Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Relief from "Hurricane Cabrini" Needed Immediately!!!

In August of 2005 Hurricane Katrina's rage and destruction on the US's southern coast created millions of dollars of damage and claimed the lives of many. This Hurricane was considered one of the 5 deadliest hurricanes in the our country's history! There were thousands of people who were displaced, lives were lost, homes and businesses were completely wiped out, and survivors 'lived' in despair after this tragedy that completely altered their way of life.

After days of media coverage and a public outcry thousands of people of this great nation answered this call of duty! People from all over the nation and the world made an effort to make a trip to the southern part of the United States to lend a helping hand to any and all people who were effected by Hurricane Katrina. And besides the physical labor that was provided as support, there were millions and millions of dollars that went towards rebuilding the area and restoring the way of life in this part of America. People sent donations through the Red Cross, professional athletes and celebrities donated millions and held benefit events where proceeds went towards a great cause, and there were everyday people like YOU and I who tried to contribute any amount we could hopefully benefit the people and the area in some way.

I am proud to say that this a great example of how the people of the world ,and the United States in particular, rallied together in a time of need to help others who really and truly needed a helping hand! I personally want to thank you, and want to know if YOU will rally together once more to benefit the lives and the area that has been damaged by 'Hurricane Cabrini?'

Just like Hurricane Katrini, Hurricane Cabrini has been claiming the lives of women, children, and men for well over a decade and should be considered to be one the top 5 Hurricanes in this country's history! The death, destruction, property damage, and the despair in the lives of people who have been affected by this 'natural disaster' has been consistent and continuous for some time now, and immediate help and support is needed immediately!

Instead of levees breaking, high winds, and flooding; Hurricane Cabrini has been filled with poverty, violence, gang-activity, and drug selling/drug use. And as a result of these factors that make up this very powerful disaster known as Hurricane Cabrini, the effects have been documented and can be observed by people all over the world!!!

Instead of the Red Cross as the central location that is providing aid to the people devastated by this hurricane, Cabrini Connections has been working as a Red Cross type of hub that is and continues to try to provide services and relief to the youth and the families that make up this community. But we need YOUR help!!!

We need the people of America and the world to send resources items, financial donations, and other support that can and will help to restore not just the Cabrini Green community members, but to also bring back the hope and the dreams of a better life to the residents. So professional athletes/celebrities, business leaders and professionals, and everyday Americans like YOU...we really need a helping hand in this time of need!

If you would like to assist the people affected by "Hurricane Cabrini" please make an effort to become a tutor/mentor or make an effort to submit a donation.

~Thanks in Advance for YOUR Support~

Rest assure that there was not really a Hurricane Cabrini. But there should not have to be an obvious natural disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, or severe flooding for people to rally together to help others. The poverty and violence that has claimed the lives of many people in the Cabrini Green community over the years should be enough for ALL people to want to rally together and support!

Friday, May 22, 2009

2008-2009 at Cabrini Connections...WHAT A YEAR!

I want to start off by saying WOW!!!! Last evening we had our last official tutoring/mentoring session of the 2008-2009 year, and the phrase 'time flies when you're having fun" definitely holds true. There has been so many success stories that I can't even fit them all into this blog, but I will share a few of the many highlights that made this year a very special year.

In our first quarter of the year several students took part in a Halloween Essay contest and as a result several students, volunteers, and parents earned an opportunity to visit the Navy Pier Haunted House on Halloween Night. And being a tutoring/mentoring program that continues to work towards preparing our students for college and future careers, many of our students took advantage of visits to a variety of colleges and universities in the area. We also not only paid close attention to the political race, we go involved! During this quarter several of the Cabrini Connections' students ran for seats in the Cabrini Connections' Youth Leadership Council. We hosted town hall meetings, we had official voting booths, and as a result 6 of our students became Youth Leadership Council members!

And as the Christmas holidays quickly approached us, we ended the 1st quarter and the 2008 year with a Christmas party and we presented awards to our students and volunteers with outstanding attendance; and a very special gift (autographed pennant from Bulls forward Joakim Noah) was presented to veteran volunteer Allen "AJ" Tyson for being our FUNdraising for Quarters winner by bringing in the most donations during the 1st quarter...and that was just 1st quarter!!!

The 2nd quarter was filled with even more highlights and success stories. Take a look here Sportscenter's Top 10 Plays...Cabrini Connections' Style and you will find what I consider 10 of our most memorable highlights of the 2nd quarter...enjoy!!!

This brings me to the 3rd quarter where we kicked off the quarter with our Annual Art and Film Festival on April 4th. Not only was the event a great way to showcase the artistic talents of our students and volunteers, this event was very fun and pretty successful. Next the student and volunteers participated in a very special career week during the student's Spring Break. Students had the opportunity to get real life career experience by visiting the workplaces of some of our volunteers, and back here on the home front, several of our volunteers shared not only what they do in their careers but also the paths they took to get to their respective careers.

And not to slight all of the other highlights of the 3rd quarter but we had two very very special visitors come to the program and share some words of encouragement to the students, volunteers, staff, and some parents. Green Bay Packer, Tyrell Sutton, and Chicago Bear, Orlando Pace stopped by the program during the 3rd quarter to speak to the group, pose for pictures, sign autographs and most importantly support Cabrini Connections and all that make up the program!

Finally, during the last sessions of the 2008-2009 year we began our celebration!!! The students and volunteers had the opportunity to relax, discuss their plans for the remainder of the school year and the summer, and then students were provided with free bikes, locks, and helmets! And after all of those fun activities...what better way to end the quarter than with a complete Ice Cream Sundae Bar!!! The students, volunteers, parents, and staff attempted to make AND eat the perfect sundae!!!!

So how do we top this great 2008-2009 tutoring/mentoring year...that's easy; begin planning for an even better 2009-2010 tutoring/mentoring year!!!! While the students and volunteers ate ice cream at the Student Appreciation night last night, we hosted an open forum for students (and volunteers) to share their thoughts on what went well and what improvements could be made for the upcoming year. The volunteers will be having their Volunteer Appreciation Night on June 11th to share their feedback for the year.

But what would really assist us with making next year and the years to follow is actually having the financial support needed in order to obtain and keep all of the pieces needed to have a successful tutoring/mentoring program like Cabrini Connections! Supporting events such as the Year End Dinner that will be taking place on June 4th, the Annual Golf Benefit that will be taking place on July 16th, and/or just making a general donation to the program are ways in which, we can continue to build upon the foundation and successes of this year for the future!

~What A Year!!!~

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Summer 2009 Schedule

While the formal weekly tutoring sessions end this week, we hope that youth and volunteers will continue to meet with each other and take part in Cabrini Connections activities throughout the summer, so that everyone is back with us as school starts in the fall.

Here's the schedule of activities planned for this summer. Keep watching the web site and email newsletter so you're informed of new activities.

Art Club will continue throughout the summer: Mondays 5:45-7:15pm

Tech Club will continue throughout the summer: Tuesdays 6-7pm

Writing Club (TBD)

Open House Nights: Wednesdays 6-8pm
Very similar to tutoring/mentoring session for any student and volunteer who wants and needs to meet in the center throughout the summer

College Zone will be open (By appointment only during this time)

Edgewood Experience: July 6-8th (9-2:30 Monday and Tuesday 9-12:30 on Wednesday

Jimmy Biggs Memorial Cabrini Connections Golf Benefit, July 16 ( )

Annual Great America Trip: Date (TBD)

Throughout the summer we hope volunteers will make time to review the planning wikis, and volunteer talent to help us update the plan for the 2009-10 school year.

We also hope you'll use SVHATS to keep us informed of contact with students off site.

Finally we hope you'll read articles on the Fund Raising blog and help us expand the network of donors who make Cabrini Connections possible.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Understanding OUR Youth" Year End Surveys

The Cabrini Connections' staff is always looking for ways to better prepare our youth for not just our program, but for the future. Week in and week out we are providing the resources of a 1-on-1 tutor/mentor relationship, we are proving a variety of clubs to participate in, we are providing assistance through our College Zone, but we wanted to go a step further by trying to understand the strengths and weaknesses our youth individually.

At the November 2008 Tutor/Mentor Networking and Leadership Conference I was able to sit in on a workshop that provided all in attendance with information and resources on how to gauge not only the value of individual programs, but also tools to better understand the youth that participate in programs like Cabrini Connections. Shortly after the conference I was provided with an evaluation tool from the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of America in which I was able to edit the tool in a way that would assist us here at Cabrini Connections with determining possible strengths and weaknesses of our students.

After a couple of weeks of editing the the document to capture the exact information that we are looking for, and having discussions with our President/CEO Dan Bassill, we were able to complete what we feel will be a great evaluation tool for us. This survey which consists of a description page and a second page that requires a little background information on the student and 21 questions, was completed and distributed to three very important entities.

In the past 2 weeks the survey that will assist our staff in determining some possible strengths and weaknesses of our students was sent out to parents/guardians, teachers of our students, and the mentors of our students, along with a letter that not only describes this process, but also thanking each person for being a part of this process. And I am extremely excited to announce that we have already begun to get responses from all three parties!

As we continue to get the surveys in we will begin to process the information and use the information to not only access the individual student, but use this tool to better provide new and returning volunteers with a type of work plan for their mentee for the upcoming year. As staff of Cabrini Connections we can and will use the information to better prepare the volunteer on how to provide the necessary resources to turn weaknesses into strengths and how to maintain the current strengths that the student already posses. And this is also a visual tool that can be used by the individual students themselves to see what areas of weaknesses my need some attention.

This is our first time trying this tool, but we are confident that if used properly and with enough participation by volunteers, parents, and school faculty, this evaluation tool will be a key resource that can and will not only strengthen the individual students, but will further educate the staff, volunteers, and potential donors. And through this process we are hoping to further strengthen this united resources and support front of the schools, our tutoring/mentoring program, and the homes of our respective students.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rivalry Game: Cabrini Connections vs. Chicago Summer (Pt. 2)

As we continue to head into one of the biggest games of the season, the rivalry game where Cabrini Connections will face off vs. the Chicago Summer, we are trying to get more and more fans to rally behind us. The Chicago Summer's players have been getting attention already. Just last week their star player, murder, was in the spotlight again. I've just watched some game tape of the Chicago Summer where 15 year old, Alex Arellano, was beaten, shot, and set on fire near 54th place on the Chicago's South Side.

So what are we doing here to prepare for the one of the biggest games of our players' careers? The Coaches are assisting our players with finding positive outlets for the summer like jobs for our players, summer camps, and we are providing a variety of activities inside of the center. As of today, Art and Tech Club will continue throughout the summer, our Year End Dinner will take place on June 4th, the Edgewood Experience will be taking place July 6th-8th, and every Wednesday evening we will host 'Open House' nights from 6-8pm for any player and coach who would like to come into the center to get some extra practice. These are just a few of the many plays that we are looking to run, to defeat the negativity of the Chicago Summer.

As we continue to do our part we still need our fans and supporters to continue to rally behind us. When the Cowboys play the Redskins the fans make signs, tailgate, paint their face and body, and they come out to the games by the thousands to cheer on their favorite team to what they hope will be a victory. As the Head Coach of the Cabrini Connections' team, I am personally asking and requesting that each and every Cabrini Connections' fan find a way to support our team before, during, and after the rivalry game!

Instead of making signs and yelling until you lose your voice, I'm asking you to support the team by either coming out to watch us play at the Year End Dinner and/or the Jimmy Biggs Memorial Golf Benefit...and/or submit a financial contribution to our organization. I don't have to repeat how bad and well prepared the Chicago Summer is to try to defeat the Cabrini Connections' players, so we are going to need all of the support and resources possible to come out victorious!

Here are ways in which you can support Cabrini Connections before the rivalry game:
-Contribute to the Year End Dinner
-Submit a donation online

~Thanks In Advance for Your Support~

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Orlando Pace and Cabrini Make a Connections!!!

Who is the history of football has been so dominate that they named a block after them, the Pancake Block to be exact.... Orlando Pace! Sandusky, Ohio native, Orlando Pace battled traffic, the rain, and inaccurate directions as he made an effort to visit the Cabrini Connections' tutoring/mentoring session last evening!

For those who unfortunately don't know who Orlando Pace is, let me provide a little background. Orlando Pace was a 2 sport star (basketball and football) at Sandusky High School before going on to dominate the Big 10 at Ohio State University. After a few years of earning numerous awards, clearing the way for former NFL running back Eddie George, and being one of the only offensive linemen to be in the Heisman voting at Ohio State...Mr. Pace was the number 1 pick of the St. Louis Rams in the 1997 NFL draft. After a GREAT career with the Rams, filled with numerous Pro Bowl selections, Super Bowl championships, and other accomplishments, Orlando will begin is 13th season as a Chicago Bear!

Orlando Pace took some time to meet the staff, talk poverty and the history of the program with President/CEO Dan Bassill, and just observe all of the great work the the mentors and mentees were doing during Wednesday night's tutoring/mentoring session. Mr. Pace tried not to be a distraction so that the pairs could stay focused on their work, but when you're 6'7'' 325lbs its a little hard to not catch the eye of the students, volunteers, and staff.

Orlando took a minute to speak with Chicago Tribune's Vaughn McClure as the group 'patiently' waited for their turn to meet Big O. Shortly after, we proceeded with our regularly scheduled announcements, and following the announcements I had to honor of introducing NFL great, future Hall of Famer, and one of my good friends...Mr. Orlando Pace.

Orlando talked to the group about making the right decisions, taking advantage of opportunities that are available, the value of getting a great education, and valuing the opportunity to be a part of the Cabrini Connections' program. Orlando spoke very briefly about his success of being a football star, but he spoke more about how he developed a dream, worked towards that dream, and made the right decisions to obtain that dream of now being an NFL player. And he made it clear that every student in the Cabrini Connections' program can do the same, and that it starts with a dream!

When asked about his personal mentors, Orlando responded very similar to Tyrell Sutton (Green Bay Packer) who visited the program a couple of weeks ago, Orlando responded by saying that his mother was and continues to be his biggest supporter and mentor! Orlando ended the night by providing the students some words of encouragement for the upcoming summer and for life in general. Mr. Pace encouraged the students stay focused and to not take any time off this summer when it comes to working towards their goals, and encouraged the students to find something positive to do to avoid trouble. Orlando posed for pictures and signed autographs as the students celebrated the May birthdays before the group headed home for the night.

The Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection staff, students, and volunteers thank Orlando Pace for spending time with us and supporting the Cabrini Connections' program!
Go Bears!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

2009 Cabrini Connections' Graduating Class

As we head into one of the best events that Cabrini Connections has to offer, the Annual Year End Dinner which will be taking place this year on June 4th, we go into the event with mixed emotions. This is truly a festive event that brings students, parents, staff, board members, volunteers, and guest all together to celebrate the end of another successful tutoring/mentoring year. But what makes this a event with mixed emotions is that we will be saying good bye to the 2009 Cabrini Connections' graduating class!

This year we have 5 seniors who will be, lets say, not leaving the Cabrini Connections' program but joining a growing list of alumni! I've been the Administrative Coordinator of the program for a little over a year, but I can truly say that I have been a witness of the growth and the leadership qualities that these 5 seniors have!

The 2009 Cabrini Connections' graduating class consist of Dominique Dobbs, LaFaye Garth, Angelene Hemphill, Eboni Rivera, and Charles Thomas, and they all have different plans as they continue on their path to a career by the age of 25.

Dominique Dobbs, senior at Lincoln Park High School, rejoined the program this year after taking some time off and has done an amazing job since returning. Dominique is very interested in studying psychology, but at this point is undecided on which college or university she will be attending in the fall.

LaFaye Garth, senior at Sullivan High School, has truly been a standout in the program. For anybody who has interacted with this young lady, you understand how dedicated, committed, and driven she is. LaFaye has been in the program since September of 2004 and progressed in the program very well! Ms. Garth was the recipient of the Posse Scholarship and will be receiving over $30,000 a year to attend California's Pomona College beginning in the fall. LaFaye has also received the Gates Foundation Scholarship that will pay for all of her graduate school expenses as she pursues a career in the nursing field. LaFaye also was on a recent episode of the Oprah Winfrey show.

Angelene Hemphill, senior at Wells High School, has also been doing a fantastic job inside and outside of the program. Angelene continues to strive for excellence inside of the program, but she also assists younger students by being a mentor herself outside of the program. Angelene also balances work as well! Angelene has hopes of attending either Harold Washington, Malcolm X, or Chicago State in the fall.

Eboni Rivera, senior at Kenwood High School, has been in the program since September of 2002 and has been a standout since that first day. Eboni is currently in the Cabrini Connections' Youth Leadership Council, on her school's softball team, and will be attending SIU in the fall! Eboni demonstrates her leadership in the program by assisting with the announcements on tutoring nights and by participating in various projects that the program has to offer. One of the opportunities that Eboni took advantage of and it paid off was the Halloween Essay contest that we provided last fall, and earned a free trip the Navy Pier's Haunted House on Halloween night.

Charles Thomas, senior at CICS Northtown Academy, and although he has a quiet and reserved demeanor, Charles has already begun his career path! Charles is undecided on which college or university he will be attending in the fall, but he does want to study Business once he makes his decision. Charles' goal is to one day be the owner of his own nightclub or a banquet hall. Charles is currently pursuing his dreams by working as a club promoter throughout the Chicagoland area. Charles is getting some hands on experience at an early age that can and will benefit him as he continues on his career path. Charles hopes to use the knowledge he is gaining now, along with getting a degree in business, to one day become a successful club owner!

The entire Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection staff would like to congratulate these 5 seniors for their hard work, decidation, and committment to excellence as they move on to the next phrase in their life. We hope they will continue to be advocates of the program, and encourage fellow Cabrini Connections' alums to do the same. And as we continue to work towards getting more and more students into the program and on track to graduate and become Cabrini Connections' alumni, we need more and more support and resources to make this happen. Please take a moment to think about the value and importance of a great education and tutoring and mentoring and consider donating to Cabrini Connections.

Monday, May 04, 2009

May Activities at Cabrini Connections

These are activities that we hope Cabrini Connections students and volunteers will take part in during May

Meeting of the Fund Raising Minds
On May 13th and 14th following the announcements during the tutoring/mentoring sessions, several Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection’s Board Members will be hosting a brief (15-20 min) discussion with all of the volunteers and staff about various fund raising ideas. Many volunteers have shared ideas about ways in which we can obtain the necessary resources for the program, and this brief discussion will be a way of bringing Board Members, staff, and volunteers together to expand on those great ideas.

Club Coordinators and Wednesday/Thursday volunteers please make an effort to attend and share your thoughts. Again, will be pretty brief and will take place immediately following the announcements on May 13th and 14th.

Student and Volunteer Appreciation Night!!! May 20 and 21.
This program would definitely not be what it is without our students and volunteers who participate in the Cabrini Connections’ program! We want to show our appreciation to our student and volunteers by hosting a Student Appreciation Night on May 20th and 21st (Last official tutoring/mentoring sessions of 3rd Quarter), and a Volunteer Appreciation Night on June 11th.

So following the announcements on the May 20th and 21st students will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy an Ice Cream Sundae Bar!!!

On June 11th at 6:30pm all volunteers are invited to the Volunteer Appreciation Night here in the center, and we will provide an Ice Cream Sundae Bar. So save the dates and please come out and enjoy some ice cream while we talk about highlights for the year and how we can have even more highlights heading into the 2009-2010 Tutoring/Mentoring Year!!!

“Understanding Our Youth” - Year End Surveys being collected during May
As the Cabrini Connections staff continues to find ways to better serve our youth and the volunteers who work with our students, we have decided to enhance our survey process to get a better understanding on how to better understand and serve the youth who participate in our program. A brief survey for each one of our students to their mentors, parent/guardian, and their homeroom teachers will be provided by the end of this week. Volunteers will receive their surveys during the sessions and both parents and teachers will receive their surveys in the mail. The information that we receive from these surveys will be used to assist with not only understanding our students’ strengths, but we will use this information to work on any and all weaknesses that our students may have.

Participation of all of our students, parents/guardians, volunteers, and school faculty is essential in this process and we hope that all parties will help us help our students, and we hope to get all of the surveys back by May 22, 2009.

Year End Dinner, June 4, from 6 to 8pm.
Learn more about the dinner at This is a celebration of the past year, and a kick-off for summer and 2009-10 activities. We hope to have a great turnout. Invitations and donor appeals will be in the mail next week.

Year End Dinner Voting Process
We are a month away from the 2009 Year End Dinner and are on track to have one of the best events ever! Over the next two weeks students, volunteers, and staff will be voting on this year’s awards. The student awards include:

-Jimmy Biggs Citizenship Award
-Most Motivated
-Best Overall Academic Achievement
-Most Improved Award

Please assist us with ensuring that the 2009 Year End Dinner is a success by donating to this year’s event at

Cabrini Connections 2009 Summer Schedule!!!
Be on the lookout for the 2009 Summer Schedule and all of the great activities that can and will be taking place. Year End Dinner on June 4th, The Edgewood College Experience July 6-8, Annual Golf Benefit on July 16…and MUCH MUCH MORE!!!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Cabrini Green: Where the Journey Began

Sport's fan...who hasn't watched an ESPN special or a documentary on the 'journey' of an NFL player and became an ever bigger fan or supporter of that player, that team, or the NFL in general. Nearly every one of those types of specials goes back to the places where the NFL player was born and raised, and viewers get a glimpse of the hardships that the player and his family faced and overcame as they continued on their road to success. Some of the hardships that the players face are growing up in sub-par school systems, broken homes, single family households, and some of the worst neighborhoods in the country. And when people see how these players rose above the adversity and eventually became professionals in the National Football League, you fall in love with the player...and the story!

Several of our Cabrini Connections' players who have followed a similar journey to many of the NFL players, have put their time, talents, and energy into documenting the place where their story begins. This place is also very similar, and by many, was and still is, considered one the most notorious housing projects in the country. This place is where many of our players were born and raised is the Cabrini Green Housing Projects!

This ESPN-like special -- which is very similar to an Outside the Lines segment -- was put together by several players (LaFaye Garth, Jonathan Summers, Kevin Stanfield, Kenneth Chatman) and the IYP position's coach (Rebecca Parrish). The title of this documentary is "Cabrini Green, This is What I Know." This 28 minute long video provides the fans a look at the place in which many of our players call home. By viewing this video the fans get a better understanding of some of the hardships that are players face on a daily basis, and after viewing this video you will become and even bigger fan of the Cabrini Connections' players and their journey!

Due to the great work that the players put into putting this documentary together, the players won the "Strongest Voice" award at the Raw Voices ; Teens In the Media Arts Festival last weekend for their documentary. See the movie trailer here And purchase the full video for $15 here .

Please support these amazing players by purchasing the video or by joining other true fans of Cabrini Connections in the Fan's Lounge.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Head Coach Uses Technology for Fan Support

The National Football League is a multimillion dollar industry that continues to grow year after year. The players, team owners, and businesses that are affiliated with the NFL continue to make a huge profit of this game of football. So how does this 'simple game of football' create such a lucrative industry? This form of entertainment is loved and supported by millions and millions of people throughout the world, and because of this reason there is money to be made. Millions of kids grow up playing the sport of football and they dream about an opportunity to one day "make it to the NFL and give back to their community."

I too had that dream of taking my football career to the professional level, but do to a career ending injury I was forced to change "sports." I didn't become a professional football player in the NFL, but I am currently the Head Coach in another professional league; the league of tutoring/mentoring! And just like the National Football League, I am also searching for ways in which our organization can become a multimillion dollar organization like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, and Chicago Bears. We are working towards training our players to be some of the stars of the league, our coaches have continued to study the game, and we continue to try to reach out to others who have played in this type of league in an attempt to get more financial support for our organization.

Again, I've never played a game in the NFL, but I think it's safe to say that nearly EVERY player in the NFL has played in this league as well on their road to success. The league again, is tutoring and mentoring! Every NFL player has been surrounded and more than likely continue to be surrounded by a network of people who lead and guide them in the right directions, and that is exactly what we are currently trying to do with the youthful players in our league. We are trying to surround them with positive and role model type of mentors, staff, and other important figures so they too can work towards their goals of becoming professionals in their respective future careers.

As the Head Coach, I have been working to get our players and our organization the exposure and the financial support needed to run a successful organization with the use of technology! I simply went through my cell phone this week and sent messages out to a wide variety of people who understand the importance of this type of league. This wide variety of over 75 people who received the text included; Luis Castillo (San Diego Chargers), Orlando Pace (Chicago Bears) Dr. Richard Koonce and Stephanie McSwain (City Leaders of Sandusky, Ohio) Michael Strickland (Northwestern Alum) and over 60 more people. The people who were selected all vary in their financial status, but one of the common ties that linked each person together was the collective understanding of the value of a great education for our youth, and this is why I sent personal messages to these people. They all know and understand that I dedicate my life, as the Head Coach of Cabrini Connections, to benefit the lives of the players who enter this league.

And the responses that I received all varied, there were some people who without hesitation agreed to support, their were some who stated that due to the economy they could not personally support (but agreed to pass the word along), and there were some who stated that they would begin to visit the websites, read the newsletter, and even visit the program to learn more about our players, coaches, our organization, and this league that we are competing in.

Through the use of technology (text messaging), Cabrini Connections was able to obtain a little more fan support this week, which is greatly appreciated, but we are going to need even more fan support to become a multimillion dollar organization like one in the NFL! If you believe in the importance of education for the youth, and you are a fan of youth receiving the necessary academic, social, work, and life skills needed to become a successful adult, please make an effort to support Cabrini Connections' in this very special Fan's Lounge that we created for you!