formation of the Fox Valley Youth Violence Task Force. I served on the Business Development Committee seeking to find ways in which the business community could serve in combatting youth violence. We struggled for several months without much success to come up with something, until I saw your October 29, 1995 Letter to the Editor of the Chicago Tribune responding to an earlier editorial. I knew instantly that this was the answer to my prayers, called you the next day, and you were kind enough to send me a wealth of material about your work in the Chicago area.

I presented this to our committee and included mentoring of school students by business employees as the core recommendation of our committee report to the Task Force leaders. Unfortunately, the Task Force failed to act on this and proceeded to disband in early 1996 without doing much of anything. It wasn't until Spring 1997 that Rick Simon, the moving force behind this whole initiative, learned of a noon-hour mentoring approach from a school official while serving as "principal for a day" at an area high school. This quickly led to a pilot noon-hour mentoring program at that school with business employees recruited from nearby companies. Based on the success of this initial experience, MENTORING YOUTH was formally established in the summer of 1997. Starting off with over 1 00 mentor-student matches in 1 1 high schools and middle schools in 6 school districts during the 1998 spring term, the program more than doubled during the Fall 1998 term and has spread to Green Bay, as well.

I recently withdrew from active participation in the the program because I had planned all along to do so as soon as it was on solid footing and I could then move on to several other major projects I had put on hold. Therefore, my last official act is to finally let you know that without the inspiration and example of what you have done in Chicago, MENTORING YOUTH might never have come into being, at least not in the form that now exists. As our program progresses to the elementary school level, it will probably have to provide for mentoring during school hours, but we have found noon-hour mentoring at the middle and high school level (mentors and students typically go to lunch together away from the school) to be very successful. Even busy working parents seem to find this to be a way to contribute to something worthwhile without taking time away from their families.

Of all of the many community organizations I have been a part of over the years, I can't think of anything more important than protecting our children from all of the destructive forces they face today. You are doing a truly remarkable job in Chicago and I thought it was about time that you should finally know that your influence extends well beyond your immediate area.

Dear Sir or Madam: I am the Program Coordinator for Mentors for Independence@ a program of New Pathways, Inc., a community-based, nonprofit corporation founded to provide housing, counseling, and developmental opportunities for disadvantaged, at-risk and foster care youth for ages 16-21. Mentors for Independence assigns volunteer mentors to young adults ages 16 to 21 years who are in transition out of foster care. I have enclosed a brochure describing the program.

I am new in the program and have come across a Summer '96 T/MC Report, Issue No. 7. I must say I devoured the information in the report. I am in the process of revamping the program, which includes training, recruitment of volunteers, and, of course, fund raising. Your report gave me some wonderful ideas in formulating the Action Plan for Recruitment of Volunteers.

Would it be possible to be put on your mailing list in receiving current Reports? Your generosity would be appreciated. Also, I would be grateful for any assistance you could provide me in improving and increasing our mentoring program. If you anticipate a Mentoring Conference in your area, I look forward to possibly attending. I look forward to working with you in the future. From M. Brenda Peisinger, Mentors for Independence, Baltimore, MD.
(Editor Note: This is the type of letter we love to receive! We've added Brenda to the mail list for the T/MC Report and for conference invitations.)

Thank you for using the internet to pass your information. I am the president of NABSW -Toledo Chapter. We are looking to provide this type of service as one component of our organization. Our goal is to assist disadvantaged indidividuals in becoming self-sufficient. Our methods involve assisting the many existing organizations, (CDC, churches, universities, etc.)to perform their missions more effectively. I am pleased to see a sharing of information, so freely. I will be using this website as a reference tool, as well as a referral tool. I am looking to this project as a pilot that can be duplicated in many metropolitan areas in the country. I would like to speak with some of the individuals responsible for making this happen, in the effort that I can duplicate this model with similar results. I look forward to communicating with you soon! from Crystal Purifie Taylor, A Better Tomorrow. Toledo, Ohio

A sincere thanks for coming to the Aquarium last week to speak to the Shedd Mentor Team. Your information was extremely helpful for the group to understand what we need to stay aware of as we establish our program. From John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago.

This is a short note to let you know that I really appreciated having the opportunity to attend the Volunteer Fair on Friday, September 5th at the James R. Thompson Center. It was a great opportunity to get the word out about the volunteer opportunities we offer. Brochures and applications about our Study Coach Tutorial Program were given out to 45 people. I look forward to participating in Campaign 1998! from KaSondra L. Byrd, Volunteer Coordinator, From Volunteers of America, Illinois.

I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and gratitude for enabling Mercy Home for Boys & Girls to utilize the resources Julie Parrish and the T/MC Mapping System. Julie created GIS maps to be included in Mercy Home's first Community Needs Assessment research project which will serve both as an internal planning tool as well as meet accreditation standards. The maps illustrate the location of Mercy Home's private clients over the past three years; a tool which allows us to examine the changes of our geographic catchment area as well as create a marketing plan. Not only are the maps professionally done, but working with Julie was a pleasure.

I also want to thank you for your extensive library of articles regarding various child welfare issues. Using your library as a resource saved me time and energy and I found a lot of useful information. Helena Auslander, Vice President of Special Services, Mercy Home For Boys & Girls.

We appreciate being included in your mailings and value the information received. From North Star Project, Kansas City, MO.

Thank you very much for allowing me to use your wonderful facility. My visit proved very informative and quite helpful. We are currently working on developing a new social service for The ARK clients and their families. It is a mentoring program for Jewish youth who are in need of special attention and guidance, warmth, caring and an ear that does more than just hear. Your library is a wonderful resource in aiding our program's development.
from Diane Schank, PhD., Associate Director, Psychological Services, From The ARK, Chicago, IL.

As a life-long Chicagoan, I cannot thank you enough for all your organization is doing for these young people. From John J. George, Daley and George, Ltd.

Note: Please tell us what you think of the web site, or how you have used the T/MC services. Post a message in the Discussion Forum.

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"Being a tutor was interesting because I was able to help a student go from a D to a B in one of his classes," Ramirez said. ...
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