The North Jersey Chapter
of The Links,Incorporated
The North Jersey (NJ) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, is a local chapter of The Links Incorporated, and delivers community programming and fundraising efforts on behalf of the Links Foundation, Incorporated.
The North Jersey Links addresses the academic, health, cultural and social awareness, career development, and mentoring needs of minority students, with an emphasis on promoting STEAM related disciplines (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics). We also strive to ensure a positive and successful transition from high school, while helping to increase enrollment in a community college, 4 year college, or Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Through these programs, we can better prepare young people to succeed as productive citizens in a global workforce, promote healthy lifestyles within families and communities, and help bridge the "Digital Divide" in underserved communities by providing education and access to technology.
A recent study was conducted in the Greater Essex County area to evaluate the relationship between education and income levels in the community. The study revealed that the communities representing the lowest number of high school degrees; highest poverty rates; and highest number of uninsured citizens include: East Orange, Orange, Irvington, and the greater Newark area, as indicated in the chart below.
Addressing the Issue:
To address the discrepancy of degree holders relative to poverty rates in Essex County, and to help support the Newark Learning Collaborative’ s goal to increase college attainment rates to 25% by 2025, the North Jersey Chapter of the Links, Inc., developed Blueprint for Success: Preparing for College, Work, and Beyond to achieve the following:
· Prepare and encourage students to pursue a post-secondary education (community college, 4-year college, or vocational/trade school)
· Raise awareness and drive enrollment at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
· Expand educational and career opportunities in STEAM related disciplines
Blueprint for success – preparing for College, Work, and Beyond:
Targeting 9th – 12th grade students and parents in East Orange, Orange, Irvington, and Newark, The North Jersey Links launched Blueprint for Success on October 25, 2014, with the support of community partners and academic institutions, including United Way of Essex and West Hudson and Rutgers University. The program was a huge success with over 220 parents and students, 20 colleges including 5 HBCUs, 20 speakers and panelists, and 9 workshops. Based on great feedback and high demand, we expect the attendance to increase significantly in 2015.