Monday, July 23, 2007

Cabrini Connections Videos on-line

Since 1996 teens and volunteers from Cabrini Connections have been creating short videos as part of an annual learning and skill development activity. Many of these videos can now be viewed on line at

These videos include many testimonials about how Cabrini Connections is important to these teens. If you are watching them and want to volunteer to help current teens create similar videos, or are willing to be a sponsor to help provide the money needed to pay for space, equipment and staff, email and introduce yourself.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cabrini Connections student alum on Today Show

I received an email today from Tramaine Ford, who was part of Cabrini Connections in the late 1990s while in Junior High and High School. He told me that he's in the new "Hairspray" movie and will be on the Today Show this Friday, July 20. Here's what he wrote;

"I will be performing with the cast this Friday July 20th on The Today Show. I will be dancing and singing with the Hairspray cast throught the show as well as dancing in a number with Queen Latifah at the end. It comes on NBC this Friday morning if you or anyone from Cabrini Connections wants to tune in to The Today Show performances or wants to go see the movie, it also comes out that day. I would appreciate the support greatly. I am definitely a spokesperson for CC and will continue to explore how I can support the program's longevity and success."

In another email he told me more about his part in the movie: " In the movie, I'm in a number called lady's choice with Zach Efron. This number is also on itunes and the disney channel as a music video for the film. "

Tramaine got his start in acting as part of the video group at Cabrini Connections. We'll be posting one of the video projets he stared in on YouTube soon. However, here's another video done by our kids:

We'll be holding our annual golf benefit tomorrow to raise money to fund our 2007-08 Cabrini Connections. Maybe one of the new 7th graders will be our next Tramaine. If you can make a donation to help, that can be possible. Visit to learn more.

Dan Bassill
Cabrini Connections
Tutor/Mentor Connection

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Edgewood Experience Connects College and Urban Students

On July 16, graduate students from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin will be joining with Cabrini Connections students for a three-day experience. You can read about the 2006 visit. This will be the 8th year that we've had this partnership, and the goals are that the Edgewood students will learn more about working with inner city kids, and more about Chicago, while the Cabrini Connections students will learn more about college and careers, and some of the learning habits that they need to adopt in order to have the careers they aspire to.

We won't know how much change these events generate for many years. This is why we've created these forums and an eLearning strategy. Our hope is that the Edgewood students and the Cabrini Connections students learn to use this site, or our Cabrini Blog, as a place to stay connected to each other, so that as they get to know each other, they do more now and in the future to help each other. This can lead to more help for the kids, and more help for programs like Cabrini Connections, who need annual donations in order to pay for facilities, and pay for the staff that facilitate these activities and the on-going connection of youth and adult volunteers.

If you're an Edgewood alum or a Cabrin Connections alum who has participated in the Edgewood experience in one of the years since 1999, I encourage you to introduce yourself and tell how you are still drawing from this experience in your current life activities. You can post your message here, or in the Tutor/Mentor Connection discussion forums.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Using Blogs to Tell the Story

The year - end dinner was held in June and now we're just a week away from our annual Jimmy Biggs Memorial Cabrini Connections Golf Benefit, which raises money to operate Cabrini Connections each year.

Why is this money important? I encourage you to read Meghan's account of the year-end dinner, which is on the CC Writing Group blog.

This dinner is the end of one year and the beginning of another. Without money to fuel this process, it's almost impossible to make the year to year impact that leads young people to graduate and builds adult networks of support that last well beyond graduation.

When did all this start? Back in 1965 when employees of the Montgomery Ward corporation began tutoring 2nd to 6th grade kids living in the Cabrini Green area. I've created a timeline showing the 1965-1992 years, and the 1993 to 2007 years.

I've also created a graphic showing the services we've provided and the list of kids who have graduated from high school

I hope you'll help me reach out to others who have graduated, from high school, and/or college, so we can update this list and rebuild the connections of our kids and volunteers.

If you feel this is a value that should be continued into the future, please consider supporting us with a donation, either through the Golf Benefit, or by sending a contribution to Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection, 800 W. Huron, Chicago, Il. 60622

Thank you.

Dan Bassill
Cabrini Connections
Tutor/Mentor Connection