Services to 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 Services to Youth facet is currently presenting five national initiatives and two signature programs in support of our mission to enrich the lives of, and advocate for the betterment of, African-American youth.


Tracie Brown
Facet Co-ChairTracie Brown
Ashley Waffer
Facet Co-ChairAshley Waffer


Literacy Links Program Activities

There are three key functions of the Literacy Links Program based upon grade level: 
  • Promote excitement about reading and provide access to books by or about African Americans through the Links Library, Dr. Seuss Reading Day and Staying Connected annual elementary school activities. 
  • Encourage good choices, academic improvement, and modeling of appropriate behavior among African American middle school students through Link and Learn Mentoring.   
  • Teach African American high school students how to be financially astute, problem solve, effectively communicate, and be innovative through entrepreneurship through I’m A Linkpreneur! in partnership with Junior Achievement and Sweet Home – Pinnacle of Praise Church


The goals of the Literacy Links program are to help students of color facing financial, educational and social challenges have productive lives, as well as prepare for college and/or trade school.  The objectives are:   
  • Close the Achievement Gap – Deliver and sustain transformational activities for students in grades Kindergarten through 12th  
  • College/Career Readiness – Provide STEAM awareness, career discussions with professionals from within the chapter, and highlight Historically Black Colleges as a viable option to further their education 
  • Introduce Financial Readiness and Literacy - Provide students with the ability to make intelligent, economic choices to manage financial resources effectively (includes partnerships with Junior Achievement of Central Texas) 
  • Cultural and Social Responsibility - Increase students’ understanding of effective intercultural, gender and interpersonal interactions (includes partnership with Girl Scouts); model the power of being an engaged citizens, by increasing the students understanding of the obligation we all have to positively impact our community, as well as encourage health and wellness 
  • Mentoring - Mentor young girls to promote healthy relationships, greater school connectedness, and improve self-esteem

Umbrella Program - eSTEAMed Youth Program

The Austin Chapter of the Links, Incorporated is proud to introduce our Umbrella Program – “eSTEAMED Youth,” where we will focus on 5 key areas: Development of the Whole Child, Closing the Achievement Gap, Career Awareness, Financial Literacy, and Mentoring. The mission of our Umbrella Program is to improve the high school experience by encouraging students to engage in the school process and increase the preparedness of African American students for the transition to collegiate life. We intend to close the knowledge and confidence gap with education in order to help students feel more prepared and ready for life after graduation. We will accomplish this mission by facilitating interactive and engaging bi-monthly activities for 10th through 12th grade students that are geared towards Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Link sisters from all facets will act as facilitators and mentors as we plan activities geared towards enhancing the enjoyment and understanding of the Arts and Sciences. Students that remain in our program through high school graduation will acquire the skills to be better equipped for the transition into collegiate life.


Health and Human Services
The Links, Incorporated established the Health and Human Services facet in response to the chronic health disparities that persist in our communities and result in the decreased life expectancy of African-Americans. This new facet brings greater focus, resources, and coordination to The Links, Incorporated’s health initiatives already in existence.
International Trends and Services
National Trends and Services
Services to Youth
The Arts