The West Sides tutor and mentor programs are incredibly different.  While Austin has a few programs that are thriving, North Lawndale has one stable program, whereas East Garfield has none.  With the economy consistently changing, there is one thing that all nonprofit organizations have in common: funding. Other than North Lawndale, most of the tutor mentor programs that exist on the West Side are primarily funded by individuals, churches, and private organizations.  

The Austin area tutor mentor programs that were previously mentioned in our blog all depend on non-government funding.  After researching the website and attempting to get in contact with Cluster, I learned that their funding depends on individuals, churches, private organizations.  This volunteer, nonprofit organization is run out of two churches, meaning that they do not have the expenses of a building. But this also means they have limited time and space availability.  The Off the Streets Club depends on private donors alone. They have fundraisers such as a luncheon and golf tournament to help raise money as well. The Austin area YMCA also has a tutor mentor program.  According to www.ymcachgo.org , the YMCA receives fund from individual, corporate, and foundation donors.  These donors allow scholarship to those who cannot afford to join. According to my research these organizations rely on people’s donations because they are essential to their programs existence.

As stated in our preceding blogs, one will see that there is one tutor/mentor organization that stands out from any of the others in the North Lawndale area. The Better Boys Foundation receives a big part of its funds from the government and one can visit their website to make individual donations at any time as well. As of late, the economic downturn has heavily impacted the 50 year old organization, as it has with millions of other institutions. The struggling economy has caused the government to cut back on the funds they made available to the foundation by 20 percent. A federal grant of nearly $90,000 has been roughly brought down to around $70,000. One can only imagine how much a $20,000 cut can, will and is affecting such an organization. Resources available to the students are affected in more ways than we can comprehend. With individual funding, the Better Boys Foundation seems to heavily advertise, encourage and ask for individual donations.

When doing my research, I found out that the East Garfield Park area don’t really have tutor mentor programs for the entire area. As stated in the past, some of the schools have tutors to help the children in their schools in different subjects they don’t understand. Other schools in the area have mentors to guide them along the way and to be there to let the child know that some is there and they care. The consequences of this area or these schools not having organized tutor/mentor programs to benefit the children are that the children are not performing to the best of their abilities because they don’t have support from a mentor like other children in other schools. There are children that don’t understand what is going on in their classes and need to tutors but they don’t have them at school or there is not a tutor/mentor program that provides any type of tutoring for children in that area. Tutor/mentor programs could allow children to be a better student, have a different outlook on life and school, and cherish an education.

When people think of government-funded organizations, they often presume that such institutions are safe from most financial worry. After all, who could have more money to help you than the government? However, the economic downturn that the nation is experiencing at the moment has heavily hit such organizations. Institutions are scrambling around in worry, looking into individual and corporate donors to fund the programs that are now at risk It would wise to remember that although the government, a corporation or an individual donor can greatly help with funding, the circumstances can change at any given time and one must be prepared to meet the challenges an event like economic struggles can bring. What kind of difference could stable government funding give tutor mentor programs that are dependent on donations?  If the tutor mentor programs we have researched were receiving government      funds, they could maximize their opportunities for kids.  For example if Cluster received government    funds, maybe they could afford a building of their own.  With a building of their own they would not have the limitations of sharing a church during the week.  If the government was able to provide stable funds to these programs, they would not have the burden of losing a couple or multiple donors. If the schools had government funds or any funding from anywhere else there could be tutor/mentor programs. The school systems are probably not trying their best to get programs. Or maybe it’s not their fault because they don’t have money. Schools want the best for the students they just don’t have the resources to help them.  Government funding that is stable and consistent can relieve a large sum of financial worry.

Advertisements