Friday, July 31, 2009

2009 Great America Getaway!!!

Hard work pays off! Just ask the 15 students who attended Cabrini Connections' Annual Great America Trip yesterday. All of the students who had 75% attendance or better during the 3rd quarter (Spring Quarter) of the tutoring/mentoring year earns the opportunity to attend the Great America Trip every summer! And I say hard work because although the students really enjoy and benefit from being in our program they have the options of joining other program throughout the year and/or they just might decide to enjoy the warm weather of the Spring months over attending the weekly tutoring/mentoring sessions. But I am proud to say that we had nearly 40 students who were eligible for the trip this year!!!

This opportunity was much more than just going to Six Flags; the majority of the student signed into the center around 8:30 or 9am and they were treated to a breakfast and free time in the computers before hearing some brief announcements and future opportunities. We then boarded the bus and headed to the park, and once there we provided the group with a complete lunch before the fun began inside of Six Flags Great America.

For over 5 hours the group rode rides, ate food, played games, watched shows, and just enjoyed all that Great America had to offer. This was also a great opportunity for students in the program who didn't know other students to get to know each other in a fun environment. And although the rain came towards the end of the trip and cut out outing a little short, I can say with confidence that this year's Great American Getaway was a success!

I call this trip the Great America Getaway because its just that; it's s getaway from the neighborhoods and communities that many of the students in our program are living in. The students get to get away from the gangs, guns, drugs, and other social evils they observe on a daily basis, to do what kids are suppose to be doing at their age...HAVING FUN!!! And that is what we aim to provide with this event, a fun-filled day at Great America, and although the trip is completely free for the youth that attend, it cost an average of about $80 per student to attend this trip. We would definitely like to continue providing this opportunity for all of the students in our program, and would greatly appreciate YOUR help by being willing to donate to the Cabrini Connections' program. Your generosity and support can and will lead to our youth doing what they should be doing at their age...having fun and being care free, if only for one day.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pass it on!

Good job Savon! Readers, please take Savon's message to potential donors. Help us keep this program available for Savon and other teens and alumni.

Send your tax deductible donations to Cabrini Connections, 800 W. Huron, Chicago, Il. 60642

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Savon Clark's Top 10 Reasons to Support Cabrini Connections

There are 10 reasons as to why people should support Cabrini Connections. They are :

1. This program keeps kids off of the streets.

2. This is a productive place where kids can achieve goals.

3. Kids can meet successful adults.

4. Kids can develop a friendship with a tutor/mentor

5. Tutors/Mentor can be role models to the students.

6. The program provides multiple chances to earn scholarship money for the kids.

7. The program provides extra-curricular activities.

8. The program provides special events and guest speakers from time to time.

9. Its a Non- Profit organization.

10.It starts in 7th grade and ends at the end of the 12th grade school year.

Monday, July 27, 2009

One $5,000 donation at a time

Thank you to everyone who supported the Bag Recylcling Program at Whole Foods Market during April-June 2009. Today we received $5336.70 as a result.

This shows that these donations are available to us. We need them, one week at a time. Read more.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cabrini Connections Needs a Pep Rally...Will You Attend?

Why do sporting events such as the Rose Bowl, Rivalry Games, and the Super Bowl sell out year in and year out? I have not done enough research, but I'm sure in the last 10 to 20 years each of those events have sold out almost 100% of the time! So why do these die-hard fans do any and everything to fill the stands and be a part of these sell out crowds every year? Are they supporting the star players, are they alumni of the the colleges or universities, former players, do they like the razzle dazzle plays of the team, or is it just a family tradition??? I truly believe it is a combination of many of those items, along with just the overall love for the sport!

That was the opening paragraph from a previous blog article asking for the fans of Cabrini Connections to assist us with 'filling the stands' and support and cheer the players, the team, and the organization to success!!!

We are still in need of our long time fans to continue supporting our organization, but we are also looking for more and more people to become familiar with our organization and who will eventually become die-hard fans as well. As this leagues gets harder and harder to be successful in, our players, coaches, and the front office staff goes out and practices and performs even harder. Our thoughts are that if we continue to practice longer and harder, study the game and our opponent harder, watch more and more films...then we will put ourself in a position to remain a contender in the league.

BUT WE NEED MORE...We don't want to remain a contender, we want to continue to strive to be one of the top teams in the tutoring/mentoring league and for that to happen we need FAN SUPPORT. Next week NFL players will be reporting to training camp and there will be media taking pictures and asking questions, but there will also be those true fans of the those players, teams, and those organizations that will take time off of work, travel to the camp site, and will spend money on the teams paraphernalia...just to show their support, love, and dedication. And being a former football player myself, it makes those guys feel good to know that they have loyal fans who will do nearly anything to show that love, dedication, and support.

Almost like no other time in our organization's history do we need that type of fan support!!! WE NEED EVERY CABRINI CONNECTIONS, TUTOR/MENTOR CONNECTION FAN TO FIND A WAY TO SHOW THEIR LOVE, APPRECIATION, DEDICATION, AND SUPPORT TO THE ORGANIZATION....and assist us with finding more fans that will support us as well.

My goal with this post is that every reader of this article jumps on the bandwagon and becomes a fan of the Cabrini Connections program and gets others to do the same. We want you to assist us with filling the stands JUST LIKE the examples used above. We have all of the same features...standout players, notable alums, tradition, a great offense, a great facility, and the potential to win championships EVERY YEAR!

Become a Fan, Become a Donor, Become a Hero!!!

~Will YOU Become a fan and help us SELL OUT?~

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Savon's Reflection: The Golf Benefit

The Golf Benefit
by Savon Clark Mentee - Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 10:25 AM

July 16, 2009 was an experience for me. On this day Cabrini Connections held its 14th annual Golf benefit which was a great day overall. The weather was great, record breaking attendance and golfing!! When you put that with great food, you could not ask for much more!! We even had NFL players (Nick Roach & Austin King) come to the benefit. I got the chance to chat with Nick for a bit a he gave me a sneak peek and insiders to the NFL. We got a great speech from Eboni Rivera, a recent graduate from the program. Of course this would not have been possible thanks to all of Cabrini Connections' supporters, the Highland Golf Club, and The Cabrini Connections' Staff.

Friday, July 17, 2009

2009 Jimmy Biggs Memorial Golf Benefit

On Thursday the Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection organization held our annual Jimmy Biggs Memorial Golf Benefit, and I have to say it was nearly a picture perfect day! I say nearly picture perfect because right before the dinner our fearless leader, Dan Bassill became ill and had to leave the event. But the show had to go on, and if you know Dan, then you know he wouldn't have had it any other way.

I would like to thank each an every person who contributed to the success of the event. Thanks goes out to all of the sponsors, Highland Park Country Club, volunteers, staff, students, alumni, board members, and all of the other supporters who all came together to ensure that this year's event was a success! Thank You!

We couldn't have asked for a better day, perfect weather, a great golf course, great food, and nearly 100 golfers out there not only enjoying their day but directly and indirectly doing their part to assist in keeping the organization up and running. In today's economy where many are cutting back on their spending by saving and thinking twice about what they spend on, the Cabrini Connections' staff, volunteers, and students are grateful that those who supported the golf benefit understand that education and tutoring/mentoring programs for our youth is not one of the things on the list to cut back on.

But we can't just stop at the golf benefit, we need the people who attended, heard about the event but couldn't attend, and those who wanted to support but just couldn't do it at that continue to support the CAUSE. Although the golf benefit was a fun event, we see it as an opportunity for others to learn more about the program, the people who make up the program, and the vision in which we have for the future...and leave the event doing two things. We want people leaving saying WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP and telling others in their network about their experiences at the event and about the program...with the hopes that they will to say WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?

There where lawyers, business executives, NFL representation (AUSTIN KING (smile) and Nick Roach, President Obama's personal barber, and many other people who have the influence, opportunity, and the means to help Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection continue to provide the necessary services that have meant so much to so many for years. Chicago Bear's Linebacker, Nick Roach said this about Cabrini Connections' student Savon Clark following the event, "Ya man Savon is going to be a big deal some day soon!" And my thought is that Savon and every other youth that joins and is commits to the program can and will be a big deal, but for that to take place WE need the resources to make sure that happens. We hope that each and every person enjoyed the event, met new people, learned more about the organization, and left the event feeling like they can and will tell the story to "CC, T/MC story" to others in their network, and collectively ask "WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nearly 20 NFL and NBA Superstars Support Cabrini Connections

With less than 3 days before the organization's BIGGEST fundraiser of the year, the Annual Jimmy Biggs Memorial Golf Benefit, almost 20 NBA and NFL players show their support by providing autographed items to enhance the silent auction at the event.

After a brief conversation with former Northwestern University female basketball standout, Nadia Bibbs, about the work that I do for Cabrini Connections and the upcoming event she agreed to help us out in our efforts. Nadia then shared the information with several of her NFL and NBA friends and after a short time period the Cabrini Connections' program was provided with 3 basketballs and 1 football autographed by some of the biggest names in the National Basketball Association and the National Football League.

With many of the NBA stars using the city of Chicago to train and prepare for the next season, Mr. Antoine Walker discussed the Cabrini Connections' program during workouts and was able to get autographs from; Bobby Simmons, Gilbert Arenas, Devin Harris, Tracy McGrady, Luther Head, Will Bynum, Juwan Howard, and Larry Hughes. And Mr. Walker rounded out the list and added his signature so that we could enter the ball into the silent auction on Thursday.

There is only a couple more weeks before the Chicago Bears start their pre-season workouts and several members of the team are supporting the Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection in a HUGE way. New Chicago Bear and personal friend, Orlando Pace agreed to take the football to the Bear's training facility and several of his teammates signed the football without hesitation. Orlando actually handed the ball off to Garrett Wolfe originally and G. Wolfe not only got all of the signatures for the football, I met up with him to run the ball back to Cabrini Connections. Autographs provided by Adrian Peterson, Jason McKey, Garrett Wolfe, Brad Maynard, Tommy Harris, Devin Hester, Kelin Davis, Danielle Manning, and Israel Idonije. Not only did we receive the football for the golf benefit, linebacker Nick Roach has registered for the dinner, cocktails, and silent auction part of the day. Mr. Orlando Pace is also planning on coming out to swing the clubs in a fun-filled day of golfing.

I, along with the entire Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection staff, students, and volunteers would like to thank the all of the players who provided signatures AND support to the program. I would also like to give a very special "thank you" to Ms. Nadia Bibbs for all of her hard work and commitment to making sure this entire act of support took place. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Reasons Why We Ask for YOUR Support...

This week the Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection organization will be hosting our Annual Jimmy Biggs Memorial Golf Benefit at the Highland Park Country Club. And for the past couple of months we have been sending out information about the event and also for donations and support for the event.

And I want to to thank each and every person who has taken the time out to read the emails, the newsletters, the blog articles, and the mailings about the event, but I want to dig a little deeper and show you why we ask for your support. The golf benefit is a fun-filled event in which people come out and golf, socialize, eat, drink, and bid on silent auction items, but all of those actions contribute to an even bigger cause and that the students, volunteers, and staff that make up the Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection organization. The golf benefit in July, Volunteer Recruitment Campaign in August and September, and Martini Madness in October etc are all events that creates opportunities for people to come together to discuss the importance of Cabrini Connections and tutoring/mentoring programs in communities throughout the world.

Please take a few minutes to watch these videos, listen to how our students feel about their mentors and the Cabrini Connections' program, and understand that these are the reason why we ask for YOUR support.

Will you answer the call?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Meet new NU PIP Fellow, Bradley Troast

A new member has joined the Cabrini Connections team. He is Bradley Troast, a June 2009 graduate at Northwestern University. Bradley is introducing himself here, and has written about the July Edgewood College visit, here.

While Chris Warren will be spending the next year in Guatamala, I encourage you to keep visiting the blog he wrote during the past year. The articles are timeless and provide an inspiring view of Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Changing of the Guards...Cabrini Connections' Style!

The Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection organization is blessed every year with obtaining a recent Northwestern University graduate from the Public Interest Program (PIP). For the 2008-2009 year we were able to get a outstanding addition to our program. Mr. Chris Warren entered the program last July and has been a star on the team every since. Chris was and still is not only a huge hit with the volunteers and students in our program, Chris simply did great work for the organization and for tutoring/mentoring throughout Chicago and beyond. For any and all who met and interacted with Chris can say that with his cool, layed back style, and infection smile...he was a pleasure to be around.

During his tenure here at CC, T/MC he was able to get recycling started in the program and in the building, he organized numerous college and university visits, he got the Cabrini Connections' Youth Leadership Council up and running, Chris used his musical talents to lead a benefit concert for the program in December of 2008. And besides the day to day and week to week work that Chris put together, and among the many other accomplishments that Mr. Warren completed over the past year...Chris provided a FREE bike giveaway to students and the creation of the College Zone have been huge hits in the program. Chris, and team, were able to turn a junk corner in the program into a complete College Assistance Program (College Zone) where students and their mentors have the opportunity to receive assistance and information on how to help the high school students get on track to college and the middle school students to get and stay on track to be successful in high school. Chris will truly be missed and we hope that he will remain in the Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection family! Thank You Chris Warren!!!
With BIG shoes to fill, new Assistant Program Coordinator, Bradley Troast officially joined the team this past Monday as he assistant with the annual Edgewood College Experience. Bradley will continue where Chris left off and work towards enhancing the Cabrini Connections program and bringing attention, resources, and dollars to tutor/mentor programs throughout Chicago through the Tutor/Mentor Connection's side of the organization. In less than one week, Mr. Troast has already began building relationships with several mentors and mentees in the program, completed the 3-day Edgewood College Experience, is working on ways to show our program's impact, and he was able to come out and support several of our students who performed in the Music Theatre Workshop performance at St. Mathews Church last evening. As we can see Bradley is hitting the ground running and can and will be a great addition to the Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection organization. Please make an effort to WELCOME Mr. Bradley Troast to our TEAM!

Rivalry Game: Cabrini Connections vs. Chicago Summer (pt.3)

For those who have read and have been keeping up with the Rivalry Game blog posts (Cabrini Connections vs. Chicago Summer) this is another installment/update for those posts. We have prepared our players all year for the biggest game of the season...the Chicago Summer...and I am proud to say that at the game's halftime we have a small lead!

We've had many first downs in the first half of the game and first downs include our players and their position coaches coming into the center and working together to prepare for next season, coaches such as Tami Wielgus and Alexandria Hill have stepped up and worked towards bringing money and other resources to the team, and there has been numerous players and coaches who have stopped by the center, emailed the head coach, or communicated in other ways great plays that will help us continue to win against any opponent we play.

The actual score at the half is, lets say, 17-10. We've had numerous big plays and a couple of touchdowns throughout the first half. Big plays such as many of the Cabrini Connections' players going out and earning jobs this summer and not being tackled by the Chicago Summer's defense which consist of curfew violations, petty crimes, gang affiliation, and other members of the team. Several of our players have continued in our summer programs, joined other programs, and joined performance groups to showcase their talents on stage. And we've had more and more coaches and donors step up and continue to assist with obtaining the resources we need to even have an organization in this league.

But the Chicago Summer has had a couple big plays of its own. A couple of our players have been tackled and held down without being able to find a job this summer, the Chicago Summer even allowed their 1st Round Draft pick start as a rookie, TOUGH ECONOMY, and this standout player has been causing havoc all over the field, almost matching every big play that we produce and scored a touchdown as some grant opportunities have gone away. The Chicago Summer has also scored a field goal off of an interception and return to the 10 yard line. One of our players has fallen to a little legal trouble.

"But as the Head Coach of the Cabrini Connections' organization I am content on how our players have gone out and competed in the first half. They have been running the plays that we've worked on all year, and are continuing to fight and compete. In all games there are ups and downs, but the team that continues to fight and execute will be the team who pulls the win out when September hits and the rivalry game vs the Chicago Summer is over!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Cabrini Connections is Scouting for New Talent

NFL teams are almost always scouting the college ranks throughout the year, looking for what could be the next big star and great addition to their organization. NFL scouts look for the most talented athletes out there to fill in or provide depth at various positions on NFL teams. With that being said, they could be looking for defensive backs with 4.3 40 times, 6'5'' quarterbacks who can throw the football 50+ yards on a line, or that 6'7'' offensive lineman who can pancake anybody on the opposing teams defensive!!!

The Cabrini Connections' organization is looking to recruit another member of our team as well, and we are looking for an offensive line type of player. A player who knows and understands that the entire offensive can not function successfully without their contribution in the trenches. The position that we are looking to fill is a Statistical Analyst position. This position description is different from a quarterback position that might state; leader of the team and one who runs the offense, the player who throws the the receivers, and hands the ball off to the players in the backfield. Instead of having a 6'7'' frame, bench pressing 500lbs, and squating in the mid 600lb area...this is the description of the position and the required skills needed for the player that we are trying to recruit to our team.

Person, Group, or Company who would be willing to analyze data collected from our students, parents, and volunteers. Then from the statistical information collected, be able to communicate the program’s impact to program managers for use in process improvement, as well as to potential donors and other supporters.

Currently we get information from:

-student report cards
-attendance/participation number
-information that is collected through our online communication (interaction documentation from mentors and mentees)
-volunteer fundraising efforts
-and a collection of quotes and positive comments from our mentors
- And others, and we are open to suggestions.

Required Skills: Interest in helping inner city youth escape poverty and move into positive career paths. Ability to analyze date and communicate findings in a clear and concise manner.

If you or anybody you know have the desire and the skill set to fill this very important position on the Cabrini Connections' team please don't hesitate to contact us so that we can get you in to tour the facilities and discuss the details of your contract.

Here you will find a complete list of other positions on the team that are available for the next up and coming STAR on the Cabrini Connections' team