Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Indo-American Center

Yesterday, Chris Warren and two young women from Estonia, who are looking to start a tutoring and mentoring program back in Tallinn Estonia, Maris and Sirla, trekked up to West Devon Street to visit the Indo-American Center.

It's always exciting finding out about tutoring and mentoring programs that have not been previously listed. That's why I was so happy when Chris told met hat his friend, Ritwik Banerji, is the Youth Program Director at the Indo-American Center. Right now, the youth program just has after -school tutoring, run by work-study students from Loyola University. However, Ritwik has great plans for the Youth Program. While the after-school tutoring program is just for kindergarten through 8th graders, Ritwik sees the great need for high school students to have a safe place to go as well. On Thursday nights, he oversees a youth development/organizing group of high schoolers who discuss issues in their community and what they can do about them. He also leads a hip-hop club and encourages the students to turn the music they love into something that can express a positive message.

Ritwik is also looking into starting a mentoring program. Right now he's looking into finding more volunteers so students can have the one-on-one attention of a tutor/mentor like we have here at Cabrini Connections. We are here to help Ritwik and the Indo-American Center in every way to make that possible.

Thank you Ritwik for the great visit. The Indo-American Center is already doing lots of impressive things as evidenced by this relatively recent article in the Chicago Tribune. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours in expanding their services to serve the youth of West Rogers Park.

1 comment:

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Maris and Sirla recently joined the T/MC group at where Nicole and the T/MC can coach them as they form their program in Estonia. I encourage others who operate programs, want to start one, or who fund them, to join us on the Ning site so we can all work toward strategies that make programs that Nicole is writing about available in more places.