Sacramento Links

The mission of the Sacramento Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is to enrich, sustain and ensure the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. We strive to respond to the needs and aspirations of the underserved by empowering individuals and communities through sustainable programs that enrich and transform lives.

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Help the Sacramento Chapter of the Links Inc., by donating to our program, "Educate a Girl and Change the World," on The Big Day of Giving, May 4, 2017. Your support will help the Links' International Trends Facet implement the program and every dollar will go towards transforming a girl's life in our community and in a community abroad. Around the world girls face barriers to being in the classroom and obtaining an education that boys don't have. Sixty-six million girls are not in school (UNESCO). There are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary school (Education First). A girl with an extra year of education can earn more than 20% more income as an adult (The World Bank).

Therefore, if you want to strengthen the economy, educate a girl.
If you want to seriously address poverty, educate a girl.
If you want to strengthen the family, educate a girl.
If you want to change the world, educate a girl.

We cannot wait another minute to take action. Join our movement over the next three years to:
1. Educate and inspire girls in the Sacramento community to learn about these issues and to stay in school to develop their own paths to self-discovery and academic success
2. Fund at least ten girls' high school education over a three year period in, Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas and one of the poorest nations in the world (according to the World Bank).

On February 1, 2015 the U.S. State Department reported that the primary school enrollment rate in Haiti is 49%, the average Haitian child will spend only 3.9 years in school, and 49% of Haitian children entering the 3rd grade are unable to read a single word. For pennies a day these girls lives will be forever changed and the world along with them. The International Trends program will transform girls' lives. Don't you want to be a part of this powerful program? Don't you want to be recognized for "Educating a Girl and Changing the World" during the 2017 Big Day of Giving?

Our kickoff event will be in partnership with the Sacramento Crocker Art Museum and the Girl Scouts of Central California. On March 2, 2017, we will present the internationally acclaimed documentary "Girl Rising" to a local community of over 400 girls and women.

Program Successes
We cannot wait another minute to take action. Join our movement over the next three years to:
1. Educate and inspire girls in the Sacramento community to learn about these issues and to stay in school to develop their own paths to self-discovery and academic success
2. Fund at least ten girls' high school education over a three year period in, Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas and one of the poorest nations in the world (according to the World Bank).
We are working diligently with multiple partners to change the narrative that health is directly related to one's zip code. Zip code 95838 encompasses Del Paso Heights, Strawberry Manor, and a few other surrounding neighborhoods. This zip code falls within the medically underserved and primary care-shortage areas as designated by the State of California. Although this community is challenged with high incidence of infant mortality, few healthy food options, high percentage of high school drop-out rate and subsequent high unemployment, we continued to remain confident that resources to support our programs and events have helped to move the needle and make a positive impact on these neighborhoods.

Program Mission/Vision:
Our mission, simply put, is health parity. We want to be instrumental in reducing health disparities and inequities in the 95838 neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods by building trust through our consistent presence, educating residents on how to improve their own health outcomes with effective programming and expanding our collaborative competencies for a greater impact.

Program Goals and Objectives:
Our program seeks to partner with those organizations with similar goals that will positively influence the multi-generational health consciousness of the target communities.

Program Successes
Program Activities/Outputs:
- For the last several years we partnered to sponsor the Wellness Expo at Grant High School
- We partnered with City of Sacramento, Neighborhood Wellness Foundation and Grant High School; our theme in 2017 was Mind, Body & Soul, A Journey to Heal, A Movement to Empower
- We collaborated with the North Sacramento Coalition to schedule the Expo at the conclusion of the community's Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) March
- We had over 34 vendors providing a variety of services from information on PTSD and mental health to skill development and family support
- We had medical screening for high blood pressure, diabetes and dental as well as a mobile mammography RV
- Physicals were done for the youth sports league and engaging activities such as knitting and theatrical story time were highlights for all ages
- Lunch and workshops were provided to teens addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), Underage Drinking and Sex Education
- Prime-Time Boxing exhibited boxing as an exciting, effective form of fitness

We had over 3400 participants at the Wellness Expo and increase of over 2000 from last year.

Organizational Overview:
The Links, Incorporated is a national organization of African American professional women who are committed to serving and strengthening their communities through volunteer work focused on services to youth, the arts, national and international trends, and health and human services. For the past 64 years, the Sacramento Chapter of The Links, Incorporated has dedicated itself to serving the African American and broader Sacramento community through a variety of programs and services.

Program Description:
The economic and social vitality of our Sacramento region is dependent upon the ability of our young people to become self-sufficient and contributing members of the community. In our competitive, twenty-first century economy, young adults know a college degree is essential for success.

Unfortunately, low college attendance and completion rates for African American students have a significant impact on the economic viability of our region. Sacramento County has the second highest concentration of African American children in the state. 13% of the K-12 population in Sacramento County is African American.

A primary obstacle to college for many African American students is cost. The average cost per year at a public four year university is $19,548. For many students, the challenge of paying for college prevents them from attending, or forces them to begin at a community college and hope to transfer to a four year institution. When students do enroll in a four year university, 70% of them graduate with student loan debt, with an average of $28,950 per borrower.

For more than twenty years, the Sacramento Chapter of The Links, Incorporated has sought to help students overcome this obstacle through its scholarship program. To date, The Sacramento Links Scholarship Program has provided over $300,000 in scholarships to more than 260 students.

The Sacramento Links Scholarship Program includes four scholarship opportunities, open to all graduating seniors of African heritage in the Sacramento region who exemplify academic excellence and exhibit leadership potential. These opportunities include:

- The Marjorie Patterson Scholarship, in honor of the first president of The Links, Inc. Sacramento Chapter; preference for this scholarship is given to seniors seeking careers in the performing arts.
- The Kathleen Pitts Memorial (STEM) Scholarship, awarded to a graduating senior who is planning to pursue a STEM major in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics, honors a dedicated math teacher who was inducted into the Sacramento Hall of Fame for Black Educators.
- The John Marshall Memorial Scholarship is awarded in the memory of a Sacramento Unified School District teacher who supervised a Sacramento Links project focused on at-risk students; this scholarship provides support to students who seek vocational training
- Sacramento Links General Scholarships are available for students who are pursuing higher education in all disciplines
Program Successes
The Sacramento Chapter of the Links, Incorporated gives scholarships and awards annually to graduating high school seniors of African heritage who exemplify academic excellence and exhibit leadership potential. Academic scholarships have been awarded to graduating high school seniors for over 20 years. The Sacramento Links have awarded over $85,000 to 59 students in scholarships during the last 4 years. Since inception the program has aided over 260 students with $300,000 in scholarship opportunities.

The Sacramento Links Scholarship Program Success Quotes:
"The scholarships I received allowed me to forgo student loans my first year. They also allowed me to purchase books, necessary supplies and required programs online as well as contributed to my housing. Had I not received the scholarships provided by the Sacramento Chapter of the Links, Inc. I would have definitely applied for student loans and been forced to obtain a job. My future plan is to enter the banking industry or to pursue a business management career and possibly start my own business." - Quincy Brown, 2015 scholarship recipient, UCLA

"Receiving the Links Scholarship was an essential resource in helping me attend Morehouse College because I only had the financial support of a single parent. I am a sophomore in the Dual Degree Engineering Program with a double major in Mathematics and Mechatronic Engineering. The scholarship process with the Sacramento Links was just as valuable as the scholarship. Had I not applied, I would not have been as prepared and disciplined to apply and receive additional scholarship and grants." - Caleb Christian Davis, 2014 scholarship recipient, Morehouse College

Program Success Monitoring
The Sacramento Links Scholarship Program maintains a comprehensive start to finish application and award process. Administration and data keeping of the Sacramento Links Scholarship Program is a priority to ensure programmatic success and the perpetuity of this scholarship program.

Using Google Forms and Microsoft Excel The Sacramento Links Scholarship Program collects and maintains information to accomplish the following:
- Manage application process
- Maintain contact with scholarship recipients beyond the grant cycle
- Maintain contact with school outreach partners
- Create a bank for awardee success stories
- Encourage recipients to share the scholarship announcement with other deserving students outside of our normal communication channels
- Manage success metrics associated with the Links Scholarship program
- Invite past recipients to attend Links events
- Advertise other scholarship and internship opportunities
- Invite past recipients to donate to the scholarship fund

The truest measure of The Sacramento Links Scholarship success is in the words of recipients attending the college of their choice.

"I am very grateful to the Sacramento Chapter of Links for making an investment in my education by awarding me a generous scholarship. Your scholarship allowed me to purchase books and supplies for the school year. Thank your for all of your support." Zaria Watkins, 2014 scholarship recipient, New York University

"The Sacramento Links scholarship helped me to pursue my goal of attending a four-year university. I am currently studying psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, my first-choice school. While there, I have already begun to learn more about myself through my on-campus experiences and college courses. I look forward to completing my goal of achieving a bachelor's degree and I am grateful to the Sacramento Links for their financial support, as well as the advice and memories I gained while participating in the Links Achievers program." Isaiah Cooley, 2015 scholarship recipient, University of Nevada, Reno

The Achievers Program is a six-month program for African American high school male seniors to help prepare and support their transition to college or life after high school. The Achiever's Program consists of 16 development sessions for high-achieving African American males who are juniors and seniors in public and private schools in the Sacramento region. There are also opportunities to share and discuss topics that will enhance their preparedness for adulthood. The program goal is to develop strong values and dedication to excellence among African American young men thereby strengthening the family unit.

During the Achiever experience, the young men partake in a variety of self-transformational improvement workshops with topics that include wealth creation, personal financial management, post-secondary education preparation, health, ethics, global politics/economics and etiquette survival skills. They participate in cultural events, establish peer relationships and are exposed to a variety of career opportunities via a robust male mentorship program supported by local businesses and non-profit leaders. The Program culminates in an Affair of Honor formal event to celebrate academic and entrepreneurial successes and scholarship.
Program Successes
Achievers Program Success:
- 100% attend college
- Over 750 community service hours annually
- 392 Achievers have participated in the program
- Lifetime support group through peers and adults mentoring
- Community benefit from community service
- Young men develop a strong sense of giving back and continue to engage in community service
- Annual reunion of achievers for holiday mixer and issues forum helps to nurture young achievers though discussions on current issues, listening to the journey of other achievers and presenting their challenges and opinions to the group for discussion.

Achievers Program Measurements:
- Participants survey after each workshop
- Parents and Chapter survey of program
- Annual Program Evaluation done by committee as part of Strategic Plan
- Interviews with parents, guests and participants
- Invite participants back annually to share success stories
- Continued contact with Mentor throughout first year of college

Less than 50% of students in Sacramento are proficient in math or science. Learning rates are even lower for students of color. Linking Students to S.T.E.M. is a new program initiative to provide low-income students of color S.T.E.M. education tools and experiences. With your support we will work with a local high school or nonprofit program to establish a National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Jr. program in the fall of 2017. The NSBE Jr. program is designed to stimulate the interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, or STEM. The goal is to encourage students to attend college and pursue technical degrees. This program provides activities to help students discover firsthand how engineering and technology relate to the world around them and discover the excitement of academic excellence, leadership, technical development and teamwork.

Program Successes
Here are some of the benefits that would be offered to NSBE Jr. students in the Sacramento region:
- College Admissions Preparation - Obtain materials to prepare you for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT
- Participate in technical competitions such as the Try-Math-A-Lon, MathCounts, Engineering Design Competition (Robotics-based), and the PCI Science Fair
- Receive college application information including how to get into college, financial aid information, etc
- Discounted Kaplan Test Prep services and materials. You can also receive a chance to win a free test prep class offered by Kaplan
- Scholarships and Awards - Awarded to NSBE Jr. members in high school who have excelled academically and expressed an interest in pursuing a career in engineering and related fields
- Subscription to The Bridge - the NSBE magazine that caters to pre-college students ($15 value)
- Discount Registrations for conferences and events including the Annual Convention/PCI Mini Conference held annually in March; our conferences offer innovative programming designed to expose youth to science, technology, engineering & math (STEM)
- Leadership Development - Develop your leadership skills by serving in many chapter and some regional leadership roles
- Opportunity to meet other NSBE Jr. Collegiate and Alumni members from around the world who have walked in the footsteps that you intend to
- Opportunities to be mentored and/or tutored by College Students or Technical Professionals currently working in a STEM field