Last Thursday, EL Da' Sheon and I attended a Delegate Agency Meeting & Recognition Luncheon for the City of Chicago Department of Family & Support Services Youth Division. You may remember, last year we won an award "For Outstanding Performance in Youth Development." Well, this year, we were honored again, "For Outstanding Performance in Youth Opportunities." Of all the programs funded by the city for mentoring, we are the best! Thank you to every student, volunteer, staff member, board member, and donor for making this possible. I hope you will continue to support us as we go for a three-peat in 2011!
On Thursday night, we held our last tutor/mentor session of the quarter. It was an "open" session for the holidays, meaning students could bring food and play games if they chose to, or continue working as usual. Attendance continues to be fantastic and both students and volunteers finished at over 85% for the quarter. (Our goal is 80%.) Listen to holiday messages from our students below.
A parent called at the end of the night to warn her daughter about a shooting in Cabrini Green on Cambridge Avenue where they live. Two fellow students ended up walking her from our center to the area. A policeman had to walk her the rest of the way to her house. It is stunning to think that someone was being shot at on the other side of the bridge while we were celebrating the holidays at 800 W. Huron. It is a sad reminder of why programs like Cabrini Connections are still needed in this area and in high-poverty areas around Chicago. Mike Trakan's recent series of maps does a good job of picturing this situation. I recommend viewing them on his blog here.
Thanks for reading. Happy Holidays!