Links Foundation, Inc. for the benefit of Sacramento Links
The Foundation provides grants to innovative programs that address problems to be solved, or opportunities to be seized, that are of regional, national, or international significance. It has served The Links, Incorporated well as the conduit for grant support for special programs.
The Sacramento Chapter of the Links, Inc., seek your financial support for its Educate, Inspire, & Empower program partnership which is focused on ensuring that underserved African American high school girls understand the value of self-respect and the need to be present to receive an education. Ultimately empowering young girls towards self-discovery and academic success.
UNESCO reports that there are more than 60 million girls globally that are out of school, thus being denied the basic right to an education. Unfortunately, some girls that live within our local Sacramento region are at risk of being denied an education due to behavior and absenteeism. The California Department of Education released data for 2017-18 which indicate a total chronic absenteeism rate of 13.4% in Sacramento County for all grade levels and an even higher rate of 26.0% for African American high school (grades 9-12) girls. The data also shows chronic absences have a direct correlation to income status. The more students who qualify for subsidized meals, the higher rate of chronic absence. Without an education, girls cannot, break the cycle of poverty, abuse and realize their potential. The same is true for girls in Haiti.This program will provide tools and scholarships for young girls to help develop their own paths to academic success.
Program Goals and Objectives:
1. Emphasize self-esteem and skill building sessions on global imagery, legacy, beauty, healthy choices and self-care; while creating a welcoming positive classroom environment that model and reinforce curiosity and learning.
2. Encourage, recognize and reward high school girls who have been empowered and inspired to pursue their education.
3. Educate and inform community partners, leaders and potential advocates about the obstacles girls face in receiving an education.
4. Use the data obtained to modify efforts to ensure future program success.
- This integrated program will be administered by three of our facet areas, The Arts, Health and Human Service, and International Trends and Services.
For 30 years, since its inception in 1988, the Sacramento Links have invested in the success of African American young men through the Achievers program. More than 400 male high school seniors have participated in the six-month leadership development and college preparation program of workshops and community service, culminating in a community celebration of their accomplishments. Every single Achiever has graduated and attended college, and program alums have gone on to become successful businessmen, entrepreneurs, teachers, nonprofit, and civic leaders.
Beginning in fall 2019, the Achievers program will be restructured to respond to the changing needs of high achieving African American youth in Sacramento. Our new program will target young men and women who exemplify academic achievement, leadership potential and a willingness to empower others through volunteer services. It will be a two year program that combines workshops, community engagement activities and mentoring to meet the following goals:
- Connect young men and women to a network of like-minded, goal-focused peers who can offer support to finish high school, enroll in and graduate from college
- Support young people in preparing for a successful college experience through a series of workshops that expose them to careers of the future, teach important life skills, and support them as they apply to college
- Provide hands on experience with civic engagement and community service that develops leadership skills and inculcates them with the commitment to service that is a cornerstone of the Links organization
- Expose youth to African American role models who serve as a source of professional and personal guidance necessary to prepare to successfully navigate college and career
- Celebrate the achievements of African American high school seniors and showcase their success to the local African American and broader community
Our program will be open to all African American high school juniors and seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or above who are willing to commit to participation and who demonstrate continued engagement with the program during the two year period.
Funds from the Big Day of Giving will assist us in implementing several workshops per year, support the youth in designing and implementing their community engagement projects, and create networking opportunities as well as small group ongoing mentoring relationships between African American professionals and our Achievers.
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 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
Annually, the Sacramento Chapter of the Links, Incorporated awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors of African heritage. Scholarship recipients are young Achievers who exemplify academic excellence, exhibit leadership potential and make a positive impact within the Sacramento region through service to others.
With the goal to directly support college completion and offset college cost the Sacramento Links Scholarship Program offers four opportunities to graduating seniors. The Sacramento Links Scholarships include:
- The Marjorie Patterson Scholarship, given in honor of the first president of The Links, Inc. Sacramento Chapter. Preference for this scholarship is given to African heritage high school seniors seeking careers in the performing arts.
- The Kathleen Pitts Memorial (STEM) Scholarship, awarded to an African heritage graduating senior who will pursue a STEM major, 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 an African heritage student who seeks vocational training.
- The Sacramento Links General Scholarships are available for African heritage students pursuing higher education in all disciplines.
For more than twenty years, the Sacramento Chapter of The Links, Incorporated has awarded over $300,000 in scholarships to more than 260 students. These students have transitioned to higher education institutions including, Morehouse College, UCLA, UC Irvine, Stanford, USC, UC Davis, California Polytechnic, and San Diego State University. 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 you 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
Program Success Monitoring:
The Sacramento Links Scholarship Program maintains a comprehensive start to finish application and award process. High quality program administration and excellent data maintenance are priorities to ensure the perpetuity of this scholarship program. Using JotForm, Microsoft Office Suite and social media, the Sacramento Links Scholarship Program collects and maintains relevant information and data to accomplish the following:
- Manage application process
- Maintain contact with scholarship recipients beyond the grant cycle
- Maintain contact with school and community outreach partners
- Create a bank for awardee success stories and quotes
- 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 Sacramento Links Scholarship fund