Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In response to the comments to "Local carnage covered up by Wall Street Woes"

Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune columnist, Dawn Turner Trice, wrote a column about her anger over the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street and how the recent financial crisis has overshadowed the crisis that is happening on our streets - the crisis of hundreds of young people in the inner city of Chicago being murdered this year. Dan Bassill wrote an excellent response to her article.(#157 in the comments section, as tutormentor, you can also find the response in his blog.

The thing is people still don't get it. In reading the responses to Dan comment, one person said that tutoring and mentoring isn't a viable solution. Another person wrote about how these children need their mothers and fathers to parent. I clarified to both people in comment #161 that the thing is, a lot of these children in these neighborhoods can't even have the privilege of having parents to take care of them, with parents absent for a variety of reasons. Numerous studies have shown that tutoring and mentoring DOES make a difference. To find a few, please visit my colleague, Chris's blog. When a child doesn't have both parents to raise them, society should not give up on them. Schools, churches, hospitals, politicians, tutoring and mentoring programs, sports teams, etc. should take a special interest in this child for the very reason that they do not have the extra support needed at home to succeed. Why don't people get that? Why don't people understand that it's not these kids fault that they don't have parental support and that we should do everything we can to ensure that these kids succeed and become good parents so the cycle does not continue?

Hopefully, these people will look at the links that Dan showed and will want to find more about tutoring and mentoring and how it benefits at-risk youth. Maybe they will feel compelled to come to our Martini Madness fundraiser this Friday, October 17th, 6:30-9:30 at The Store, 2002 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60614 and talk to current tutors and mentors and how what they do helps at-risk kids succeed.

Or maybe they will want to come to our November Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference Friday November 21st at The Field Museum and hear from Field museum employees who live in these neighborhoods and how while trying to be good parents and community leaders, they need extra support to counteract all of the negativity that is happening in these communities.

What we need to have is a conversation where we can learn from each other and become more informed about what we can do to help at-risk youth. There's a wealth of resources out there. As always, a good starting point would be at our own Tutor/Mentor Connection.

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