Monday, November 19, 2007

Tutor Menor Leadership Conference

I’m at the last day of our Tutor Mentor Leadership Networking Conference. I’m currently attending a workshop entitled “How Business Leaders Can and Should Participate in Charitable Organizations, led by Steven Miller of Legacy Mortgage Corporation.

His approach to engaging new donors and volunteers is unique in that he goes through his checkbook and everybody he pays regularly he tells them it’s their responsibility as citizens to give back to the community, even if the community they’re giving to is not theirs. His discussion ranged from how he got involved with our
non-profit organization to how he cajoles his staff and friends to give or work with our organization.

Although two of our keynote speakers were ex-NFL players, one young man really stood out for me, Marcues Sullivan. During the course of his speech he explained how although he came from an adverse background, it was through the benefit of mentoring that he was able to expand horizons and that there was more to life than the small piece of real estate he called his neighborhood. One particular quote of his stood out to me, “no successful person that he knows of got there without a mentor!” Those words ring true and give meaning to all we do here at Cabrini Connections.

To me the most relevant workshop was presented by LaMarr Johnson of The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). He introduced us to the departments’ new “Gateway to Quality Career & Workforce Information” portal on their website. Here our students, as well as, their parents, our volunteers and their friends can sign on and discover invaluable information about the career types, availability, expectations, knowledge path as well as a dissection of other careers that fall within the same description and learning requirements. I would suggest that all of our mentors sign onto the site to help our kids see the steps the should take find the career path that suits them best.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tech Update

Recently while compiling SVHATS login data, I noticed an alarming trend. While the student login and feedback numbers where pretty steady at a low rate of 24-25 logins the Volunteer login rate has dropped drastically, it has gone from 28 at it’s peak to 12. It is important for both the student and the volunteer to use SVHATS as it helps us to understand the relationship and progress of the student, volunteer pair.

Some of our volunteers like Alexandria Hill and students like Vontesha Stanfield has signed onto SVHATS every week they’re here. If anyone has troubles with signing in or have forgotten their password or login please don’t hesitate to ask.

The Tech Club is still looking for new student leaders to join up. Our computers have been loaded with both Flash and Photoshop software applications. Already some of the students have learned to create animated GIFs and how to remove backgrounds from images. Once the club members have developed competency with graphic and picture manipulation we plan to start working on learning the Flash product. Our end goal is to have students capable of creating dynamic graphic design elements, flash movies and websights. We welcome all Volunteers and Students who want to join.