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below are ideas for creating a website for the purpose of connecting youth programs.

This website is a recourse for people involved in and interested in youth programs around the world. The particular programs listed here are committed to a cause bigger than the organization itself, they embrace a purpose greater than themselves. These like-minded organizations revolve around ideas and projects that serve youth and adults, striving for the greatest good of the individuals and the group as a whole. These programs aim to adhere to a vision of what's true, good, and beautiful. (read the mission statements of participating programs)

This space is an opportunity for and encouragement of conversation and shared learning between these programs.

Find help - Don't reinvent the wheel. Why tread water in your problems when you can swim to the shore and look for help? This website is the shore. Swim around and find an organization that perhaps has already overcome some of the obstacles you are currently facing. Ask for help. find out what has worked and what hasn't worked. Connect with people that are farther advanced in some areas than you or your organization currently are.

Find resources regarding: Volunteers - how do we keep good people in our organization? Training information? Marketing Funding Leadership organization Staffing Unique program models used (educational models) Community involvement Encouragement - ways of encouraging one another -- helping an employee, volunteer, participant recognize their satisfaction helps him or her stay longer and turn into a leader willing to assume greater responsibility. share some ways in which individual and group successes are honored. (one email, one letter, one genuine comment can make a huge difference.)

Sharing wisdom - Look at What We've/I've Done list - This place is for short stories of success. Share a moment that's filled you with pride, contentment, and delight. Retell an inspiring story that expresses positive change in action. Show others how you/your organization is engaging in the world around you. Archaic language might have called this bragging, however, here we call it sharing wisdom. Let's share with each other what we have done that has worked. Re-tell a moment that was full of possibility and potential and the actions taken that manifested that possibility and potential into reality, a first-hand account of life being created. The Look at What We've/I've Done list is a way of documenting what you think is good. if we are working towards the "greater good", it is a profound recourse to have a collection of that which we consider "good".

Mentoring - This space is for offering mentorship in an area in which you or your organization has specific and unique knowledge to share.

Technological assistance Organizational consulting Learning models Individual skills (i.e. visual arts, music, movement, carpentry, etc.)

Connecting Communities - Are you interested in participating in an exchange between youth in your program and youth in another program, another community, another country? This space is for connecting with other programs and organizing an exchange. Give youth an opportunity to experience the depth and breadth of different cultures, extending their connections beyond their own community.

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i will submit a request form to (or do a phone interview with) participants asking them to fill in:

name location population mission statement basic description of their program

they will then have the option to expand upon any of the purple underlined words. i am envisioning a sort of database in which you could click on the program name and receive all of the information pertaining to that program. you could also click on funding and all information pertaining to funding would appear on a page (along with a link to each program providing information). you could click on location and find a list of the locations of all of the participating programs.

To Ashley and others interested in helping youth living in economically and socially disadvantaged areas. I invite you to join the community of people and organizations that the Tutor/Mentor??? Connection (T/MC) has been connecting via its invitations and networking. We formally launched the T/MC in 1993 with the teens and volunteers who were active in a single tutor/mentor program in one Chicago neighborhood. However, the roots of this idea go back to 1975 when I first began leading a tutor/mentor program for 2nd to 6th grade teens living in the Cabrini Green area. I did this as a volunteer from 1975 till 1990 while I held variousa advertising management positions with Montgomery Ward. In 1993 when we launched the T/MC we had 300 people on our database and the T/MC was just an idea. In 2004 we have 15,000 people in our database and we reach thousands each week via email. If you search Google for the key words "tutor mentor" our web sites will come up in the top five out of 150,000 hits.

I say all of this as an invitation to join rather than re-create. At http://www.tutormentorconnection.org and http://www.tutormentorexchange.net you can find a library of links, and places where you can add your own link. You'll also find on-line dicsussions focused on helping each tutor/mentor program get the volunteers, dollars, and training they need to be successful. This is a community where every person can contribute when and as much as he/she wants, and should do so with the intention of helping his own community have a full range of quality tutor/mentor programs.

A few people really can change the world. With the Internet we don't even need to be in the same part of the world to share ideas and actions that help everyone else. However, this only happens when people say "If it is to be, it is up to me". That means that the most important piece of technology is a mirror. When you get up in the morning each day and stare at yourself, ask what you will do that day to help your community. At the end of the day as you again look at yourself, check off the things you did. If you do that every day with a purpose and strategy in m ind, your actions can add up to an army of impact. If you connect your actions with others who have similar goals, that impact can make this a better world for everyone.

  I hope that I'll see some of you in the eGroups and via email.   

Daniel F. Bassill (danbassill) President Cabrini Connections Tutor/Mentor??? Connection 800 W. Huron Chicago, Il. 60622

tutormentor2@earthlink.net

Hi Dan,

thank you for posting, inviting involvement, and sharing the resources tmc has to offer... there is so much information on your website, i look forward to exploring more and seeing where i can link in.

the website that i am envisioning is not strictly for youth in poverty areas, which seems to be the case with many of the programs you support. just as you were posting under my name, i was writing out my own visions... i'd be happy to share what is in my mind, in the making if you're interested. Connection with Tutor/Mentor?? Connection is definitely along the lines of what i envision. there is a wealth of resources to link into...

many thanks, ashley

Ashley,

I use visual images to try to explain some of the concepts that I'm advocating. In one of the Giving Hub groups someone said there were four categories of service. I think they were youth, health, environment and economic develoment. If a circle were drawn, this pie would have four slices.

It looks like you and I are focused on the slice titled kids. I does not mean that we're not interested in the other three, or that they are not connected with the issues we'll be dealing with.

When I click into the slice focused on kids, I get another circle. This one is multi dimensional. On the top layer, it divides into two slices. Poverty/non poverty. It could have more slices than that ...very rich, moderate wealth, middle class, working poor, very poor.

I foucus on very poor. When I click into that, I get another pie, which leads to very poor living in big cities.

I choose this group because they are more isolated and need more help than do kids in the other sectors.

In an invitation process. people at all levels of this "youth slice" are sending out invitations to share information and work together. If we can create a forum where we discuss what we have in common, and where we have differences, we might be able to get people in the larger group to work together on those issues that are common, while helping people who focus on sub-sets connect with others who share the same concern, and speak the same language, so that they are able to achieve more results from their efforts.

The what's in common list might include

a) tools to collaborate in on-line environment b) distance learning and information facilitation resources c) resource generation tools d) competition for resources and attention with the other three major slices of the pie e) need for dedicated, informed leadership in public and private sector f) visual communication tools that enable people to communicate ideas in more than two dimensions. Most issues have many layers, yet we don't have good tools to describe complex ideas in a visual manner that more people might understand

Maybe you can add to this list. I'd love to get business, foundations and universities in all parts of the world devoting resources to building such a list of "enabling" tools, and to creating products and services that make such tools available at low or no cost to others.

If these resources were more available to everyone in the youth slice of the pie, then each sub sector would be more effective in building a network of people who are willing to share information and work together to achieve the goals of the sub sector.

Ultimately this might create a convergence of understanding that shows how we're all connected even though we start out by looking at the issues from differenent experience perspectives. This could lead to a much larger population of people working together toward some commonly agreed upon goals.

I'm trying to embed these concepts into the Tutor/Mentor?? Connection and the best way to do that is find people who already are doing this type of work and who would want to share what they do with me and others. If that's not possible, the next step is to find innovators who want to create new products and services that fill voids in this model.

I'll look forward to hearing your perspective on this and how you are attempting to approach this. Let's hope that some other people join us.

Dan Bassill drop by http://www.networkforgood.org, to get an idea of how they approach the online funding & information thing dan,

i like the visual images that you provide with the simple circles and the invitation to click the pieces of the circle and dive deeper into their meanings. from my vision, the "What's in Common" list takes on a different direction.

a) committed to a cause bigger than the organization itself b) embracing a purpose greater than themselves...striving for the greatest good of the individuals and the group as a whole. c) aiming to adhere to a vision of what's true, good, and beautiful. d) wishing to extend the resources and/or knowledge of their program out into the world e) are open to collaboration and shared learning

my idea in how to generate this list is to simply invite the programs/orgainzations/individuals to share that which they have passion towards and are willing to take responsibility in engaging in dialogue and sharing such resouces, skills and tools that evolve from these passions. they can share what they do that is unique, special, successful, etc. my feeling is that the list will grow on its own as programs gather, offering what they have to give. it is also my vision to have a "list of 'enabling' tools'....and to create products and services that make such tools available at low or no cost to others." i wonder if in the spirit of giving, trading, and collaborating, the exchange of such tools and services might self-organize simply by one participant having a resource to offer and another having a need.

in regards to the youth splitting into the many levels along the spectrum of poverty and non-poverty, i notice that some programs serve mixed populations of youth that come from an array of backgrounds, with varying SES, from rural and city, etc. such programs would have a difficult time categorizing themselves as poverty or non-poverty, inner city or rural. such a participant would describe their population in more detail.

it sounds like your work with youth living in poverty in big cities has spread much positivity in many directions. i will have to challenge your statement that this group is "more isolated and need more help than do kids in the other sectors." i have found that there are groups in every sector (even the wealthy, sometimes especially the wealthy) that are just as isolated and need just as much help. any child that is not having his or her physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual needs met is often suffering through some form of isolation, neglect, abuse, etc.

i love the idea of creating a "forum where we discuss what we have in common, and where we have differences, we might be able to get people in the larger group to work together on those issues that are common, while helping people who focus on sub-sets connect with others who share the same concern, and speak the same language, so that they are able to achieve more results from their efforts." i especially like the idea of a virtual forum. i participate in a forum that is powered by http://www.aspplayground.net/ . that would be an amazing resource to this site. does anyone know how to organize such a thing?

i am also dreaming of a similar outcome in that "Ultimately this might create a convergence of understanding that shows how we're all connected even though we start out by looking at the issues from differenent experience perspectives. This could lead to a much larger population of people working together toward some commonly agreed upon goals" and a more efficient and fluid flow of resources.

the added benefit of this, to me, is connecting the youth to people of different experiences and perspectives, modeling for them the process of people coming together and working towards commonly agreed upon goals that are bigger than one's self, one's own perspective, one's own community... uniting people, programs, youth, adults, communities, and cultures in a field of truth, goodness, and beauty.

warm regards, ashley I visted the [Night Ministry] [http://www.thenightministry.org/our-programs/od.htm Open Door Shelter; last night. It seems the kids have a zine and all sorts of other expressive works and such. Is there a way to get them hooked in with whatever it is that's being built here? --TedErnst

absolutely, ted. i'll extend an invitation for such connections just as soon as there is a website to connect to... my latest thoughts on how to keep the life of the site vigorous, is for the initial invitation to join to be by mouth/voice. i'll call this first list of folks that i have and help them either get entered into the system or interview them and enter their information for them. the request would be that when anyone feels called to share the website with another youth program, to please do so with their voice. what a great opportunity to call a friend that you never have time to talk with, or to call a friend of a friend who is doing something amazing with youth. i feel like if live voices can remain a part of the website, the heart can stay present and moving. it doesn't seem like too much to ask as the one condition in being a part of this network.


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