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


Oak Springs Elementary School (Austin, TX) - Early Literacy Program Activities

The Austin Chapter of Links have participated in tutoring and mentoring activities for third graders at the Elementary school in an attempt to promote early literacy and close the academic achievement gap. Each week, Links members performed the following activities to promote early literacy.

  • Engaged students in symbolic development
  • Focused on spoken language through reading aloud to students and having students read aloud to the class
  • Emphasized receptive language and sounds of language

The Settlement Home (Austin, TX)

The Services To Youth facet improved the outcomes for African American youth specifically through mentoring and exposure to activities designed to improve self-esteem. The mentoring activities that we performed provided a greater sense of normalcy through our regular contribution of time and resources during important events in their lives so that these events were as close in comparison as possible, to youth who live with their birth families. The following activities were conducted in partnership with our other facets.
  • Provided a “Good to Great” workshop, which provided information on admissions, course offerings and attendance at the Austin Community College.
  • Held a Safe Love Workshop in partnership with students from Southwestern University to provide information to students in Lesotho, Africa regarding anti-AIDS messages.
  • Presentation of a healthy nchoice workshop for the girls including a healthy choice survey and journal, exercise activities, healthy eating materials and closing with healthful snacks.
  • In an effort to address the self-esteem issues and concerns presented to the Links by the girls, Links provided access to ongoing hair styling services.

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