Friday, October 29, 2010

Cabrini Green gone? Are you sure?

This is a map that was included with a story in this week's Chicago Sun Times, titled "Cabrini Green Last Stand", talking about people in the last Cabrini Green high rise getting eviction notices. We were contacted by an ABC TV reporter who wants to talk to people living in the area.

Dan wrote a story about this on the Tutor/Mentor Blog, with maps showing the row houses and other parts of Cabrini Green. These maps show that there are still almost 400 families and possibly 1200 youth living in the row house are. The story shows that if the developers keep their promises, there could be 1200 units for public housing families by 2015.

Are we certain that there won't be a need for programs like Cabrini Connections to serve those kids?

Isaiah Brooms, a 1992 graduate, posted this challenge on our Facebook page:

I graduated from the program back in 1992 and I'm troubled to hear that it is in financial peril and there is the real possibility that it can close. This program was a key factor in my finally seeing what possibilities lay out there for me to be successful.... They are currently doing that for so many of the Children of Cabrini and I'm not aware of many programs that do it in a grass root, no nonsense kind of a way.

I am throwing out a challenge. I will match donations to the program up to a total of $600. I wish I could do more. But unfortunately, I can't. However together, we can turn each others dollars into a significant amount. Facebook me if you want to join this challenge with me. If all goes well, we should be able to give the program at least $1200 dollars that they do not have right now and desperately need.

If we want to keep Cabrini Connections available to current, and future, young people from the Cabrini Green area, we need to find more people to make challenges like this and to match them with their own donations.

Send donations to: Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection, 800 W. Huron, Chicago, Il. 60642

Monday, October 25, 2010

Melissa Young's 2nd Annual Cabrini Connections' Bake Sale

For the second year in a row, one of our students, Melissa Young, is hosting a Halloween Bake Sale to benefit the Cabrini Connections tutor/mentor program! She came up with this idea all on her own last year and raised over $330! This year her goal is $500. The event will take place at our center this Saturday, October 30th, from 11am-3pm. The address is 800 W Huron.

Ways to get involved:

Bake treats to be sold. You can drop them off during the week or bring them the day-of.
Donate food. Don't have time to bake? Just donate food!

Volunteer the day-of. Last year we had a lot of fun selling at the intersection of Chicago & Halsted.
Drop by, buy a few treats, and bring your friends!

If you are in the area on Saturday, please stop by. It isn't so much about how much money is raised as it is about supporting a student-led project.

This is not only a great project to support by donating treats and/or your time the day of, this is a student led project and an organization that could benefit greatly from your generous donations on a larger scale. Please show your support here if you can't attend but still want to contribute.
Contact at Cabrini Connections' staff if you are looking to get involved.
Thanks in advance!!!

~Cabrini Connections TEAM~

Monday, October 18, 2010

Is Cabrini Connections Heading in the Same Direction as the Arena Football League?

For any and all who have been following the Sport's Concepts entries throughout the year, you may be a little confused at the new comparison for this week. I have and will continue to work towards comparing our organization to an NFL organization, but this week I felt that this twist would fit just fine.

The Arena Football League has been in existence for well over a decade, providing players and coaches with an opportunity to showcase their talents, skills, and an opportunity to continue being a part of the sport that they know and love. The A.F.L. also provides its fans with sport's entertainment so they can continue to cheer on their favorite teams, players, and organizations.

True, the Arena Football League is not the NFL, but its still filled with extremely talented players, great coaches, and fans who truly love to show their support, but unlike the NFL that generates millions and millions of dollars each year to ensure that the league can continue, due to financial issues the AFL was forced to put this form of entertainment on hold until the necessary funds needed are in place to continue. In the last year or so the A.F.L. was able to get back on track and continue providing this great source of entertainment for fans and jobs the players, coaches, and all others that are employed as a result of the league being in existence.

Here at the Cabrini Connections' organization, we are trying to avoid that same fate. In our organization we have extremely talented players and coaches, and I'm 100% confident that we have fans who truly love our organization and all that we stand for, but with all that being said we need financial support for our league to continue! Just like the Arena Football League, I'm sure some players had no problems finding other places to continue playing the sport they love, but the majority were not provided an opportunity to go on to the NFL. And here I'm sure some players and coaches will find other places to continue playing this sport, and the fans will find other organizations to support, BUT we would like to keep our players, coaches, and fans in tact here!!!

And in the latest news on the Arena Football League it looks as though the the league has everything back up and running now and should continue in that direction now that financial support has been made available, which is GREAT news. But wouldn't it be even better if that financial support had been in place so that the league would not have been forced to close the doors at all?...

I truly believe we have standout players and coaches who just want to continue playing this tutoring/mentoring sport and continue pursuing those childhood dreams of one day becoming a professional.

Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 Tutor Training Conference Success!!!

On Saturday October 9th, Cabrini Connections teamed up with the Cabrini Green Tutoring Program and the Chicago Lights program for the 5th annual Tutor Training Conference. This event was filled with a variety of workshops, group discussions, and panel discussions that was geared to provide new, veteran, and prospective volunteers with some tools, tips, and techniques on how to be the best tutor/mentor they can be for their student and their respective tutoring/mentoring program.

In a volunteer based program it is rare that we make any event or activity mandatory, but this one was a must for the volunteers in all programs. We just felt that the information was so important and beneficial to all that attend that it was just a must that all volunteers make an effort to be a part of it. And we definitely did have a positive response from volunteers with this year having more Cabrini Connections' volunteers attend than any of the previous years. Thank You!!!

Volunteers had the opportunity select which workshops they wanted to attend and many carefully selected workshops that related to their individual student or their experience in the program. There were panels led by professionals in the Chicagoland area, their were workshops led by veteran volunteers and students, and their was a panel that was even led by a students and a parent who is also a well known Cabrini Green Community Activist and resident. Overall this was just a very positive and a great opportunity to learn new skills, brush up on old skills, network, and just a opportunity to continue changing the lives of the youth in our respective programs.

Lastly, we'd like to give a very special thanks to all of our students, parents, and volunteers that led workshops this year. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, time, and services with others!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Are YOU A Fan of the Game?

Each year as the month of July ends and the month of August begins football fans around the world get prepared for the football season, not the same as the actual athletes themselves, but these fans get prepared to cheer on their favorite teams, players, and organizations. Many fans read the papers, check the internet, watch Sportscenter, and even visit training camp to keep up their teams and with the latest happenings taking place around the National Football League. And as the weeks blow by, training camp ends, preseason wraps up, and the first week of the regular season kicks off...the fans step up their support for their team. From throwing game viewing parties in their homes and cheering with family and friends to being a season ticket holder and taking part in all of the tailgating and gameday festivities...these true fans of football go to nearly any length just to one day say "MY team won the SUPER BOWL!!!!"
Just think about it, how many people you know have purchased a big screen tv, NFL packages, and High Definition just to watch the games. How many people do you know have a closet full of jerseys, would stand in line for hours just to get an autograph, or will pay nearly any price for some great tickets to watch their favorite team play a game for a couple of hours. These are true fans of the game right and there are millions of them around the world.

We are looking and in need of some of those exact same fans for our game. The game that I, and many other people like myself are involved in, is the game of helping youth reach their goals, dreams, and future career aspirations. Our league is not titled the NFL, but the league that we participate in is called Tutoring/Mentoring. We have some great players, coaches, and facilities in this league throughout the world. And the Cabrini Connections' organization, just like many others, is hoping to one day reach our ultimate goal; not a Super Bowl, but a the goal that each and every student that enters our program receives the necessary resources, expands their network, and learn positive habits so that they are in a career by the age of 25.

Now these are the true fans that love the game that are needed! We need people who would go to any length to see our players, coaches, and organization reach our goals. We need those that would spend thousands of dollars a year to support their Bears, Saints, Patriots be those same fans to support our team and the personnel that makes up the team. Hopefully you and others that you know will buy season tickets to our games, wear your favorite Cabrini Connections' sweatshirt to show off to your friends, and just make an effort to support a team full of players that could one day be future lawyers, doctors, engineers, police officers, social workers, and maybe even the star player on your favorite NFL team in the future.