Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What's New and Upcoming In Cabrini Madness

The Cabrini Madness Tourney is spreading like wildfire inside and outside of the program. We launched this FUNdraising idea just last month and thanks for all of the hard work, dedication, creativity, and team work we have not only raised over $5,000, but the overall program advocacy has increased dramatically. I want to take the time now to present a couple of "stats" and some information on some upcoming events and Cabrini Madness projects:

Total Amount Raised as of Feb. 23rd: $5,081

Number of Teams: 13

Number of overall Participants: 114 students, staff, volunteers, board members, and outside of Cabrini Connections' supporters

Cabrini Madness Promo Videos:
"Great Heart Promo Video"

Team's Upcoming FUNdraising Events:

Passion's Team: Friday, Feb. 26th at Empire Liquors 1570 Milwaukee, team member John Knight is having a birthday/charity party from 10-2pm. "Instead of buying me a drink for my birthday, donate to Cabrini Connections!" FREE ENTRY!!!

Also on Friday, March 12th at Galway Arms, 2442 N. Clark from 7-10pm, Passion's Team is hosting another event. This will be an adult "Cabrini Madness Bar Night" for people to come out, have some drinks, eat, socialize, and yes...you guessed it SUPPORT CABRINI CONNECTIONS!!! $40 includes all you can drink (beer, wine, and mixed drinks), appetizers, and DJ DTF will be playing music. This should be a GREAT event!!!

Team Awesomes: Saturday, Feb. 27 at The Green Heart Shop, 1911 W. Division St. from 4-7pm. the team hosting a "Shop and Sip" and is inviting people to come out for an afternoon of shopping, complimentary wine, and appetizers all while supporting the Cabrini Connections' program. Tickets are $15 AND 15% of all purchases during the event will be donated to Cabrini Connections. Tickets can be purchased online and in advance here Learn more about their this event and The Green Heart Shop here.

The Lebrons: Friday, March 5th at The Market Bar, 1113 W. Randolph St. from 6-9pm. the team is asking for people to come out have some drinks, eat some food, and have fun while supporting the team and the overall Cabrini Connections' program. Cost is $15 and that includes a drink ticket and light appetizers!!!
I'm going to end by writing not really as a blogger, but just as a person who is so proud of all of the hard work, program advocacy, and creativity that people have been displaying as a result of this Cabrini Madness project! Whether we stay at $5081 or raise a MILLION dollars...I'M IMPRESSED AND PROUD!!! If you are impressed with this project, if you are a fan of hard work and creativity, if you just want to support a great cause and program you can do that with a simple click of a button. Go to this website and select one of the many Cabrini Madness team and add to the team's score.

~Hope, Build, Believe, and Achieve~

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

FREE Rummage Sale at Cabrini Connections

Cabrini Connections is hosting a FREE Rummage Sale. Thanks to first year tutor/mentor, Brittney Swan and her coworkers at Norvax, we received a donation of 25 bags of clothes, shoes, and other accessories!!! The rummage sale will take place here at Cabrini Connections (800 W. Huron St.) beginning this Saturday (Feb. 13th) from 12-3pm, and will take place again on Feb. 20th, 27th, and March 6th. This Saturday will only be open for those currently enrolled in the Cabrini Connections' program, their family, friends, and coworkers. The following Saturdays we will expand our rummage sale to other programs in the area and really any and all who would like to take advantage of this opportunity.

The students of the Cabrini Connections' Youth Leadership Council came up with the idea to launch a Winter Clothes Drive towards during the holiday season in December, encouraging all staff, volunteers, and even students to donate any and all unwanted coats, hats, gloves, scarfs etc...so that those in the program could take advantage of the donated items. Their thought was that they never wanted someone to say they couldn't make it to the tutoring and mentoring sessions due to the weather conditions.

Brittney Swan answered the call by sharing this information with her friends and coworkers at Norvax, and for the entire month of January they gathered not just winter clothes, but tons of items to be donated to the Cabrini Connections' cause!!!

We would definitely like to thank the Youth Leadership Council for the idea and to Brittney Swan and the entire Norvax company. This is a great example of how our volunteers can contribute to the greater good of the program. Brittney simply shared an idea and the "Cabrini Connections Story" with those in her network and as a result, those people answered the call of support for the program. We are currently taking part in a FUNdraising tourney called Cabrini Madness and if you would like to answer my call of support, you can donate to my team "Guaranteed Victory." This is really just a fun idea that we came up with to promote teamwork, program advocacy, and a way to bring in some much needed resources for the program.

Monday, February 08, 2010

On the College Front at Cabrini Connections

I just wanted to provide a sneak peak at the future College/University destination of the Cabrini Connections' seniors this year. Currently, the Cabrini Connections' program has 10 seniors in the Class of 2010 who are all looking to continue their education at the next level.

Megan Caradine: who is a senior at Alraby High School will be attending Allen University in South Carolina.

Diamond Clark-McQueen (friend and classmate of Megan): is undecided at this point but has been accepted and is considering joining Megan at Allen University.

Brittany Delaney: (friend and classmate of both Megan and Diamond: will be attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL.

DeSean Hale: who is a senior at Wells High School has been accepted to DePaul University and Northern Illinois University, and still waiting to hear from Arkansas, Miami (Oxford), and a few others.

Alexis Montgomery: who is a senior at Northtown Academy will be attending Wright College in the fall.
Vontesha Stanfield: who is a senior at Lakeview High School has been accepted to NIU, SIU, WIU, Northeastern IL. U., UIC, Indiana State, Central State (Ohio), and still waiting to hear from Spelman in Atlanta, GA. and EIU!!!

Dijana Smith: who is a senior at Lincoln Park High School is still waiting to hear from Jackson State.

And seniors Raheem Muhammad (Lincoln Park High School), Gregory Hatchett (Rauner College Prep), and Lawrence Brown (Von Steuben High School) are still undecided at this point but all make efforts to be in their college of choice in the fall.

The Cabrini Connections' staff would like to thank all of their mentors, the College Zone Coordinators, and thank all of those donors and Cabrini Connections' supports who provide the resources needed to make stories like this happen in our program. Thank you all of all that you do, and we hope that you will continue to give your time, knowlege, and support.

Birthday Celebrations At Cabrini Connections

A person's birthday is considered by many to be one of the most special days of the year because it is like your own personal holiday. This is a day where people receive gifts, have a party, get cards, or simply get a lot of "Happy Birthdays" from family and friends.

Here at Cabrini Connections, we strive to make birthdays special to all the students, volunteers, and staff that make up the program. In Cabrini Connections, we designate the first Wednesday and Thursday tutoring/mentoring sessions of the month to recognize those who are celebrating a birthday that month. During our announcements we ask all of those celebrating a birthday to either stand where they are at in the room or to come to the front to state their name, birthday, and age (optional) to the group in the room. We then make sure everybody claps and really just make sure those celebrating a birthday feel special about their birthday.

We then follow the recognition by having a special birthday snack and beverage for all in the program. Typically the staff or volunteers who sign up for snacks brings in cupcakes, cookies, and other fun desserts for the group, and all share in eating the snacks before leaving the program for the night, and these nights are always pretty fun for all.

For the February birthday celebration Thursday night Volunteer Coordinator, John Knight, went above and beyond the typical birthday celebration. John Knight, who is also celebrating a birthday in the month of February, had catered food from Quench. The staff, students, and volunteers last Thursday had chicken, mac and cheese, fish, rice, cake and MORE to help celebrate the birthdays for the month of February!!! The Cabrini Connections' program would like to thank John Knight for this opportunity on Thursday and to new volunteers Tim Minton and Jessica Newberg for the great birthday snacks for the Wednesday session.

And since the Cabrini Connections' program is always looking to help others, we went above and beyond the call of duty to brighten the day of some of Chicago's less fortunate, the homeless. On Friday afternoon, I packaged up the remaining food from the Thursday celebration and drove to the North Ave exit off the 90/94 highway and provided food, plates, cups, napkins, and some bottled water to those populated the area.

So what started off as a great gesture by a Cabrini Connections' volunteer, turned out to be an even bigger act of giving and sharing, and that is what Cabrini Connections and those who make up the program are all about. If you would like to help us in our efforts to help others, please make a donation to the Cabrini Connections' program here.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Black History Month at Cabrini Connections

This year at Cabrini Connections we are providing two Black History Month opportunities for those in the program to take part in. 1st activity is the Black History Recognition Project and the other activity is the "Who Am I" trivia game.

Those who participate will be asked to complete a 1 page creative project (essay, letter, picture/drawing, poem, or song lyrics) that highlights and showcases the icon they selected and their impact on the world. Here are the 20 African American Icons that will be showcased throughout the month, along with the weeks in which they will be showcased here in the program.

Week of Feb. 1st: Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Lena Horn, and Morgan Freeman
Week of Feb. 8th: Florence Joyner, Jackie Robinson, Barack Obama, Spike Lee, and Sean Carter

Week of Feb 15th: Andrew "Rube" Foster, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Michael Jackson, and Idi Amin

Week of Feb. 22nd: Doug Williams, Joe Lewis, Malcolm X, Wilma Rudolph, and Mahalia Jackson

Those in the program can select one of the many icons listed above to complete their project on or they can research any other African American Icon that makes the month of February so special to complete their project on.

During the lat Wednesday and Thursday sessions of this month, we will be taking part in the "Who Am I..." trivia game in which the group will have an opportunity to win prizes by stating the correct name of the person who is being showcased by the person who will be providing a series of clues. Here is an example of how the trivia game will work:

"I was born in Brooklyn, New York...Who Am I? I played basketball for the North Carolina Tar Heels...Who Am I? I am considered to be one of the best basketball players of all time...Who Am I? If you said Michael Jordan THEN YOU ARE THE WINNER!!!

These two activities will be fun ways for those in our program to learn more about those in the past and the present who have and those who currently contribute greatly to the importance of Black History Month. You never know...one of the Cabrini Connections' students could be a future Black History Month icon!!!

~Hope, Build, Believe, and Achieve~