Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Staff and Board of Directors of Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection wish all of our volunteers, students, friends, donors a safe and happy holiday weekend. We thank you for being part of this community of people helping people.

Please take a look at the other blogs, to see the wide range of work that students, volunteers and staff are doing. For instance, the graphic on this page was created by one of our students during the weekly tech club sessions.

There will be no tutoring session on Wednesday or Thursday. We'll see you all next week.

As you give thanks, please consider giving, so we have the funds to continue to host this community in 2010 and beyond.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Working Thru the Holidays...

Next week there will be several NFL teams taking part in the traditional football games played every Thanksgiving day. The Green Bay Packers will take on the Detroit Lions, the Oakland Raiders will battle against Dallas Cowboys, and finally the New York Giants will play against the Denver Broncos. While the members of all of the other NFL organizations will be hopefully at home with friends and loved ones for the holidays, these organizations will be working on the holidays as this is just another week in a long NFL season.

The Cabrini Connections' program will be calling off practices and the games for the holiday season, but the Head Coach and all of the other members of the front offices will surely be working either in the office, at home, or while being away from the city of Chicago. We will continue to work because we know in this tough league you never REALLY take a week off if you want to be a champion at the end of the season. We will continue to evaluate the organization and all of those involved, watch game and practice films, network with other organizations, and look for more and more dedicated and committed fans to support the Cabrini Connections' organization especially during the December holidays!

I'm sure that many of the NFL players, coaches, and other organization personnel really would like to be at home for the entire Thanksgiving day, but I'm confident that many more would love to be crowned Super Bowl champs when it is all said and done. And here at Cabrini Connections we have a similar goal in mind. We definitely would like to continue getting the necessary resources into the organization so that we can be a championship caliber organization, and whether its Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and whether we are in the office, working from home, or on 'vacation' with work on the mind...we are always looking to get one day better...even during the holiday season!

~Hope, Build, Believe, and Acheive~

Saturday, November 14, 2009

High School Selection Workshop

The Cabrini Connections' program continues to try to provide the resources needed to get our students on track to be in a career by the age of 25, but high school comes first! This morning nearly 20 parents, students, and mentors took part in a workshop where they learned the ins and outs of the entire high school selection process. School representatives, Sarah Regester and Lydia Nantwi were on-site to answer question, provide contact information, high school directories, and vital information that every middle school student, their parents, and their mentors should know about the process.

Some of the questions that were asked, "Has there ever been a student who applied for all of the selective enrollment schools and been denied?" And the answer was "Yes!" Mrs. Nantwi encouraged the parents/students to apply for a variety of schools to have as many options as possible. A student asked, "Can we visit the schools we like before high school?" And the answer was not only yes, but Mrs. Nantwi encouraged students, parents, and mentors to visit the schools they are thinking about to get a better feel for the school before making that important decision.

This nearly two hour workshop is just one of the many resources that the Cabrini Connections' program looks to provide those who are involved. The basis of everything that we do is really in the name...and that is connecting people to resources! And we are looking to continue providing these vital resources that over 500 students and over 800 volunteers have taken advantage of in Cabrini Connections over the year, but we need your help to continue this process. If you are in support of education and the advancement of people please make a small donation and/or share the "Cabrini Connections' Story" with others in your network!

Hope, Build, Believe, and Achieve

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Illini vs NU FUNdraising Challenge Press Release

Northwestern University and University of Illinois may be competitors on the football field, but they're competitors in the fundraising field too! Kurt Kittner (for U of I quarterback) and EL Da' Sheon Nix (former NU wide receiver) are currently running a competitive fundraiser on GiveForward.org, and are encouraging their fellow alumni to donate!

Kurt Kittner serves on the board and EL Da' Sheon Nix is the Administrative Coordinator of Cabrini Connections, an organization that works to provide an organized framework that empowers and encourages volunteers to give their time, skills, and support in seeking life-changing solutions for children who live in an educationally, disadvantaged environment. "The competition between NU and Illinois on the football fields is the result of many men and women putting in many hours of training and hard work to be the best they can be," says Dan Bassill, director of Cabrini Connections. "When we get donors doing all they can to help nonprofits like [us], we'll be able to do much more to help kids overcome poverty and succeed in school and careers."

Between today and the NU vs. U of I game day (November 14, 2009), Kurt and his team of Ilini will be trying to raise more dollars than EL Da'Sheon and the other NU alums who are volunteers, donors and board members at Cabrini Connections. Other NU athletic alumni are already donating to the cause. Matt Ulrich, former Wildcat and Super Bowl Champion with the Indianapolis Colts, rallied over 85 people this past October to run the second annual Train With Ron Charity Hill Challenge. As a group they ran over 3,000 hills in one hour and raised $6,800 dollars in contributions for the organization. Billy Silva (former NU linebacker), Pat Durr (former NU linebacker), Jason Burke (former NU basketball player), and Sarah Walsh (former NU lacrosse player) have donated financially, while other former players are attending events and volunteering.

EL Da'Sheon and Kurt hope all of their alumni can find a way to contribute!

To give your donation money on the Northwestern side, go here: http://www.giveforward.org/illinivsnuchallenge/

Those supporting the Illini side should donate here: http://www.giveforward.org/illinialumsgive/

Contact Information:Dan Bassill: Exec Director of Tutor/Mentor Cabrini Connections tutormentor2@earthlink.net312-492-9614

EL Da' Sheon Nix, Former WR Northwestern, Cabrini Staff member (Administrative Coordinator)312-492-9614mailto:312-492-9614eldasheon.nix@gmail.com

Kurt Kittner (Former QB of U of I, Cabrini Connections Board member)Kurt.Kittner@am.jll.com312-228-3827

By Leigh Johnston

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Coach and Player of the Week

From high school football all the way to the NFL, there are players and coaches who are recognized as being the 'best' for that game, that week, and for the overall season. These players and coaches are typically recognized for their play on the field during the big games and sometimes for their work off the field as well.

In the Cabrini Connections' organization we recognize our players and coaches on a weekly basis very similar to the NFL. This recognition of players and coaches is called our "Student Spotlight" and our "Volunteer Spotlight." The Assistant Coach Bradley Troast and I, observe the game tape from the week, the tape of the practice sessions, and from comments from other players and coaches, we select our weekly standouts.

Coach Troast then contacts the players and coaches to set up an interview to get more information about the weekly stars. The interviews are either done over the phone or in person, and the players and coaches provide a brief bio, agree to take a picture, and provide some helpful tips to other players and coaches on how to be successful in their positions as well.

This week we are proud to annouce our Player of the Week: Nyshanell Freeman

and our Coach of the Week: Sarah Randag

The entire Cabrini Connections' organization would like to say congratulations to our Coach and Player of the Week for their hard work, determination, their leadership, and their play on and off the field!