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!!!~

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I think we had a great year and I look forward to the fall :)