Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day!

The exciting week continues! Today we say our 44th and first African-American President, Barack Obama was sworn in. In what was a stirring and inspiring ceremony, Obama's speech to the nation was the centerpiece. He, of course, brought up the troubled times we are faced with today - two wars, an economy in collapse, a healthcare system that doesn't serve the entire populus, and failing schools. However he also reminded us that we've been faced with troubled times before and have prevailed and succeeded in ways that we would've never dreamed possible - including the fact that we elected an African-American to be the leader of this great nation.

Many things that he said resonated with us here at Cabrini Connections. I'm sure you can imagine the excitement the kids have that we have an African-American President. Many of them have spoken about how inspiring they find it and how many more possibilities they realize are out there.

This truly is an example of Obama invoking "The God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, all may choose to pursue their happiness." (I'm paraphrasing here from notes that I took during the speech). This is what we strive for everyday here at Cabrini Connections and Tutor/Mentor Connection - to ensure that every child, no matter what circumstance they are born in, can succeed to their fullest potential. Unfortunately, I think we have lost sight of that goal - college is more expensive than ever, it's harder to get loans, schools are more focused on test scores than on actually learning - which makes succeeding in life even more difficult than it was before if you weren't born into the best circumstances. Hopefully, with a story like Barack Obama's - born bi-racial to single white mother and a black father, raised partially by his grandparents who weren't wealthy but who made sure that Barack got everything possible to achieve - we can return to the quintessentially American idea that anyone can become a president.

I also, want to highlight the part of the speech about "everywhere we look, there is work to be done." This is very true, and it reaffirms to me the reasons why I am so passionate about what we do here at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. The task before us, just in the tutoring and mentoring world, is daunting - young people are dropping out of school, girls are getting pregnant, boys are joining gangs, drug use and murders are on the rise. However, if people take this call to action to heart, more people will think of ways they can contribute to their community and to help their community be a better place to live in.

I have great hopes for the Presidency of Barack Obama. Hopefully, we will all take his words to heart and set out to improve this country in a variety of different ways.

1 comment:

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

I hope that as leaders of volunteer based tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and other cities read Nicole's blog articles, you will reach out to her to collaborate on events that draw programs together, and draw volunteers and dollars to every place where tutoring /mentoring is offered.

If we work togehter we can do more than if we work alone. I think that President Obama would agree with that thought.

Dan Bassill
Tutor/Mentor Connection