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Sara Coover Caldwell is President of Amphion Productions, a California-based production company.

Caldwell is a writer, producer, with many awards to her credit.

Sara Caldwell became a volunteer with the Montgomery Ward/Cabrini-Green Tutoring Program in
1988. One of her first volunteer projects was to produce a 30-minute documentary of the program,
which aired on public TV in February 1990. Caldwell became one of the founding members of
Cabrini Connections in 1992, served as a member of its Board of Directors from 1993 to 1997, and
now serves as a member of its Advisory Council.

This article was written by Caldwell in 1997 after Cabrini Connections was selected to be one of 50
groups with a teaching example display at the 1997 President's Summit for America's Future,
with the idea of converting it into a book which could provide heart-warming stories of kids and
adults who have had life-changing experiences as a result of participation in Cabrini Connections
and other tutor/mentor programs, and as a means of showing how citywide networks of such
programs could be created, as the Tutor/Mentor Connections is doing in Chicago.

The article has not been published elsewhere, so we've decided to publish it here, and invite any
magazine who would like to reprint it, to do so, as an example of what can be done to help at-risk
kids, and the commitment it takes to build and sustain a program like Cabrini Connections.

It is now September 2012, 15 years later. A new chapter is starting. In June 2011 the Board of Directors
voted to discontinue support of the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) and focus only on Cabrini
Connections, the site based tutor/mentor program. Dan Bassill, who left Wards in 1990, then left Cabrini
Green Tutoring Program in 1992, has now left Cabrini Connections to continue to pursue a vision of a
strategy that would provide better support for tutor/mentor programs in all poverty neighborhoods of urban
areas like Chicago, and thus provide a better system of adult supports helping all kids in poverty move
through school and into jobs and careers.

In July 2011 Daniel F. Bassill created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC to continue providing support to the
Tutor/Mentor Connection in Chicago, and to help similar intermediary structures grow in other cities. The website shares these strategies. However, he is now 65 and seeks writers,
partners, investors and leaders who will add new chapters to The Tutor/Mentor Business, based on what
has taken place since this first version was written, and what might take place as a result of this new
strategy and the collective efforts of many people who are concerned about the growing gap between rich
and poor in America

Email if you’d like to help with this project.

Follow this story line at and

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 1
The Tutor/Mentor Business
written by Sara Coover Caldwell, 1997

He didn't care if the other kids thought he was a nerd, he couldn't see without those glasses. His
mother would shake her head in despair every time some bullies knocked them off his face, softly
whistling his name with slight condemnation -- "Isaiah!" How many more times could she tape up
the cracked frames? He looked at his mother through those nerdy glasses before leaving, then made
his way down the fourth story hallway, separated from the chilly autumn air by only a chain-link
fence. He hugged the inner wall, passing three pubescent girls skipping rope, their bobbing braids
topped with bright plastic baubles, light feet suddenly tangling in the rope. The girls eyed him
accusingly, one sneering, You made us mess up, you dumb nappy head! He met a girl like her once,
a neighbor whose name he never knew. He remembered seeing her fall from a much higher place,
remembered hearing her shrill screams before and after the man took her to the roof. But he was out
of the Hornets now. The Cabrini projects were supposed to be safer. He wished he could forget that

I'd like a second grade girl, I said to the harried young woman manning the desk, around which
clusters of anxious students and volunteers were checking in. Twenty minutes later, the now calmer
young woman at the Montgomery Ward/Cabrini-Green Tutoring Program (CGTP) introduced me to
a fifth-grade boy.

This is Isaiah. It's his first time here, too.

She told me she would try to pair me with a young girl the following week. Tonight, I could sub for
Isaiah. It's not that I particularly wanted to tutor a little girl. Older boys intimidated me. I didn't hang
around many kids at the time, despite aspirations to help one from a neighborhood whose dark
reputation terrified me.

We were left alone. I babbled incessantly, filling the awkward silence with meaningless words, as we
looked for an empty table to sit at in the spacious warehouse hall. The poor boy mumbled polite,
almost incoherent replies to my barrage of questions: Where do you go to school? Do you have
brothers or sisters? What is your favorite subject? That's all I remember about the first time we met.
What I remember about the second time is the way his eyes lit up when I entered the room. It
surprised me, and I realized I was stuck with him.

Nine years later, now nearly 2000 miles apart, Isaiah and I are fast friends, staying in touch primarily
through the wonders of the internet. He's a sophomore at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois,
following six years at private and military schools, funded by private grants. The once-shy boy is
now taking center stage in college plays. He's studying theater and reaching for the stars.

Although Isaiah and I were paired together by chance, the growth of our relationship, of my greater
understanding of his social condition, and of his personal success were not. Instead, they were part
of a well-thought out process that began evolving over fifteen years before we had ever met. A
process which most volunteers like myself took for granted, not realizing the incredible time, toil,
and dedication taking place behind the scenes. In the 1970s, there were fewer 'poverty'
neighborhoods than today -- 187 where 20-40% of the residents were poor, compared to almost 250
in the early 1990s. Very impoverished neighborhoods, with over 60% poor, also jumped from 5 to 63
in that time frame. Some believed that this increase was not due to chance but was a form of
economic and racial apartheid resulting from conscious governmental policy.

The early '70s also saw a variety of church- and business-based tutor and mentor programs spring up
throughout the city, though no one really knew how many were operating, where they were, or how
many children were being served. While a number of programs had originated, there were no

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 2
measurable results by which to gauge the success of the different models. And the programs had
little, if any, communication between each other. This isolation between tutor/mentor programs
would exist until 1993, when Cabrini Connections would become the first citywide program in
Chicago to connect programs together for mutual benefit.

Cabrini Connections was the brainchild of Daniel F. Bassill, its president and CEO, who brought
with him twenty years of experience, plus a few lessons from the school of hard knocks.

In 1972, the gangly, mild-mannered Bassill joined the Montgomery Ward retail advertising group.
The following year, a co-worker encouraged him to volunteer with the CGTP, one of fifteen such
programs initiated by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) in the mid 1960s after violent riots
rocked Chicago and destroyed many of its neighborhoods. Some programs were sponsored by
churches, others by corporations such as Sears, Quaker Oats Company and Borg- Warner. CGTP was
loosely sponsored by Montgomery Ward, with a team of employees providing the leadership on a
volunteer basis.

Although initially more interested in the attractive female co-worker who had encouraged him to
join the program, Bassill became very committed to the young man he was assigned to work with, an
energetic fourth grader named Leopoleon (Leo) Hall, who at age 10 was nearly 5'7" tall and weighed
more than 200 lbs. As Isaiah and I would do so many years later, Bassill and Leo met once a week
for three years. Over the next twenty-five years, Bassill would attended every one of Leo's
graduations, including his 1992 graduation from Memphis State University. At the end of his second
year, Bassil was recruited to become the CGTP leader after the incumbent leader announced he was
moving to Europe. He annointed Bassill 'since he talks so much.'

Although Bassill was initially a reluctant leader, he immediately took steps to improve the program
and ensure its long-term growth. Most significantly, he persuaded Montgomery Ward to provide a
small office for volunteer leaders to meet and centralize files. In reviewing the growing history,
maintained in these files, Bassill was able to understand how afterschool programs really could
contribute to a child's healthy development. Using this research, Bassill asked representatives of the
CHA, public schools, and Montgomery Ward for their support and commitment to sustain the
growth of the program.

During this time, Bassill was transformed into a Management By Objectives (MBO) disciple when
Montgomery Ward flirted with this latest management fad. For Bassill, it became more than a fad.
He saw the guiding principles as an effective way to manage a business, be it advertising or tutoring.
Bassill adopted many MBO philosophies and from that day to this, has a poster tacked next to his
desk that reads, "Exactly what are we doing? How can we do it better today than we did yesterday?
How can we turn out a product with less time, expense, and effort?" With limited bucks, Bassill was
going for the bang.

His efforts were boosted when local consultants from the National Right-to Read program joined the
CGTP in 1978. Together, they introduced the concept of tutoring as a business, with a quality service
to deliver. Their ideas were (and still are) unusual for many non-profits -- that leaders and volunteers
should commit to the program as they did to their jobs, using business strategies such as developing
organizational frameworks, a customer-focused attitude, and year-to-year business plans projecting
short term and long term goals.

With the help of the Right-to-Read group, Bassill introduced a variety of learning activities, training
programs, and reading rooms. Local schools began supplying student information for tutors to use,
and a part-time secretary was hired to help track attendance.

As part of a new strategy, Bassill wanted to improve the process of building the volunteer
management team and educating new volunteers on the theory and practice of running a tutoring
program. Volunteer leaders were burning out, dwindling to only three or four by the end of the year.
Borrowing from his MBO experiences, Bassill redesigned the program into a broad-based volunteer

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management structure involving ten to twenty volunteers in leadership positions to run the growing

Members of this executive committee organized volunteer recruiting, volunteer training, student
recruiting, a full schedule of parties and field trips, and various writing and arts programs that by
now were standard experiences during the 30-week school year.

By 1990, 300 volunteers and as many students were attending the CGTP, with improved retention
and participation rates. Nearly 85 percent of the children attended every week's session, with nearly
1/3 having perfect attendance by 1990.

The growth and improvement indicators were paralleled by a growth in Bassill's networking base of
people beyond Cabrini-Green and even Chicago. His outreach led to weekly brown bag networking
lunches. Not by any grand design, but by self interest and survival did a growing network of Cabrini
Green based tutor/mentor program leaders develop. While the headlines in Chicago and around the
country continued a rotation of violence, poor school performance, racism and poverty, few leaders
in Chicago or from Washington launched any sustained effort to reach program leaders like these
brown baggers to say "how can we help you succeed?"

Unknowingly, the networking lunches and meetings that Bassill initiated began to fill the void. With
partnership from the Fourth Presbyterian Church Tutoring Program, the LaSalle Street CYCLE
tutoring program, and a few others, Bassill built a self-help network of tutor/mentor program leaders,
and a template for the current Cabrini Connections outreach efforts.

Over the years, this networking and the increasing quality and visibility of the CGTP resulted in a
variety of awards, media stories and a growing national awareness. In 1988, researchers from the
University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Center for Early Adolescence cited the CGTP as a best
practice model.

By its 25th anniversary, the program had provided more than 100,000 hours of one-to-one tutoring to
over 2,900 children, with an ever-growing assortment of enrichment activities such as motivational
speakers, writing and reading contests, a reading library, a computer orientation lab, field trips, and
special events. The program also began a mentoring program for older kids, something sorely
lacking in the Cabrini Green area. The CGTP's Junior Assistant Program provided special learning
and mentoring programs designed specifically for them.

From Non-Profit to Non-Governance

The 1980s brought changes to the program's host, Montgomery Ward, including management
turnovers aimed at making the company more profitable in an ever- more-competitive retail
marketplace. For Bassill, these changes resulted in a new team of ad executives coming to the
company every few years, each time "cleaning house" by shrinking his staff and increasing his
work-load. Bassill weathered the changes until February of 1990, when he was told, "Find a new
position in the company, or leave it. You have to be out of your office today."

For several years, Bassill had been considering a change that would allow him to devote more time
to tutoring, though he had not expected it to be a one-day transition. Given the choice of staying with
the company at no loss of pay (Bassill was earning $60,000 annually with stock options and a sizable
annual bonus), or the choice of going to an out-placement with six months of severance, Bassill
chose the latter, feeling that it would be nearly impossible to continue his time-consuming leadership
of the tutoring program while learning a new job and earning new management trust. At the same
time, he saw this as the opportunity he'd been waiting for. With the support of his newly pregnant
wife, he left Montgomery Ward and entered a job search process which many, many other white
collar workers in America were finding to be all too common.

A break came when Chuck Curry of The Quaker Oats Company, which had for years provided

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busing for volunteers and milk and cookies for the kids, asked Bassill if he would represent Quaker
Oats as a 6-month Loaned Executive for the United Way/Crusade of Mercy's annual fund-raising
campaign. Bassill told Curry of his interest to convert the tutoring program to a non-profit and
expand it to up to 12th grade students, while building Montgomery Ward-style tutoring programs in
other neighborhoods where such programs were needed. Quaker Oats agreed to provide funds for
this from their foundation, understanding that while Bassill would receive a salary from Quaker Oats
for as a Loaned Executive, he would also draw a salary from the tutoring program as its new
executive director.

With the approval of the CGTP's executive committee, Bassill began the process of building a
non-profit structure. Working with lawyers from Montgomery Ward to incorporate the new
non-profit and develop an organizational structure, Bassill recruited Pat Wilkerson, a long-time
volunteer leader, to serve as the first president of the new board of directors. Unknowingly, the board
recruitment effort was the beginning of the end of Bassill's tenure with the tutoring program. Bassill
admits he made a 'fatal flaw' in the board development process.

"We built a board of directors on top of a 25 year-old organization which had an entrepreneurial
pyramid structure with myself, acting as CEO, at the top," explains Bassill. "Because we already had
the fewest people at the top doing the most work, I didn't want to tax those volunteers even further.
Not understanding the negatives and conflict in non-profit structures, I assumed that we were
creating a structure that would allow me to continue to build and improve what by general consensus
was a pretty good program. I ended up creating a board without a central vision of what we were
doing or how we would operate. I realized this mistake too late. While we needed everyone to focus
on helping us get to where we were going, we ended up spending board meetings just fighting about
how we would interact at the board level."

Board president Patrick Wilkerson, Manager of Advanced Engineering and Systems at Fel-Pro in
Skokie, agrees that a central vision was lacking:

"Dan looked at the board as a fundraising group, with the rationale that the more people he got, the
more funding the program would get. This backfired on him. Everyone Dan selected for the board
was a leader in the community -- all strong-willed individuals with their own ideas of what tutoring
meant. They brought those ideas to the board, which conflicted with the ideas of the initial creator.
Without the common vision at the onset, Dan and the board pulled in very different directions."

The board's goal was to create the best possible program for 1st to 6th graders based on the charter
and mission, which Wilkerson now describes as too narrow and limiting in scope. When Bassill
wanted to add new programs, the board felt he was challenging the charter and turned down his
ideas, wanting Dan to stick to running and improving the program as it existed, not expand it. Bassill
believed that most members had not carefully read or understood the charter, which clearly talked
about a vision to expand their support into other neighborhoods.

The charter did in fact state a goal to 'Expand and improve the quality of the Tutoring Program and
use it as a resource for other volunteer programs' and 'communicate our knowledge to other
programs through workshops, leadership conferences and newsletters.'

"Had the board just committed to implementing these goals," reflects Bassill, "we would have had a
happy life. While we fought somewhat over the direction of the program, we were most divided by
the style of management. Me as CEO versus the board as CEO."

"Couple the problems with the logistics of running the business -- namely staffing, budgeting, and
Dan's compensation and incentives -- and you ended up with a pretty heated battlefield," says

According to Bassill, the majority of the board had no understanding of the program's complex
structure which had been developed over the previous 15 years, the interaction of ideas and

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volunteers intended to motivate a student and an adult to attend on a regular basis or to work toward
greater academic performance. They had no value for the program's history, and little commitment to
do the homework needed to catch up. At the same time, Bassill and Wilkerson had no previous
experience with the development, leadership, or politics of non-profit boards.

"In hindsight, I walked into a trap of my own making," reflects Bassill. In our rush to create a
non-profit so the program would continue running smoothly, we created a structure where conflict
was inevitable.

Initially, a big bone of contention was the board's desire to reduce the number of activities to just
reading, writing, and math, eliminating others that had taken years to build, or which were needed to
raise dollars and additional volunteers for core activities. The board began to hold private meetings
excluding Bassill. A few of the more vocal members challenged Bassill's integrity and honesty,
accusing him of being self-serving, racist, insensitive to children, and using his position for personal

"I was deeply hurt," says Bassill. "Whereas I felt my fifteen years of volunteer service would make
my motives beyond challenge, I was betrayed by those in whom I had placed my confidence and

Bassill's battles with the board were compounded by a busy work schedule, the challenges of being a
new father, and supporting a mother who was battling cancer.

"I had to sacrifice most other interests in my life," he recalls. "The two years struggling to succeed
with the CGTP were an ultimate test. Especially when my mom died in June, 1992."

Bassill's contract renewal became another gripe. The board asked him to accept a reduced salary of
$30,000 with the condition he also give up his summer work at United Way. Attorney Michael
Moshier, lawyer for the board, provided a brief stating that Bassill's current salary was already too
little compared to other similar non-profit executive salaries. By a narrow margin, the board
conceded to Bassill's demands to retain his current $36,000 salary and keep his part-time United
Way position.

But soon the meetings became so combative, that Bassill wrote a letter of resignation. A part-time
CGTP employee talked him out of the idea, instead suggesting a meeting of volunteers and directors
to clear the air. The board agreed to the meeting but refused to set a date.

Finally, in late September of 1992, just one week after the launch of the 1992 93 tutoring year, and
with over 400 students and 500 volunteers just getting to know each other, three board members
marched into Bassill's office and told him he had three hours to pack his belongings and leave the
building. They gave no reason for dismissal, other than it was the right of the board to terminate the

"Ultimately it came down to the decision of whether we needed Dan if he wasn't going to play ball,"
says Wilkerson. "With a very close vote, something like seven to four, the board voted that Dan be

During the following weeks, Bassill held a number of meetings with supporters to determine if it
would be appropriate to try to regain control of the program. Volunteers called a general meeting
with the board, and many wrote to log their complaints. Several long-time volunteers also resigned
in protest, including Wilkerson.

Ultimately, Bassill decided it was time to close the door on the CGPT, hoping to open another:

"While I was driving home on the Kennedy Expressway one afternoon, it came to me that I could
use my 17 years of experience to help other people run or establish quality tutoring programs. I

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didn't actually need to be in an existing program to do this, let alone one with 800 participants and
inadequate staffing, not to mention a combative board of directors. Once I understood that, the
weight was lifted. It became a matter of starting over, but this time with some hindsight. My vision
was to form a new organization to serve a need -- tutor/mentoring for 7th through 12th grade
students in Cabrini Green -- and to build a leadership group that could help other programs serving
any grade level throughout the city develop."

"Dan did a great job of recovering from the experience," says Wilkerson. "Just to have the guts to
start over. He's chosen helping children as his life's work, with incredible up-hill battles along the
way. Why, I don't know. It seems like total craziness to me."

Dantrell's Legacy

On October 13, 1992, a mother walked her 7 year old son to school for the last time. When a sniper's
bullet killed Dantrell Davis outside Jenner School in Cabrini Green, a media blitz hit the city, then
fanned out through the nation. Although twenty-six other children under thirteen had already been
slain that year, Dantrell became a symbol of innocence against everything evil his inner-city
environment represented.

Newspapers honed in zealously, highlighting every detail of Dantrell's life and death. We were
vicarious witnesses at his funeral as he lay in a white suite and powder-blue bow tie, while his
mother threw herself over his coffin in anguish. We heard dozens of kids in his neighborhood
express their loss, fears, and anxieties. And we learned more about others who had preceded Dantrell
without note. We were also reminded that death is not an abstract concept for many of these children,
but a grim and all-too common reality.

The front page headline of the Chicago Sun Times read, "7 Year-Old's Death at Cabrini Requires
Action," with an editorial that concluded with, "This isn't something you can let the other guy be
indignant over. It's past time for you to take responsibility for solving the problems of Chicago.
Please don't let this be someone else's problem. It's yours. It's mine. Let's retake our city and begin
working to solve the horribly destructive problems of poverty, helplessness and racism."

Dantrell's death helped bring some measure of peace to Cabrini Green, at least for a while. Guns
were seized, metal detectors installed, and sweeps instigated throughout the neighborhood. Spending
on security measures increased significantly, and area gangs agreed to a truce. Between 1992 and
1993, violent crime in the area decreased from 405 to 271 incidents. Unfortunately, as of this
writing, gang shootings were becoming commonplace again, forcing schools to periodically shut
down during gang crossfires.

Indirectly, Dantrell's death became a catalyst in the creation of Cabrini Connections. Though he had
not attended the Montgomery Ward tutoring program, many kids in his building and at his school
had. And while the media launched a "do something" crusade, with exhortations for everyone to get
involved, Bassill knew this type of hype yielded little result. Although the media and public figures
said more role models, safe places for kids, and programs to compete against gangs were needed, the
city knew next to nothing about the majority of programs already operating. Rather than reaching out
to help these existing programs stay in business, improve, and expand, they touted new ideas with no
histories or proven track records.

As part of Cabrini Connections, Bassill wanted to implement a research and marketing plan that
would locate every existing tutor/mentor program in Chicago and pool resources between them. The
plan would also include the development of programs in areas where few existed. He rationalized
that without quality programs in every neighborhood, city leaders had limited ability to effectively
distribute hope, motivation, and opportunity to every child in every neighborhood of the city, as they
were proposing.

The Northwestern Alliance

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Bassill and a volunteer core of six ardent supporters held their first meetings at the Northwestern
Train Station in late October, 1992. Dubbing themselves the Northwestern Alliance, they created a
vision for Cabrini Connections aimed at helping a growing number of CGTP 2nd through 6th grade
alumni move through high school and into work, while providing volunteer training throughout the
city. They also hoped to help other programs grow and expand.

More and more research was pointing to the importance of mentoring as an effective way to support
children's healthy development. New York's Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development issued a
widely cited report on the challenges facing 20 million adolescents in America. According to their
research, young people who were left on their own or with peers after school were significantly more
likely to become party to a number of social ills-- substance abuse, sexual activity leading to
unwanted pregnancy and disease, crime, and violence -- than those who were engaged in
constructive ideas. The Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago affirmed these
findings and expanded on the need for infrastructures to connect isolated youth programs throughout
the city. A report by Mayor Richard Daley's Youth Development Task Force, Chicago For Youth:
Blueprints for Change, concluded that many support systems -- including families, community
centers, and schools -- had disappeared or been significantly weakened, despite evidence to support
their need from a social and economic standpoint.

All this research only confirmed the need for a program like Cabrini Connections. Unlike other
organizations, Cabrini Connections planned to integrate three separate endeavors -- tutoring,
mentoring, and school to work activities -- into a single, long-term commitment. Their slogan was
pioneered by WGN personality Merri Dee: "If it is to be, it is up to me."

"These kids were unlucky enough to be born into poverty, in an environment where they often don't
have a full range of family and community members to model," says Bassill. "There aren't the
expectations, from the day the child is born, to go beyond high school and enter a career where
they'll earn a living for the rest of their lives. Instead, many of these kids have negative role models
who don't work, who live day to day or are addicted to drugs, or that encourage criminal behavior.
There's also tremendous peer pressure not to be different. Without a structure that surrounds these
kids with positive expectations and reinforcements, from pre school until work, it's extremely
difficult for young people to change their attitudes or expectations for themselves."

Cabrini Connections

The goals and bylaws set in the initial meetings, amid the din and chaos of the crowded
Northwestern Station, are still the core of Cabrini Connections today. In writing the bylaws, the new
board built a governance structure based on Kenneth Dayton's essay, 'Governance is Governance'.
They even went so far as to write Dayton, former CEO of Dayton Hudson Corporation, to determine
the 1993 relevance of his 1986 essay. Within two weeks he responded that "more people are using it
now than when it was written".

With a common operating vision, the new board development process was intended to slowly recruit
directors who understood the program and had proven their ability to commit time to its governance.
Two of the original volunteers joined Bassill in forming the first board, choosing the name Cabrini
Connections to signify their combined history in Cabrini-Green and linkages with other tutor/mentor
programs throughout the city. Although they had proven their commitment, the first two members
lacked board experience. One of those was Donna Giampietro, a controller at Illinois Masonic
Medical Center.

"I remember we had our first meeting in a conference room here at Illinois Masonic," recalls
Giampietro. "There were just three of us, plus the other board member's baby since she couldn't get a
sitter. We had no idea how to even conduct a board meeting and we were laughing, not knowing
what to say. I felt like I was playing at being a board member, not being the real thing. But Dan kept
making us conduct the meetings professionally, and as new members came on, it started to feel

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natural. Now, five years later, I feel like I'm really part of a group of leaders that are very focused on
what their tasks are."

To avoid the kind of board bickering that had predominated the CGTP's meetings during Bassill's
tenure, the new chairman of the board, Ray Dowdle, a national account manager with the Schwartz
Paper Company in Morton Grove, also headed up a 'Glue' committee to keep board members, staff,
and volunteers united and committed. 'Glue' activities included regular get-togethers, such as
fundraising events and barbecues in Dowdle's backyard.

"I try to be aware of the teamwork aspect of the board and make sure that everyone feels comfortable
about their contribution," says Dowdle. "People sometimes think they're sliding on their
commitments if they can't devote a lot of time, but everything they do, large or small, adds up to a
lot. So I make sure they feel good about whatever they are doing and encourage them to reach
greater heights. And I look at the interaction between board members and staff to make sure they
understand each other's role. Board members need to appreciate what the staff are doing since they
are the lifeblood of program."

"Ray really helps keep board members together," says Giampietro. "I think you get more
accomplished when you feel comfortable in a group. In five years, I haven't seen a single conflict
during board meetings."

From the beginning, the organization was structured with two key components or 'services': The
Kids' Connection and The Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC). These programs were created based on
experience, areas of need, and knowledge-based research.

The Kids' Connection

With little encouragement at home, 9-year old Jimmy lacked direction. He'd seen some nasty stuff in
the hood, and had worries about his own future. And inside, he yearned to be part of something
special, to find his place. He was lured to the tutoring program by stories of Christmas parties and
Halloween treats. There, he met Faye -- bright, energetic, and savvy. Faye hit him over the head with
the importance of education. She told him what he needed to do to get ahead, that good jobs didn't
just happen. The lessons echoed in his throbbing temples, slowly penetrating through the years.
Somehow, ten years later, it all started making sense. Things clicked. At 19, secret yearnings were
realized when Jimmy was hired by Cabrini Connections to work for the same people who had once
tutored him. He was part of something important. He'd found his place.

The Kids' Connection was created to serve 7th-12 graders, with the ultimate goal of getting students
through college and/or into careers. Program founders drew heavily on their combined 40-plus years
of CGTP experience to set this component up.

In January, 1993 the new organization launched its first student program, meeting twice a month
with fifteen teens at Wells high school for lunch mentoring sessions. In February, they began a
Saturday morning mentoring/improvisation session at St. Matthew's Church on Orleans Street, on
the east fringe of Cabrini Green, meeting with five students in the day room of the church. One of
the first students to join was Anita Gunartt, who would later become editor of the Cabrini
Connections' student magazine, Wuz Up?

"The plays... when I was younger, I had no problem doing them," says Anita. "I'm too shy now, but it
was fun. It's made me more mature, more responsible. Cabrini Connections explains itself -- it
connects you with people that will take you higher. Not to the highest place... the only one who can
do that is the Lord."

With an operating budget of zero dollars, Cabrini Connections incorporated that same month, with
Bassill picking up the legal fees himself.

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 9
"In some ways, I could not have done this if it were not for my mom," he says. "She left me a small
inheritance which I could live off of for about a year. It was money I didn't expect and didn'Õt earn,
so I felt I could justify using it as income while starting Cabrini Connections."

In April, Bassill reopened conversations with Montgomery Ward executives, saying "They fired me
from the CGTP, not you."

He proposed that while the CGTP should continue to support more than 400 kids in their 2nd
through 6th grade program, Cabrini Connections could take them from 7th grade through college
and work. It was what the executives who supported the first tutoring program had wanted all along.
They not only offered funds, but an entire floor in the Montgomery Ward Tower on Chicago Avenue.

"This was a real turning point," says Giampietro. "It felt like we'd gone from a tutoring program on
wheels to a legitimate business."

By August, Cabrini Connections moved into the 20,000 square foot office space with an exotic
four-sided view of the Chicago loop, including the Cabrini Green neighborhood. Montgomery Ward
also set up fifty desks and chairs, library shelves, and telephones. Bassill supplied his own personal
Macintosh computers, stocked his desk drawers, and opened shop.

"The Kids' Connection was an extension of everything we ever learned about building a tutor/mentor
program for 2nd through 6th grade kids, and what we had started to build with the 7th through 10th
grade Junior Assistant program at CGTP," says Bassill. "In fact, many of our founders and first
volunteers came from the Cabrini-Green Tutoring Program, and some continue to this day to
volunteer with both programs."

Gena Schoen, a long-time volunteer and former Montgomery Ward employee, was brought on staff
to help manage The Kids' Connection.

"Each year, it's taken more effort to run the kids' programs," says Schoen. "And it's been full of
frustrations and challenges. We've had to firm up discipline and now conduct an initial interview
with each prospective student to try to get kids committed to the program and to make sure they
understand what our expectations of them are. We also want our volunteers to be committed so that
they'll keep coming back. So far, it's worked really well. We've even stopped many of our recruiting
efforts and got most of our volunteers through word of mouth."

Activities were designed around a Career Success Steps action plan, the Cabrini Connections
blueprint for bringing a child from 7th grade through high school and into college and/or a career.
The steps are a succession of accomplishments and activities that start with getting students and
volunteers to attend consistently, then add additional experiences, training, and support to motivate
students to use education as the path to a career.

The first two steps focused on building regular adult and student participation in one-on-one

"This is an after-school program," explains Schoen. "We constantly have to provide activities,
organization, and reinforcements which keep both the adults and students attending regularly, even
in the winter when it's so cold and harsh outside. Our goal is to promote education through our
mentors, who can demonstrate the relationship between learning and opportunity in every weekly

"As this takes hold students become more and more motivated to learn, which is the key to real
school reform in most inner city neighborhoods," suggests Bassill. "It can't happen with a one-stop
visit by some celebrity, like a famous basketball player. It's a day to day responsibility which must be
reinforced over and over and over. That's something mentors can do, as long as they stick with it."

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 10
The next steps involved on-going experience and enrichment activities to get kids motivated to learn
and pursue their dreams, with mentors constantly reinforcing an "I did it. You can too" attitude. This
was accomplished through continuous career counseling, field trips to businesses and universities,
motivational speakers, and special programs that exposed students to new experiences, and taught
them key skills. Most of the activities involved creative partnerships with businesses and other
non-profit organizations. Pen Pal Mentoring, for example, was a letter-writing project between
Cabrini Connections students and ChildrenÕs Memorial Hospital staff, which began in 1995.
Through the letter-writing mentors, students became intimately familiar with careers they may have
never otherwise considered, while learning important work ethics and professionalism. As the
hospital team developed the letter-writing project, they later expanded it to an annual Career Day at
the hospital.

"I liked hearing what a physical therapist said," says Kaealya Coleman, a 12th grader who now
aspires to be one herself. "I heard lawyers and doctors, but the sight of blood makes me nauseous.
Being a PT, I wouldn't have to cut people up. I'm gonna hang in there, because I have people here to
help. I'm a B student, a peer tutor, academic decathlon, saxophone player... Very active."

As the program developed, a wide range of activities were added. In the summers of 1996 and 1997,
four students had an opportunity to travel to Aspen, Colorado to participate in the Grassroots Aspen
Experiences with city kids from around the country. Nine others took part in a video workshop,
where they learned to produce their own projects.

The volunteers leading the video workshops were Gloria Hall-Brewster, a producer with the Jenny
Jones show, and Carrie Clifford, now with MTV in Santa Monica. They met with students one
evening a week, with dinners donated from Chicago-area restaurants.

"For the first video project, we gave students cameras and asked them to conduct a walking-talking
tour of Cabrini Connections and describe their neighborhood," says Clifford. "A freelance editor cut
it for us right away, so the kids were able to get immediate gratification, seeing their work and
themselves on a television screen. They loved it. Their faces expressed their excitement. From there,
the students broke into several small teams to put their own projects together."

The workshops were topped off with a March 1997 Cabrini Connections Film Festival where the
final projects were showcased, and included an interview with radio personality Jimmy Jam, another
with a young gang member, and a trip to a fire station.

"Jenny Jones donated a limo for the kids to arrive in," says Clifford, "so they came to the festival in
style. Over 100 people showed up, including CLTV and WGN reporters. The students had an aura
about them all night, they were so proud about the pieces they had produced."

Other students participated in writing workshops where they developed and published books of
poetry and their own magazine, WUZ UP. In addition, dozens of men and women from professions
such as medicine, sports, engineering and photo journalism came to weekly tutor/mentor sessions to
share the secrets of their careers and to reinforce the message, "I did it, you can too".

As students graduated from 7th and 8th grade and moved into high school, they took a new step --
preparing for college and the workplace. The Success Steps field trips included visits to Illinois
Wesleyan, Illinois State, Notre Dame and a variety of Chicago universities.

At the same time, program leaders recognized that by 10th grade, students were looking for jobs, so
they worked with volunteers to prepare students with interviewing, job responsibilities, and team
skills. Volunteers, like Cheryl Johnson of American Express, provided training and made direct links
to their companies for hands-on work experience.

"I'm a trainer by trade," says Johnson, now a Cabrini Connections board member. "I've spoken to the
students on career involvement and what it takes to get ahead. I also work closely with American

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 11
Express" summer intern program and make sure some Cabrini students get to participate for some
real life training on the job."

Career counselling became an on-going process in the Kids' Connection. Weekly interactions with
volunteers demonstrated a range of careers and opportunities that students might never have been
exposed to otherwise.

Furthermore, every Kids' Connection volunteer could help expand students' network base of adults
who were committed to helping them, not just while they were going through high school or college,
but throughout life.

The final two Success Steps involved mentoring and job support as students left high school and
moved into their careers.

"The Kids' Connection is committed to providing unlimited years of support, mentoring, coaching
and job-connections until a student is secure in a career," says Bassill. "The concluding step then,
starts the cycle over for a 7th grade child, with the hope that our graduates will become life-long
mentors and role models for the younger children."

This cycle has already started.

"Tutoring was that place to go and keep me off the street and have fun," says 20-year-old Jimmy
Biggs, a Cabrini Connections graduate and current part-time employee. "But tutoring now is the
place to give back. (As an employee) I now help kids from my community as a mentor, while still
being mentored by some of the same people who were there for me when I was younger."

One of Jimmy's earlier mentors had been Schoen, now a co-worker. For Schoen, the close
relationships she established with many of the students also had a price.

”The biggest challenge was not getting too involved with the kids," says Schoen, "but you can't help
it with the ones who come around more often. I ended up devoting a lot of time to one student,
driving him to his probation officer and helping him deal with juvenile crime issues. It was a big
emotional and physical drain. Another time we had a kid tell her volunteer that she was being
abused. We were required by law to report it, and it came back substantiated. There are nights I go
home and cry because even though you hear some horrible stories and want to yank those kids out of
their homes, you have to step back."

An evaluation process was initiated early on to monitor success. As part of Cabrini Connections'
quality improvement efforts, data on student and volunteer participation was charted weekly, with
bar graphs prepared for year- to-year comparisons. While participation and student advancement
were the first measures of success, student grades were also collected and used in goal setting with
volunteers. Grades were entered into a bar graph tracking system intended to build a year-to-year
trend line.

"We're looking to develop a computer tracking system, by grade and by grade average, that can tell
us when a student's performance moves up, or down," says Bassill. "If we can catch a change early
and reward the good or determine the cause of the bad, we can spur on good performance, and
maybe prevent bad performance from becoming a habit. This technology doesn't exist so we're still
keeping trend lines on paper-based charts until we can develop something ourselves."

In the last four years, the program has learned to combine mentoring, tutoring, school-to-work and a
strong personal commitment in a long-term process. It has had to develop new terms to describe its
process because the old terms, "tutoring, mentoring, school-to-work", were too narrow to define the
broad range of support that Kids' Connection offered. Two years ago, the program coined the phrase
'tutor/mentor' to capture the combined impact of an adult volunteer who motivates on an ongoing
basis before a student might become interested in the learning side.

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 12
They also created a name modeled after a business term to define the process - Total Quality
Mentoring (TQM) -- signaling their commitment to provide a continuously improving range of
supports designed to move a child from school to work.

Research developed since Cabrini Connections was formed supported the TQM concept. The
Public/Private Ventures study of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters programs, proved that well-conducted
mentoring programs, widely available and at relatively modest cost, could significantly delay the
onset of drug and alcohol usage among youngsters, and boost school retention and performance.
Quantum Opportunities Project reviews suggested that a program that sticks tenaciously with
youngsters from welfare families through the high school years could have strong, positive effects on
their graduation and college attendance rates.

As of June 1997, nearly 100 teens were enrolled in the Kids' Connection, with a growing number
attending more than 80% of the year-round sessions. Today, six graduates are in college and two
have jobs, one with American Express and one with Cabrini Connections.

For Giampietro, there's a simple explanation for the volunteer commitment that was necessary for
this type of success.

"It's a beautiful thing to be involved with. I don't understand why more people don't do it."

The Tutor/Mentor Connection

Cabrini Connections' second key component was the Tutor Mentor Connection, or the T/MC,
launched in January of 1994. Borrowing from the research of the Carnegie Council and the Chapin
Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, the T/MC was developed to provide the
infrastructure any city needed to link tutor/mentor programs together, and to help neighborhoods in
need have enough programs to serve every child.

Marc Freedman, author of  The Kindness of Strangers (considered the definitive book on mentoring)
stated that mentoring programs needed sound infrastructures to be successful.

"In most cities, there's really a sort of vacuum in technical assistance and support for mentoring,"
wrote Freedman. "Especially if there's going to be a big push for new mentors after the Presidents'
Summit, we need more people paying attention to how to run good mentoring programs, based on
what we know from the research."

Freedman listed a number of ways mentoring programs were falling short of their potential:

● Missing infrastructure, poor program models, missing follow-up

● Emphasis on marketing and recruitment instead of program support
● Poor or no coordination
● Conducted in isolation
● Few dollars for operational expenses; few programs with resources to serve
● mentors as well as mentees
● Missing knowledge regarding effective practices
● Little appreciation of how hard it is to put mentoring into action

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 13
The T/MC hoped to provide this infrastructure by using knowledge smartly to gain an advantage. That
meant researching where other city programs were and what they were already doing. This would allow
T/MC to help others build quality programs, while providing best practices models to compare themselves
and others with. They also looked toward business models as best practices, borrowing quality
improvement principles and conducting their own research and development. T/MC leaders also had a keen
understanding of the power of advertising, public relations, and technology. They knew that good ideas
were only useful if they could be made easily available to leaders of tutor/mentor programs on an on- going

In 1993, the T/MC developed research and communications components designed to help others build total
quality programs in neighborhoods throughout the city. For this effort, Bassill recruited several volunteers,
the public relations firm Public Communications, Inc. (PCI), an associate professor of economics at Illinois
Wesleyan University, and the Metro Chicago Information Center (MCIC.)

"We had to design the T/MC in a vacuum," says Bassill. "We couldn't find another non-profit to model that
did what we were trying to do in the entire country, let alone Chicago."

The group met throughout 1993 and launched a survey in January of 1994. The survey was mailed to
five-hundred non-profit organizations around Chicago, asking for help in identifying tutor/mentor programs
and inquiring about interest in connecting through conferences or workshops. Nearly 120 surveys came
back. Of those, 55% said they had little or no contact with peers; 75% said they would like to have more
contact; And 90% said they would come to a conference if little or no money were required.

Using address information gathered about other programs, the T/MC group used MCIC's Geographic
Information System technology to create maps that showed the location of the programs, with special
overlays to illustrate neighborhood poverty, schools on probation, and even potential sources of volunteers
and revenue.

"This was one of the most important developments of the T/MC," says Bassill. "While a directory like the
United Way Blue Book lists lots of service organizations, it doesn't really show the distribution of these
programs or how well an area is covered with service providers. It doesn't help draw partners to programs.
A map is a visual directory. It immediately communicates a pattern of distribution, showing which areas
have higher needs. It lets us focus on the needs of the entire city, not just the most visible neighborhoods."

While the first maps were produced by MCIC, the T/MC was able to bring the map building capacity to its
own offices and now provides neighborhood map reports to fellow tutor/mentor programs to help them
connect with each other and locate potential business partners.

Based on the initial survey results, the T/MC team worked with PCI to create a T/MC Directory of
programs, plan the first T/MC conference, and generate media interest through local newspapers and
networks, business and trade publications, church media, and Access TV.

Bob Aaron, Director of Public Relations Director at Wesleyan University, welcomed the opportunity to
promote tutor/mentor activities since many alumni, including Dan Bassill, were involved. Yvonne Jones,
Chicago Area Alumni Director, was a member of the Cabrini Connections Board of Directors and Carl
Dixon, current President of the Chicago Area IWU Alumni, was a volunteer who had provided legal
services for the organizing of Cabrini Connections,. In addition, Alan Leahigh, Vice President at PCI, had
opened the link to his PR firm while James Sikora, a professor of sociology, had enlisted students to
volunteer as part of his urban studies program. Furthermore, Pam Lowry, assistant professor of economics,
had been involved with the geographic mapping research and Mike Seeborg, professor of economics, had
included field trips to Cabrini Connections as part of his course on the economics of race, poverty, and
gender, resulting in a number of new pen pal relationships between IWU and Cabrini students.

"As far as the publicity and all the public service awards, Dan frankly couldn't care less," says Aaron,
"except for the way in which it helps promote the overall concept of tutoring and mentoring. The first time
I saw Dan in action I was totally impressed, not just with his humanity but his management skills. Over the

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 14
years I've seen people with good intentions who couldn't manage their way out a paper bag, and that
certainly wasn't Dan. So I've tracked stories about him and the T/MC over the years. And as a result, we've
promoted volunteerism in our President's annual report. We also modeled what the T/MC had done with
their directory to do our own national study of volunteer programs at colleges and universities throughout
the country. This was in large part spurred by Dan's work."

The first T/MC conference was held at the Catholic Charities facility in Chicago. The T/MC had significant
help from Science Linkages in the Community (SLIC) in organizing the event. Seventy people attended to
hear presentations by leaders of various tutor/mentor programs, such as the Fourth Presbyterian Church,
After school Action Programs, SLIC and Cabrini Connections. The guest speaker and funding for the
conference came from the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), SLIC's

Schoen was heavily involved in organizing the workshops for the conference:

"ÒThe workshops were designed to reach beginners and advanced tutors and mentors. It provided real nuts
and bolts information for beginners, and for more experienced people, it addressed topical issues such as
school segregation."

Jane Angelis, director and founder of the Inter-Generational Initiative, attended a number of the workshops.

"No matter how much you think you know, there's so much more you can learn," says Angelis. "What I like
about the T/MC workshops is that there is such a diversity of people leading them, not just your
stereotypical academics, but people on the front lines. I can't emphasize the value enough because Dan and
the T/MC have captured the imagination of so many people and made them feel that anything is possible."

Angelis is also an advocate and frequent user of the T/MC Directory.

"The directory is especially valuable because it basically gives you a map and is at least a starting point
toward building coalitions. It's also very valuable for my colleagues at Intergenerational, because it helps
them realize there are many other people doing tutoring and mentoring."

While the survey and conferences brought tutor/mentor program leaders together, the T/MC plan hoped to
bring start-up and on-going support to other Chicago programs. They realized the long-term commitment
would require support from businesses, universities, churches, and social and civic groups, which somehow
had to be communicated to them. Using the conferences and other events the T/MC had developed, PCI
was able to generate substantial media interest, with dozens of stories appearing in the Chicago Tribune,
Chicago Sun Times, Cranes, and most neighborhood papers. Many other reports appeared on local TV and
radio stations, including WGN TV. In May of 1994 the Chicago Tribune featured a one-half page T/MC
editorial by John McCarron which described the T/MC as "...a master plan for saving our children."

Board chairman Dowdle concurs with McCarron's perspective of the program:

"The Tutor/Mentor Connection has some real power. Dan has created a marketing plan that is helping
thousands of kids in Chicago and his plan has the capacity to help thousands upon thousands more as it

As other newspapers reported negative stories of kids killing kids or schools on probation, the T/MC
developed maps showing tutor/mentor programs within a mile of the site of the shooting or the school
profiled in the paper, and sent these to the papers for follow up stories that would show what programs
were out there trying to prevent the violence, and list names and phone numbers so volunteers, donors, and
potential partners could offer help. While mainstream papers have yet to print one of these maps, the T/MC
has developed plans to use the internet to go directly to the public, with the addition of a directory and map
technology on its web site. They are also utilizing public access TV, creating a direct link for potential

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 15
Lend A Hand

One of the biggest challenges for any non-profit is raising the necessary cash to stay in business, despite
evidence that high-risk youths who are kept out of trouble through intervention programs could save
society as much as $2 million a youth per lifetime. Dollars for general operations are especially hard for
non-profits to sustain. This funding is especially critical in youth programs where the glue that keeps
volunteers and children attending regularly comes from the programs' staff. Since few foundations had
funding programs that provided long-term support for general operations, Bassill looked for a way to
change that.

An opportunity came when the Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF), which was already distributing grants to
local programs, agreed to partner with the T/MC to share resources and expertise.

"What attracted me to the T/MC was that it was like us in attempting to provide support that wouldn't
reinvent the wheel," says CBF's Executive Director, Betsy Densmore. "We had resisted supporting new
programs because we felt there were lots out there and wanted to support existing ones instead. Dan seemed
very oriented to providing management and technical support for organizations through his conferences and
newsletter, and we were best equipped to recruit volunteers and raise money. So it was symbiotic for both
of us."

Together, they established a Lend A Hand Fund, with an Advisory Council to raise and distribute funds.
They also co-sponsored the November Tutor/Mentor Week to raise visibility and funds for local programs.
By May of 1997, $150,000 had been raised and distributed in the form of small grants. In addition, the CBF
used Chicago Bar Association media to promote tutoring and mentoring to its 22,000 members, using the
T/MC Directory to refer potential volunteers to the various programs. They also formed the Law Bridges
program, drawing advice from the T/MC to build the program in partnership with the Constitutional Rights
Foundation. In 1996, Law Bridges had twelve teams of lawyers and judges making monthly visits to twelve
different tutor/mentor programs in Chicago to mentor kids in law-related subjects. In 1996 the CBF
launched a new program, Tickets for Kids, which solicited tickets to sports and cultural events from
lawyers and judges, and distributed them to programs in the T/MC Directory.

"I think that the model we've created is pretty good and one in which we encourage a lot of networking and
sharing," says Densmore. "I1m proud to be part of what I think is a good balance. I also think there's a lot
of energy in low-budget grass-roots programs. It would be ideal if we had a much bigger pot of money for
them because unfortunately we have not yet managed to find a steady income stream."

Through its own continuing media campaign, including a quarterly T/MC Report, the T/MC extolled the
virtues of the Lend A Hand program and the different tutor/mentor programs they learned about,
encouraging programs to borrow from each other to constantly improve, and to encourage the thousands of
corporations on their mailing list to become strategically involved with programs in their neighborhoods.

Volunteer Fairs

While dollars were critical, so were the volunteers that made tutor/mentor programs succeed. The PCI
media campaign highlighted the need for volunteers. In early 1995, the T/MC began to use the Chicago
Access TV channel 42 to recruit volunteers for its own Kids' Connection and provide information about
T/MC conferences. Reaching an audience of 300,000 households, it was a very affordable medium for a
small non profit.

Bassill saw a potential of creating a special listing of tutor/mentor programs which could be published with
each new school year, when programs were typically looking for volunteers. When he posed this idea at a
June, 1995 networking meeting of intergenerational programs, Ken Bernat of the Department of Aging
suggested that volunteer fairs could be held at different city sites in Chicago. With space provided, Bassill
recruited tutor/mentor program leaders near those sites to serve as hosts and launched the Tutor/Mentor
Connection's first Citywide Volunteer Recruitment Campaign. While the turnout for the fairs was low, the
media coverage was great, with PCI generating nearly 3.4 million impressions through a variety of print

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 16
and television interviews. Furthermore, the Access TV listing of over 30 programs generated over 1000
inquiries from prospective volunteers. Using what he learned from this pilot program, Bassill set out to
improve the campaign in the following years.

In 1996 the number of volunteer fairs increased to seven, the quality of the sites improved, and Merri Dee,
of WGN TV signed on as spokesperson, using radio and televised interviews on WGN and other stations to
talk about tutoring and mentoring and to call volunteers out to the fairs.

Supporting their efforts, the Chicago Sun Times ran an article called "Give a kid the greatest gift: ability to
read". The article stated that " the speech accepting his renomination, President Clinton called for a
nationwide program to mobilize reading tutors. Chicago's Tutor/Mentor Connection already has mapped
out a comprehensive plan to do just that, but it can't succeed without your support."

This fall, the third year of the campaign, the number of sites has grown to twelve, with one in Evanston,
one in Oak Park and one in Oak Brook. It also includes leaders of more than 56 organizations, including the
Chicago Public Schools, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers, Literacy Volunteers of Illinois, and many tutor/mentor
programs helping to organize the event. Even businesses joined in, with Coopers & Lybrand organizing and
hosting the volunteer fair at the James Thompson Center, and Borders Books and Music hosting
recruitment tables at four locations.

By April 1997, the T/MC had become so successful that Bassill was invited to serve on Chicago's
delegation to the Presidents' Summit for America's Future, where a T/MC display served as a "teaching
example" that could be duplicated in other cities. In June Bassill was a guest presenter at the Illinois
Summit at the Governor's Mansion in Springfield and has met with mayors of several downstate cities to
offer the T/MC as a model they might duplicate.

What's Next

The T/MC hopes to have its Directory on the internet by the end of 1998, with the potential for a user to
point to a part of the city and get a map enlargement showing that neighborhood, its roads, and dots for
tutor/mentor programs or schools in the area. By touching a tutor/mentor program 'dot', the user could pull
contact and service information, or see a video interview with a student and program leader.

The internet and other new technologies have allowed a small group to reach out to millions of people,
hoping that education, welfare reform, school-to- work and racial healing are important and interesting
enough to draw nationwide responses.

The 1997 Presidents' Summit for America's Future, held in Philadelphia, added a louder voice to the T/MC,
which has planned follow up stories throughout the coming year to showcase different cities' responses.

When Bassill 'opened shop' in 1993, it wasn't to run a nine to five store front. Cabrini Connections' products
and services are 'in use' 24 hours a day, 364 days a year, fueled mostly by the adrenalin of a few staff and

"All we need now," says Bassill, "is a few people with deep pockets who understand and support what
we're doing. With that and our deep commitment to help every child have equal hope and opportunity, we
can reach the middle of the 21st century with a better America for everyone."

Awards and Recognition - see complete list at

• Dan Bassill, President and Founder, receives Good as Gold Award from Publisher's Clearing House
during Dec. 31, 1999 segment of Montl Williams TV show.

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 17
• Dan Bassill a featured speaker at the Illinois Summit, June 12, 1997, held at Governor's Mansion

• Dan Bassill nominated as a "GIRAFFE" "for people who stand tall and take responsibility for making
their world a better place", by The Giraffe Project, Langley, Washington

• Dan Bassil named one of 10 Chicago delegates to April 1997 Presidents' Summit for America's Future

• 100 Big Hearts for Young Heroes, from LaRabida Hospital, to be presented June 27, 1996

• Prime Mover Award - Garland C. Guice Grant Recipient, from The Target Group, June 13, 1996

• MidAmerica Leadership Foundation "Resourcing Leadership Award", presented in April 1996

• David Kellum Award, presented in February 1996 by the Baha'i House of Worship, to Cabrini

• Acacia National Fraternity Award of Merit, to Dan Bassill, October 1994

• Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Community Service Award, to Dan Bassill, March 1989

• Chicago Volunteer Action Center Heart of Gold Award, presented in April of 1987, to Dan Bassill for
volunteer service

The Tutor/Mentor Business, by Sara Coover Caldwell. The story of one person’s effort to create change. Page 18

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