And this is a very universally human response. I bet you've felt that way at jobs, for instance, where you've been "set up to fail." But I'm not here (today) to discuss inequalities in schools or issues pertaining to school funding. And I'm not going to discuss (at this point) how sad it makes me that all this talent is about to potentially be wasted.
What I'm here to do today is champion tutoring and mentoring programs... programs that are making a difference in the lives of kids - kids who will soon be frustrated, angry, and desperate adults.
You don't have to go far around here at Cabrini Connections to find kids and parents who testify that the help they receive(d) through tutoring and mentoring programs have made the difference between failure in school, and scholarships to college... between safe and honest employment, and employment on the streets.
And with that in mind, make no mistake - these programs don't just help the kids who participate. They help you. They help all of us. Are you concerned about poverty? Are you concerned about street violence? I am. What can you do?
Well, I'm going to lay it on the line here. You can help a tutor/mentor program that is fighting poverty and its symptoms.
How? Your time and your dollars. It's that simple. In fact, without your time and your dollars, these programs will disappear, and these problems that affect us all will rage on without anyone fighting at the front lines.
Please take a look at the following maps showing the locations of Tutor/Mentor programs, alongside "failing school" data, to get a better sense of where your help is needed most. And then use the interactive zip code map or the program locator to learn how you can contact the programs and offer your help.
This map shows the location of programs that work with Elementary School-aged kids:
This map shows the location of programs that work with Junior High-aged kids:
This map shows the location of programs that work with High School-aged kids:
This map shows the location of programs that offer purely tutoring services:
This map shows the location of programs that offer purely mentoring services:
(click on the map above to see "full-sized" version)
This map shows the location of programs that offer a mixture or tutoring and mentoring for students. A program like Cabrini Connections is a perfect example of such a program: