Thursday, July 9, 2009

One year later, what have I learned?

As of yesterday I've officially been working at Cabrini Connections, The Tutor/Mentor Connection for a full year. As you may or may not know, this is my last week here as an official staff member. Thinking back to where I was at this time last year, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In fact, I was still wondering whether I had made the right choice in choosing not to pursue graduate work in neuroscience immediately after my graduation. Though I knew I needed to do something disorienting (in a good way) in order to put myself in a situation where I could grow as a person and develop my social and political consciousness outside of NU, I never could have predicted how profoundly a year of non-profit work would change my personal perspective on work, life and my own future.

One huge surprise was how easy, natural and engaging the work seemed after 4 years of grinding through research papers, oral presentations and other thesis related mumbo-jumbo with varying degrees of interest and enthusiasm. Knowing that the work I do is contributing to the well-being of 70+ kids in whom I'm now personally invested, makes me a lot more inclined to put in the necessary time and effort, than when I was at Northwestern writing papers for an audience of one and giving presentations to a dozen or so disinterested students.

Another is that the social reward of knowing that my work is helping disadvantaged youth succeed so far outweighs the relative lack of financial compensation that I'm taking a completely unpaid position at a radical Guatemalan non-profit school next year to further hone the skills and knowledge I've developed through my year here as a PIP fellow. Perhaps I'll reconsider down the road, but for the time being, living in relative poverty and loving my work is far preferable to any number of potentially more financially lucrative alternatives.

One other big one, and perhaps the most important is that connecting a youth with a caring adult volunteer through a tutoring/mentoring relationship is really one of the most powerful ways to help a disadvantaged youth succeed. Just spending a year here and coordinating our Cabrini Connections program exposed me to dozens of case studies that make a strong case for the value of programs like ours. Given the obvious benefit of our work in the areas of: academic achievement, employment gang-prevention, drug-prevention and violence-prevention, it is shameful that organizations like ours are constantly scrambling for the necessary operating dollars because government, business and other sectors with a stake in the future of youth growing up in poverty haven't taken a more active role in supporting programs like ours. Though much lip service continues to be paid to programs like ours, from our nation's capital all the way down to conversations at the nearest bus stop (I can't tell you how many times people have told me "oh that's so great" when I explain what we do), the fact is that programs like ours can't continue to do this necessary work without the necessary human and financial resources, which are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. Therefore, now more than ever, we need to bring more leaders and other motivated folks into the fold to advocate for our youth, our programs and our future.

Personally, I'm becoming more and more convinced that I am and will continue to be one of these people. For this, I have to thank Dan and EL Da'sheon, who have gone to great lengths to get me to understand the ins and outs of running a successful non-profit, been incredible mentors and true sources of wisdom and inspiration to me throughout this past year. Thank you for your guidance, thank you for your willingness to collaborate and most of all thank you for the difference that you're so committed to making in the lives of youth all over the city.

29 comments:

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Thank you Chris for your many contributions, and your commitment to becoming one of these new leaders who we seek. I'll look forward to exchanging blog stories with you as you begin your year of service in Guatamala.

Dan Bassill
President
Cabrini Connections
Tutor/Mentor Connection

Steve Maroney said...

Actually overwhelming labor with the blog. I do similar to your firm labor and will stay for more post from you as post gave me enjoyment and gives some helps to do same work. Thanks a lot…………………………http://customwritings.ws

cris williams said...

Oh! Breathtaking post. Really this site is awfully cooperative for all concerning this. I got little important helps from here and exceedingly recommended it. Of course I will be on familiar terms with my relatives and relevant competitors concerning this blog and will wait for more. Thanks a lot…….

vike ay said...

In genuineness prosperous content and very helpful in sequence. I got it my elucidation from now. I very much urge his/her workings with the constructive enlightening information. Thanks a lotthesis writing

Asik09 said...

I was speculative if you ever thought-about going by vehicle the layout of your blog? Its o.k. in creating; i favour what you have to state. but possibly little more distant central the procedure of content so persons may attach with it higher..website proofreading

md sukria said...

This is the major bit I actually have glimpsed you’re comfy and do favour to broadcast you – it's actually fastidious to glimpse and that i soak up your powerful paid work. whereas if you anticipated did it in a clear-cut kind that may be very persuading. while over all I unquestionably proposed you and clear in your brain can gaze ahead to added mails like this. Thanks most. . cash advance costa mesa

Jesica Korner said...

Truly remarkable labor with the blog. online-essay-writer.org I do like your inflexible service and will wait for more post from.

md mannan said...

To start with the major line of my commentary – I do yearn to supply a huge due to the periodical esteem. Very it's pleasing an very good work by him and that i found out out an dependable facilitate by his/her large minutia and figures. I easily need to broadcast, large delight comprise it up your work. normally I’ll sit down with your posting and change. esteem ahead to your a allotment of mails.essays-for-me.net

Tome mark said...

I absolutely accepting a action for your pieces. I don't apperceive why, but I aloft customwritings.com acclaim the way you compose your items. It's an ambrosial adduce able way of creating. And I am just...you know...mad for it! I accepting to accession out this address from you.

Pervez Joarder said...

I very much to like and agree with your point of view. Thank you for sharing. Welcome to look at my website and blog articles. Hope we can become good friends, and exchange and to help each other. casinos in new zealand Online casinos too, are very popular in many places of the world. These casinos offer a wonderful opportunity for people who love to gamble to enjoy their game. Lot of thanks

Hannah said...

The nature of knowledge is that everything you learn stimulates and strengthens your mind. little over a year ago I learned I did not like my job.www.price4india.co.in

jhon romeo said...

Obviously, vehicle title advances do go on a premium rate which will be controlled by the bank when you round out the application. Be watchful that premium rates and terms can move generally among car title advancement banks. payday loan mobile

musa ibrahim said...

When you have exhibited your application you should hear back from the payday credit supplier inside minutes. They will email you with their decision to the email address you have enrolled with your application. Payday Loans Chicago

marko said...

Online payday loans will be the most effective and many easy choice to get a cash loan with regard to emergencies prior to your next pay day. Even so acquiring payday loans in addition to the reimbursements involve particular crucial features. Payday Loans

marko said...

Do you need to think about Dupli Terminator Review? Do you be arranged to take in more concerning the notoriety of Patric Chan? On the other hand is Dupli Terminator Scam or real item. payday loans

adrita nirmitishonga said...

Any individual who has an auto can traditionally meet all requirements for a money title advance. Despite the probability that the borrower has dreadful credit, bolster conventionally takes not as much as a business day. car title loans

PatriciaMoncrief said...

It's really interesting and you have written in a nice way.So thank you for sharing it here. You can use this best essay writing service for completing your essays.

BANGLADESH AND WORLD NEWS said...


Free WordPress Themes from templatedesk.com- Site Templates and CMS Themes.


Template Desk

Ami Khan said...

With a touch of steadiness, you should have the ability to find different authentic associations offering the sorts of fast cash credit that you require and subsequently you can be well on your way to deal with beating your brief cash needs. Cash Advance San-diego

marko said...

Cruiser title credits are progressed to the advance seeker who satisfies a couple conditions. It is a basic that the advance seeker is a national of Great Britain. He must be a grown-up as pr rule that everyone must follow. This is to propose that he must be more than 18 year of age; else, he can join in any financial understanding. Cash Advance

Samantha Carrie said...

Despite if bodies encountering striking progressive registry as a client, they also can yearly the strategy of the motorbike credits UK. As they are underneath the suitable FICO scores, moneylenders may request a more unmistakable noteworthy bit of the comprehensive group's expert FICO appraisal papers. On the agnate examination of the expert and saw bread-and-spread status, the settlement specialists perform the motorbike change according to the borrowers. Payday Loans San-diego

luckey.heart134@gmail.com said...

Right when the progression is reimbursed the keys and the title will be offered back to the borrower in like manner the lien being discharged. In the event that the borrower defaults on the credit partition, the auto will be reprocessed. Auto Title Loans Chicago

Shan Jonson said...

I can analyze with this completely. As I mentioned in a antecedent commodity I was in the bearings area I hated my job and had a brazier bulk of debt. The bearings became enough because I resented the actuality that I was trapped by my debt in a job that I hated. Eventually I accomplished that my attitude was alive adjoin me and affective me added abroad from my ambition of advantageous off my debt. I set about boring authoritative apology by absorption on how my job accustomed me to focus on advantageous off my debts.
check cashing in fresno

jhon said...

In adjustment to get accustomed for a quick loan, you charge aboriginal be of acknowledged age. By this, we beggarly that you charge to be at the age of 18 years old by the time you administer for a loan. You additionally charge to be a citizen of United States in adjustment to annual best of the lending casework that accommodate fast claimed loan.
cash advance

jhon said...

More generally than not, you will be asked to accommodate abundant affidavit that will appearance you accept a alive blockage account. You will additionally be asked for affirmation that you accept a reliable antecedent of assets to actuate if you will be able to accumulate up with repayment.
Payday Loans Costa-mesa

Big Brother said...

Without banking planning, it is accessible to end up in a bad situation. We would all adulation to be able to get through activity after accepting to anguish about Payday Loans

jhon said...

Families can accept a acceptable timeliving a abundant bigger activity with the aid of the payday loans abnormally back burning charge for banknote is required. The mothly annual will not accept to ache because there is an another antecedent of burning cash.
payday loans chicago

jhon said...

Furthermore, most payday loan fees are based on the duration of the cash advance. The standard APR for most companies falls into the 400 percent range. As an example, suppose you were to borrow $100 at a fee of $20 for a 2 week period and if you did not pay if for a year, your service charge would be $520 for a 520% APR. To which you need to remember to add the original $100 that you borrowed.
cash advance loans in fresno

Adameve said...

It is good to see such a helpful website! It has informative as well as interesting articles. I look forward to visit this site again and again. Students with the assignment writing problem could visit our site and can opt for our assignment writing help.