Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Youth in Poverty - Chicago Region

If you browse through articles posted on this blog since 2008 you'll see a consistent focus on helping k-12 youth living in high poverty areas.  Between 1994 and 2011 the Tutor/Mentor Connection was able to build it's own data maps, including an interactive Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, to show where non-school youth programs are needed, where existing programs are located, and what assets are available to help programs grow in different places.

I've not had the money or volunteer talent to update the Program Locator and create map views using ArcGIS software since 2011 , so I point to data platforms hosted by others, which can be used as base-level maps* for stories that intend to mobilize attention and resources to support youth tutor/mentor programs in throughout the Chicago region.

One of those  is the Community Commons site. Below is a map view that I created today to show youth in poverty in the Chicago region.

create your own map - click here
Of many features that I like on the Community Commons site is the way they share stories of maps that have been created. And they organize these by channels, or focus areas. This link points to stories related to education issues.

The Tutor/Mentor Connection started building a resource library in 1993 and that has continued under Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC since 2011.  Below is a concept  map showing various data platforms that can also be used to create map stories. Links to these platforms is just a small part of the Tutor/Mentor web library.  Open the map, then open the links under each node to find a direct link to each resource.

As you look at them, see if they have a section of stories, similar to the Community Commons site. It would be great if every one of these sites where doing that.
View this map at this link
Creating data platforms is only a first step in solving problems. Motivating growing numbers of people to visit and use the data, then create stories that draw more attention to places, along with resources to solve problems, is the real work that needs to be done.

*What do I mean by "base level maps"?  None of the platforms I point to has been building a database of non-school tutor/mentor and learning programs, with sort features for age group served and type of program, they way Tutor/Mentor Connection started doing in 1994.  Visit this page and see how the T/MC list of programs can be searched, by these sub-categories.

Thus, to support the growth of these programs in Chicago or any other city, someone needs to be doing the on-going research to identify existing programs.  While the Program Locator is not  updated, I continue to update the list of Chicago programs and show them on a map, which you can see in this article.  Unfortunately, this is not as robust as the original Program Locator.

So what can you do?

Anyone can be the YOU shown on this graphic, who creates map stories and shares them via social media, blogs, church sermons, newspaper stories, and one-on-one conversations with these goals in mind.

Anyone can browse the stories on this blog, and on the Tutor/Mentor Blog and then share those, in your own words, videos and graphics, with people you know.

Anyone can help find a partner/investor/university who would help rebuild the Tutor/Mentor Connection and it's mapping capacity, and apply it to cities across the world.

I'm on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. If you're one who responds, just connect with me on one of these platforms.

Do you like what you read? Visit this page and make a contribution to help me continue to do this work. 

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