Thursday, December 31, 2009

17 Years and Counting...

This is a photo taken around 1995. Claudia Crilly Bellucci, one of the first two paid staff at Cabrini Connections, and a veteran from the Montgomery Ward/Cabrini Green Tutoring Program, is shown. So are students who were part of the program at that time. Two of them (Tameeka Meekins and Tangela Smith) are now connected to me on Facebook, along with more than 60 other former students.

Most of the 500 teens and over 700 volunteers who have been part of Cabrini Connections since 1993 have hear me say "Once in Cabrini Connections, Always in Cabrini Connections". Now through the technology of social networking, this is becoming a reality. People who were connected, through us, to each other in the past, are now able to connect with each other, and with others from the past 17 years.

They are also able to draw from the extensive library of information that I have collected and which is shared in the files in the Cabrini Connections office, and via the links library on the Tutor/Mentor Connection web site.

Our aim is to build habits of learning among students and volunteers and staff, so that we know where to find information we need to solve any problem we face, and we know where to find people who will help us use that information, or find things we don't know. As members of the Cabrini Connections community learn to use this knowledge, and this network, each life will be richer, and the world for our own kids will be better.

I have not been able to keep Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection going for the past 17 years without the help of Ray Dowdle, who has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors since 1994. Ray and his wife Chris started as tutors with the Montgomery Ward program, then became volunteers with Cabrini Connections in 1993. Ray has helped me recruit members for the Board, and Advisory Council, and has been the most reliable fund raiser during all of these years. He is one of those "energizers" who just keeps on ticking.

Thank you Ray, and all of the other volunteers who have served this organization. May you all enjoy a blessed, healthy and prosperous 2010.

Our Holiday Fund has had many generous donors. You can see the list here. I hope others will add their names, and will join Ray in introducing people they know to the work we are doing. This is the only way Cabrini Connections has survived for so many years and it is the only way we will continue to be an anchor in the lives of so many youth and adults in the years to come.

No comments: