Of course, "failing" elementary students eventually graduate to high school. If they are still living with challenges related to poverty and struggling schools, they might still be lagging behind academically, unprepared to find jobs, and "at risk."
Some high school students however (like several who attend Cabrini Connections tutor/mentor program every week), have sought out an extra edge from an experienced mentor, and will be going on to college next year. (Congrats, Brittany D.!)
Unfortunately, many others will be looking to the streets or to you and me as they enter adulthood.
Click on this map above to expand it and see newly-released "failing school" data from 2009, poverty data from the last census, and the known locations of currently-operating Tutor/Mentor Programs in Chicagoland (data that the T/MC hosts and offers to the public for free on its website).
The focus is on high schools in this map - specifically, high schools that aren't "making adequate yearly progress" according to state and federal testing standards. The map above also shows known locations of tutor/mentor programs that are equipped to help high school kids who want an extra edge to compete for a better life for themselves, their families, and our communities.
Like last week, I ask you to expand the map and explore patterns between poverty and high schools. Where is the high poverty? Where, in relation, are clusters of poorly performing schools? How many (or few) programs are available in the neighborhoods where these conditions exist?
Keep in mind that you aren't looking for a one-to-one relationship of schools to programs here. Each high school has hundreds if not thousands of students. Each mentor program, in contrast, likely serves only a fraction of that total.
You can support individual not-for-profit programs on this map by volunteering, or by making a small donation that allows others to volunteer. (Use the online searchable program locator to find a program near your home, job, or commuter line... to find a good fit for your time and your routine.)
You can also take a few minutes and let business leaders, faith leaders, and political leaders in your network know about these maps and the strategies at Tutor/Mentor Exchange. Together, community leaders and Tutor/Mentor Connection can collaborate on building new programs, while helping existing programs thrive.
To learn more about volunteering, collaborating, or making a donation to this cause, please take a look at the Tutor/Mentor Exchange website.