The southwest side lives under constant influence of gangs and poverty. However, Bridgeport seems to be well despite it all. Schools are unable to provide after school programs, therefore leaving the students out for the streets, the only place left to go. Even those who want to avoid the outside influences cannot be helped because of limited funds. Parents are out working to provide for much as their children as they can, so they have to make the painful decision between providing the necessities for their children and giving them extra help. Of course, their first instincts are to provide the necessities. Then again, this is not always the case. Sometimes, there are parents that find themselves incapable of providing for their children or doing it in a dangerous way, therefore putting their kids at risk. Some adults in schools and in the neighborhood stand helpless and unable to do much without the money to do so; others are just hopeless.

The neighborhoods in the southwest side of the city are on the lower side of the income spectrum, except for Bridgeport which has a variety of higher income homes as well as lower income ones. Though the neighborhoods mostly live above the poverty level, they do not live above it by much. The schools in the area reflect this. The schools are not awfully well funded, causing many classrooms in public schools to be over packed and teachers to be overbooked. The neighborhoods in the southwest side do offer some tutor/mentoring programs for students to use. However, these programs are not utilized by as many students as they could. So, students are missing out on the opportunity of a tutor/mentoring program.
The neighborhoods on the southwest side are pretty similar, except for Bridgeport. For the most part, this part of the city is made up of minorities with lower or middle class incomes. Bridgeport, however, boasts more households with upper-middle class incomes, and is a predominantly white area. This means Bridgeport has better funded resources than the other neighborhoods. Bridgeport also has a lower crime rate than the other neighborhoods on the southwest side. Clearly, Bridgeport is the “luckiest” of this part of Chicago.
In my community it isn’t the tutor mentor programs that are at fault it’s the lack there of that’s the issue, There the area in which I have survey suffers from scant availability of these institutions thus nullifying any effect that could possibly have on students. The commute to these programs are simply to inconvenient when several factors are taken into account primarily the one of danger , most schools let out around 3 pm in the afternoon which in the winter it’s already beginning to become dark. Now imagine these children exiting a program at around 5 -6 cause the average stay at one of these post school programs is about 2-3 hours. Given that most of these impoverished areas where most of the needy children are from are on high alert its impractical that they would be making the trek back home alone.
what can be done is to gather resources towards the development of new and or the expansion of proven programs to neighborhoods that actually need them most. Not to suggest that we rob the more affluent communities of their opportunities’ but resources should be allocated accordingly. Firstly as this whole blogging expedition is to spread awareness about tutor mentor programs, educate the public sector about their massive positive influence over children. And through this exposure we have to build our ranks of advocacy, the more people that follow our cause the louder our collective voice. We have to explain to our potential large sponsors that this investment will indeed benefit them in the end. Make it so this plan appear mutually lucrative to both the beneficiaries and the benefactors.
Individuals can definitely put in a good effort to influence students away from street violence, but how much can an individual actually do. Sometimes they are successful in helping a few students, and even they can make all the difference. Maybe those students can then spread the good influence, which I have certainly seen with my own eyes. However, when clubs and after school programs should be opened up, the funds become invisible. If the government and organizations would put their investment into programs which help kids, then we would have less poverty when these kids see what they can really do with themselves. Just a few kids can make all the difference as previously mentioned. These students can have brilliant minds; they just need to be shaped. When all the bad influence surrounds them, it is difficult for them to develop their true talents rather than using their street smarts to get out of dangerous situations. The government complains so much about poverty stricken neighborhoods, yet they aren’t giving enough to them. They just give money to the top when they begin to fall behind. However, what if money was given to the bottom? Doesn’t that make for a better support system? I believe so. If organizations and businesses gave to poorer schools, they make a better name for themselves and create a better neighborhood. Success may not be seen right away, but I’m sure it will in good time.
These proposed solutions can be accomplished through increased programs throughout the southwest side with special attention paid to the impoverished areas. While most of the neighborhoods are well off, the neighborhoods closer to the Loop suffer from poverty. The advantages of more tutor mentor programs is the installation of success in young people’s minds, the desire for education, and increasing the overall well being of the individual and community. Individuals can volunteer their personal time which is at no monetary cost but only a few hours of their time every week. These volunteers can revel in the pleasure of being helpful and shaping the future. More people can start blogs about tutoring and mentoring to raise awareness online and thus throughout the nation. National awareness will cause others to re-evaluate the tutor-mentoring programs in their area and improve them.
Hopefully in the future, when a new group of students come in, they can pick up were we have left off. With fresh minds at work, they may need some help. If they want to make an impact in their area, they’re going to have to start reaching out more. Its time to put their cause out there and make themselves heard. They can start writing to big companies that like to donate to non-profit organizations or write a proposal that outlines the needs of the children living in their area. When writing the blogs, they should inform the reader while grabbing their attention. Make the reader think, what can they do to get involved. If possible it would be informative and effective to write a piece in the local newspaper to make the community aware of what needs to be done to help the current organizations stay afloat, while outlining the benefits of starting new programs in the neighborhood.
With this new group of students coming in, it would be great to get them involved with the actual tutor/mentor programs. Have them go out to these locations to talk to the mentors and mentees. The students could really get a look at how all these programs work, while finding out more about the children that go there. This would make an excellent blog, as it would give the reader an inside look at these programs and make them feel connected to one of the children that go there. A picture is a must, so that the reader can have a face to think of when pondering tutor/mentor programs. The more effort these new students put into their work, there will be a better reaction and overall outcome.

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