In the News
Eris Sims, Executive Director
The Links, Incorporated Joins Forces with the UNCF and Education Advocates to Strengthen Bridge from Community College to HBCUs
A project to encourage higher education completion for community college students
(Washington, D.C.) – The Links, Incorporated is partnering with the United Negro College Fund, the UNCF Special Programs Corporation and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, to develop a transfer program that builds strong ties between community colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to enhance college completion rates. This $500,000, five-year program is sponsored by the Lumina Foundation for Education and USA Funds. Representatives from partner organizations, each of the involved educational institutions, and funders, participated in an orientation session held June 13, 2012 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
“Beginning fall 2012 members of The Links, Incorporated will work with faculty and staff at selected institutions to ensure that no less than 50 percent of participating community college students complete transfers to HBCUs and earn bachelor’s degrees. A minimum of 25 students at each identified community college, who meet the requirements, will receive financial support, mentoring, academic coaching and other services needed for the successful transfer to an HBCU.
“You don’t have to look far to see we that have a national education crisis on our hands,” said Margot James Copeland, national president of The Links, Incorporated. Our organization has a history of being at the forefront of key issues as advocates for the underserved. We see this as a transformational program that is bringing together all of the elements needed to help our students succeed in being prepared for the 21st century work force.”
Thirteen institutions in five states have been selected for this program. They include: Bluegrass Community and Technical College and Kentucky State University (Kentucky); Hinds Community College-Utica campus and Tougaloo College and Jackson State University (Mississippi); Fayetteville Technical Community College and Fayetteville State University (North Carolina); Austin Community College and Houston-Tillotson University (Texas); Tidewater Community College and Norfolk State University (Virginia); and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and Virginia Union University (Virginia).
“We are thrilled at the number of individual communities that will reap the rewards of this program, for generations to come,” said Dorothy Cowser Yancy, chair, The Links, Incorporated National HBCU Initiative Committee.
This program answers President Barack Obama’s call for to double the number of community college graduates by 2020, and for America to once again have the highest percentage of its citizens to graduate college.
“We are committed to looking at every issue that could be a barrier to a student’s transferring and completing a four-year degree. We want to make sure we have a plan in place to address each barrier and make the transfer process as seamless as possible,” said Jacquelyn Madry-Taylor, senior adviser for Research and Program Development for the UNCF Special Programs Corp., and a member of The Links, Incorporated’s National HBCU Initiative Committee.
This project is a demonstration of how community-based organizations, education advocates and funding partners, such as USA Funds and the Lumina Foundation can be effective and successful in providing the key support required for the skills development that will enhance the lives of individuals and the development of the community.
The Links, Incorporated
The Links Foundation, Incorporated, the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated, has made more than $24 million dollars in charitable contributions since its founding. Working closely with its sponsors and supporters, The Links, Incorporated is focused on creating transformational programming and impacting lives in communities of color in Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services, and Health and Human Services to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.
The Links Foundation, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated celebrates 65 years as a women's volunteer service organization committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African-Americans and other persons of African-American ancestry. A premier international service organization with more than 12,000 members in 274 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, its legacy of friends providing service that changes lives, established by the original circle of nine friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1946, is alive and well.
The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Incorporated has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership.
With over 2 million service hours recorded in the past three years, members regularly contribute more than 500,000 documented service hours in their respective communities annually. For more information, visit www.linksinc.org.