Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
As I continue to attempt to draw comparisons of the Cabrini Connections program to an NFL team, I wonder what truly does lead to success. Does success come from having great players that perform a step above the rest and the playbook is secondary; or if put in the 'perfect' system with an extensive playbook the players will come together in a way that leads to success of the team? Many people will argue both sides.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
The Cabrini Connections' staff are proud to announce that Cabrini Connections received the Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Performance in Youth Opportunities for the 2009-2010 Year (official hardware coming in January). We were recognized as the #1 Mentoring program across all 6 regions of Chicago!!!!! And...this is our 2nd year in a row. So I guess we can be considered Back to Back Champions!!!
With there being so many programs and organizations across the City of Chicago that are doing great work that benefits youth, adults, schools, and communities as a whole...it is a great honor to be one of the programs at the top of that list. We are not only appreciative of this recognition, but we are also thank for all that make this type of opportunity a reality. So we would like to definitely the volunteers that share their time, talents, and knowledge with the youth in the program, the students that are volunteers as well because they are not forced to come to the program. These students want to be here in Cabrini Connections, and take advantage of the resources so they can put themselves in a position to be successful in the future and to reach all of the goals and dreams they have. I personally want to thank all of the staff here at Cabrini Connections for all of the hard work and dedication you all put into making project.
Lastly, I want to thank a group of people that may not get enough credit or recognition for their contributions to the success that we have in Cabrini Connections, and this group is the donors. There are so many donors that I've never personally met and maybe have net stepped foot in the center, but you support shows that you believe in the program, the work that we do, and maybe most importantly...the youth! Know that without your support there is no way we could do the work that we do for the youth and volunteers we serve. With your continued support we will not only be able to keep the doors open, I'm confident that we will continue to provide the best possible services we can, we will earn more awards, and we will continue to turn "Dreams Into Reality"
This is one of several charts that Dan Bassill, President of Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection, posted on the Tutor/Mentor Blog.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to keep an organization like Cabrini Connections in business for so many years, or what the strategy is to connect our teens and volunteers?
We posted many of the organizational planning documents on wikis more than 3 years ago with the goal that a growing number of students, volunteers, staff and donors would read them, and begin to share in the effort of shaping the direction and success of the organization.
For us to be a true "learning organization" and share these habits with our teens, we need to find time to look at this information, reflect on it, and share it with friends, family and potential investors.
This 4-part strategy illustrates how the information we collect and share can be used to help Cabrini Connections and its students, and can be used by anyone else to help young people in other parts of Chicago.
Have a safe and happy holiday. I hope you enjoy reading this material.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Aarion Woods joined the program in the Fall of 2008 as well and was paired with, now Board Member, Mike Ozmeral. Aarion faced a lot of adversity outside of the program, but worked extremely hard to be as consistent as possible with his attendance and taking full advantage of program resources. Unfortunately Aarion's homelife and lack of resources forced him to become inactive in the program. But Aarion's strong personality, charm, and his willingness to continue overcome adversity has put in a position where he is now working and taken courses to get necessary certification at his place of employment to move up in the ranks. During his visit today he was all smiles and displayed a sense of pride when talking about what he has been going through...but more importantly how he has overcome those obsticles.
Thanks to first year volunteer, Brian Kamajian, Bradley and I were able to share a great job opportunity at the Wyndham Hotel with Aarion who immediately contacted his good friend AND Cabrini Connection's alumnus, Lawrence Brown, to share the information about the job. Before hanging up the phone both Aarion and Lawrence made plans to travel to the Wyndham on Thursday during the open timeslots to acquire more information about the job opportunities.
Bradley and I definitely enjoyed catching up with Stephanie and Aarion and to hear about all that they have been doing outside of the program, but it also felt good to exchange information and resources as well. This is a perfect display of how the Cabrini Connections' program is one big network and how that network can and should benefit any and everybody that has, is, or will be a part of the Cabrini Connections' TEAM.
Monday, December 06, 2010
Santa's Naughty or Nice Charity Pub Crawl
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Along with a few friends, I created BeardsForKids.org this week to raise money for Cabrini Connections. Check out the site: http://beardsforkids.org/ (Also, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beards-For-Kids/107547929317605
I'm wondering if any of the male tutors would be interested in participating...AND if any of the female tutors might be able to get any of their male friends to participate, as well!
The idea is to try to raise $10 per day per person up until New Years. I think this is a very modest goal and that together we can build a critical mass to really make this a success!
I've included a short email below to make it easy. Please let me know if you're in by sending me a note and a picture of you sans beard!
Here’s an email you can send to friends and family:
This holiday season I’m participating in the Beards For Kids 2010 Challenge. I’ll be growing a beard from now until the end of the holidays and have a goal of raising $10 per day for Cabrini Connections http://cabriniconnections.net , a program in Chicago that helps underserved kids finish high school with the goal of moving on to complete college and have successful careers.
The program has helped countless students during its almost 20 years of existence, and I want to make sure they’re able to continue doing the good work that they do!
Please help me reach my goal by donating here today: http://www.firstgiving.com/beardsforkids
Thank you and happy holidays!
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Beyond just the mailers that we are sending out to the large group, the entire staff, and hopefully students and volunteers, will personalize letters for personal use. Individually, we all have been taking some time to think of people in our own personal network that we feel would not only like to hear more about what we do, but could further support our program. Whether the support comes from just spreading the word about Cabrini Connections to people in their network, donating a dollar or two, sharing other valuable resources, or all of the above...we will be appreciative of any support that is provided.
Over the weekend I will continue putting my list together continue making an effort to reach out to people who not only have been supporting me and my career, but the people I selected to add to my list are also people who care about improving the lives of youth.
In order for this to continue we need your help in finding holiday donors. Please send this form to people you know, telling of your involvement and asking for their help. If you reach out by email, point people to our blogs, or videos, to show the work we do. Or pick up some holiday fund brochures, with art created by our teens, and mail them to friends, family, co-workers. We have these at the Cabrini Connections center at 800 W. Huron, Chicago, Il. 60642 .
In today's tough economic environment people all over are cutting back on their giving, but if everybody can just give a little, that adds up! And there are still many people in the world who have benefited greatly from having tutors, mentors, and just a variety of support networks, that have the ability give more than others. And as a result of that success, these individuals have the opportunity to GIVE BACK in a huge way, especially during the holiday season!