The Links, Incorporated created its first program facet, Services to Youth, to equip African-American children to use their intellect and spirit of achievement to indeed walk with their fellows in leading the way. Today, The Links, Incorporated continues to implement programs that are responsive to the academic, cultural, health, social awareness, career development, and mentoring needs of youth.
The Links, Incorporated’s Services to Youth facet is an integrated approach to preparing young people to succeed in the 21st century workforce.
The primary goals of this facet are to:
- Promote early literacy
- Implement local mentoring programs from kindergarten through college
- Close the academic achievement gaps from kindergarten through college
- Introduce and support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) education and career readiness
- Implement college readiness programs
- Increase high school and college graduation rates
- Award college scholarships and build educational endowments
- Promote and support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
The Fort Lauderdale (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated – Services to Youth facet, has supported our national initiatives and signature programs, in adherance to our mission to enrich the lives of, and advocate for the betterment of, African-American youth here in Broward County, and on the national level. Some of our accomplishments are as followed:
Programs and events that have been championed and/or supported by Services to Youth:
STEM- Ulating Left Brain, Right Brain Paths to Success
On a national level, partnering with The Links Foundation on a grant from AT&T. Our chapter focus, was to expose middle and high school youth to STEM educational and professional opportunities. Our overall goal was to increase the number of African American and other minorities pursuing and working in STEM related careers.
- On the local level, FLC partnered with Broward County Schools and provided 6 – 9 graders at the Lauderhill STEM –Med 6-12 Center with first -hand accounts of African Americans working in various STEM related careers.
- The second STEM- ulating Left Brain, Right Brain Paths to Success activity was held on December 17, 2013 and featured the CNN Heroes nominee Estella Pyfroms’s Brilliant Bus. The Brilliant Bus is a coach style bus which was re-designed, fitted and equipped as a technology computer center on wheels. The bus traveled to Lauderhill’s STEM – Med 6-12 Center, with its owner and creator and gave 45 students a chance to see how mobile technology works. The students were also able to visit the NASA website to see the programs and games available to them for free.
- The partnership with Lauderhill Stem- Med Center will continue for the remainder of the program year at a various times and programming. This was our second year with Lauderhill STEM – Med and we look forward to continuing that relationship and our services to the youth at Lauderhill STEM Med Center.
- Annual signature program—”White Rose Honorees,” which honors local high school seniors for academic achievement, leadership, and community service. Honorees participate in a series of workshops that help prepare them for life after high school and future careers. This program also provides support for those honorees that vie for the Miami Herald’s Silver Knight Award. More than $95,000 in scholarships has been awarded to these honorees since inception of this program. Approximately $60,000 has been awarded to deserving graduating seniors over the past four years.
- Sponsorship of the Kid’s Vote Broward, Voter Education Project. Chapter members participate by working at precincts and demonstrating the voting process to students who come to the polls with their parents.
- Ugandan Children’s Foundation through sponsorship of the award winning Ugandan Tour of Light at the Broward Performing Arts Center.
- Collaboration with Broward Community College and the Brotherhood of Man Lecture series, giving local youth the opportunity to be involved in workshops and presentations featuring notables such as: Tony Brown, Vinnette Carroll, Nikki Giovanni, Alex Haley, Roosevelt Grier and others.
- The Fort Lauderdale Chapter of The Links, Incorporated published Black Pioneers in Broward Counter – A Legacy Reveal 1976.
- Provided tutoring in the evenings for students of parents in the Community School Adult Program at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School.
- Provided books for and reading to students at Central Charter School.
- Provided about 100 lunches for students on Spring Break who helped to build homes for Habitat for Humanity in Broward County.
- Participated and supported the Annual Community Kwanza festival.
- Launched Childhood Obesity Prevention program in collaboration with Commit 2B Fit.