GREATER QUEENS (NY) CHAPTER OF THE LINKS, INCORPORATED
“27 YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP & SERVICE”
The Links, Incorporated, is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women
committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans
and other persons of African ancestry.
In 1991, Greater Queens (NY) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, began as the Queens Nia Club, under the leadership of Chapter Organizer, Juliette A. Hansen. Officially chartered on March 9, 1996, thirty-two (32) dynamic women committed to each other in friendship and to the Queens community in service. In keeping with the mandate of The Links, Incorporated, Greater Queens (NY) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, has developed and implemented transformational programming in alignment with our five facets.
Currently, forty-nine phenomenal women are active members of Greater Queens (NY) Chapter of The
Links, Incorporated. We’re honored to have ten Alumna Members. We are one of 299 Chapters and
17,000 members located in 42 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and
the United Kingdom.
HIGHLIGHTS OF GREATER QUEENS (NY) CHAPTER OF THE LINKS, INCORPORATED
In the beginning of the unimaginable year of COVID-19, Greater Queens (NY) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, recognized the basic survival needs of our community; food and shelter. We donated $5,000 to the 1906 Project of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and $3,500 to CUNY/York College for the Colleges Emergency Relief Program for students in need. Christmas of 2020, the Chapter adopted six families. The children of each family ranged in age from infants to those approaching 18 years, male and female. Ranging from three to six children in each family, each child received a minimum of six toys, clothing and age appropriate literature. Guardians and parents of the children also received gifts of hygiene and self-care products and holiday food items. In 2021, we financially supported Young Lives Division Young Life Jamaica, supporting young mothers and their children. In 2022, “Share 4 Life” an organization that renders programs that alleviate issues affecting disadvantaged communities, at risk youth and their families in New York City, received the Chapter’s financial support.
NATIONAL TRENDS & SERVICES
National Trends & Services Facet (NTS) supported the Professional Women’s Group in partnership with Dress for Success(DFS), an internationally renowned not-for-profit organization. We embrace and support the DFS mission of empowering women to achieve economic independence. By providing a network of support and workshops that cover topics ranging from résumé writing to interviewing tutorials, to providing information on financial literacy, women are better prepared for success in the workforce. Our most recent webinar for Dress for Success Alumni was a workshop entitled “Combating Ageism in the Work Place.” The Facet has partnered with The Queens Public Library at Rochdale Village, providing residents of the community with financial literacy education, etiquette coaching, personal development and public speaking workshops. NTS supports the students of P.S./I.S. 116Q with anti-bullying workshops, teaching the importance of being an “Upstander” not a “Bystander.” Working with the Queens District Attorney’s Office two workshops were provided to the students. Our goal is twofold; exposing young people to careers in law enforcement and helping young people build a positive relationship with law enforcement.
THE ARTS FACET
In the early years, The Arts Facet established a partnership with the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL). In support of the academic and cultural development of young people, we provide scholarships for gifted young artists to attend art workshops at JCAL. Annually, we contribute financially, to support JCAL programming. Greater Queens Chapter implements The Links, Incorporated Young Masters 2.0 Competition (YMWP). High school students (grades 9-12) submit their original and unpublished works of poetry and prose for competition and recognition on the area and national levels. YMWP promotes participation, pride, and achievement in creative writing among high school students of African ancestry. We also participate in the National Poster Art Competition. Students utilize their artistic skills and talent creating original works of art focusing on health and wellness. Since 2014, in partnership with Joe’s Music Center & Performing Arts, the Arts Facet has provided a musical instructor for a cohort of students at P.S./I.S. 116Q. In addition to providing the instructor, we have provided recorders accompanied by sheet music for their musical instruction for each student. During the pandemic of 2020, the Facet conducted a wide range of virtual programming, including our Annual African American Read-In, with our partner CUNY/York College. We featured CNN political commentator, politician and author, attorney Bakari Sellers. Additional virtual programming included JCAL Reading and Discussion: American Politics and Community Today; The Queens Historical Society, Jay Jaxon: 40 Years of Fashion Design Brilliance Exhibit, the James Baldwin Series, and an exercise and dance program. This year, the Facet spearheaded programming for Women’s History Month, which recognized the contributions of African American women to the genre or gospel music and honored women in leadership in the Borough of Queens and NYC. We featured the book “Isn’t Her Grace Amazing: The Woman Who Changed Gospel Music.” A luncheon program featuring Grammy, NAACP Image & Stellar Gospel Music Award Winner Yolanda Adams was the featured artist. Honored were Principal Dancer American Ballet Theatre, Honorary Member of The Links, Incorporated, Misty Copeland; Speaker, NYC Council, The Hon. Adrienne E. Adams; Group Vice President Government Affairs, Charter Communications Camille Joseph Goldman; President NAACP New York State Conference, Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, and Sr. Pastor, The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of NY, Rev. Dr. Elaine M. Flake, both are members of The Links Incorporated.
SERVICES TO YOUTH
In its early inception, Greater Queens (NY) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, began its Services to Youth programming with the “Lunch Bunch” at P.S./I.S. 116Q, which provided a resource room for career guidance, college information and tutoring services for elementary and high school students. Members of the Chapter, conducted mentoring programs, parent – student advocacy workshops, and College Bound & Career Expo’s. Expanding the cultural awareness of students, the Chapter sponsored trips to various museums throughout the city including, the Schomburg Center for Research, the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, The Louis Armstrong House and the New York Hall of Science. Building upon our longstanding relationship with P.S./I.S. 116Q, this school continuesto be the home base for our umbrella program, “Highly E.S.T.E.A.M.ED – Linking Resources Throughout Greater Queens,” which focused on providing a cohort of students with in-depth exposure to the S.T.E.A.M subject areas. Over the past eight years, we’ve provided career development workshops, conversations with science and medical professionals, and hands on science education experiences on the Bio Bus Mobil Science Lab with a cohort of 161 students with whom we’ve worked from kindergarten to graduation in 2023. Services To Youth Facet (STY) has provided scholarships for PS/IS 116Q students to attend the York College NASA MUREP (Minority University Research and Education Project) Aerospace Academy. Participation in the program enabled students to utilize NASA’s extensive resources to develop their interest, skills and knowledge necessary for them to aspire to pursue STEM careers by engaging in authentic STEM experiences. Focused on advancing the academic achievement of students throughout the Borough of Queens, and their exposure to historically black colleges and universities, our Chapter has partnered with “You Can Go To College” exposing young people to the academic and cultural experiences of HBCU campuses. The Chapter has supported The Links, Incorporated’s National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Initiative, by contributing annually to the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. The chapter conducted workshops, creating academic and career vision boards that help students stay focused on academic achievement and professional success. STY implements the NSBE, Jr. program with the goal of increasing the curiosity and awareness about science and technology for our students at PS/IS 116Q and PS 330Q, the Helen M. Marshall School. PS 330 named after or Link Sister Helen M. Marshall, was the first African American Borough President of Queens, NY. The Chapter has built upon its legacy of supporting, mentoring and providing financial support through our scholarship program. Beginning with the Muriel E. Baldwin Scholarship to the expansion of scholarship awards to students seeking admission into specialized high schools, to the pursuit of a two year or four year academic degree, we have provided financial resources to young people.
INTERNATIONAL TRENDS & SERVICES
Greater Queens (NY) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was one of the first to support educational opportunities and advancement in Africa, at the Ecole Elementaire Hamo #4 in Dakar, Senegal. Over the years, we have provided students with back packs for the new school year, schools supplies, and assisted with the administrative needs of the teachers. We had the pleasure of hosting the first elected female president of Liberia, the Honorable Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, an honorable member of The Links, incorporated In previous years, for Women’s History Month, we created the “International Wax Museum.” The program served to educate the young women attending the Young Women’s Leadership School in Queens, through their research about global female leaders, both past and present. The young women became living statues, dressed in their attire and became well versed in the history and contributions of the woman they studied. When chosen by visitors of the “museum” they became animated sharing information about their leadership and contributions each woman has made to our global society. In partnership with the Eagle Academy for Young Men III and Pathways College Preparatory High School, the International Trends Facet implements the Model UN program, which provides an opportunity for students to study a country’s history, culture, their political system, geography, and economy, empowering them to represent the country as a UN delegate. In real time, at a simulated UN Conference, they debate the current issues confronting the country. Countries studied by our students have include, Sri Lanka, Albania, Panama and Turkey. For the past four years, the students who participate in the Model UN Program have assisted in the Services to Youth Haïtian Survival Kit Program. They helped secure and pack the kits donated to an orphanage in Haïti. The kits consisted of underwear, dental supplies, female hygiene products, skin care and hair care products. Recognizing the need, articles of children’s clothing, pajamas, socks, pants, shirts and shoes have also been provided for children up to 18 years of the age.
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
In partnership with Colgate-Palmolive “Bright Smiles, Bright Futures,” the Facet has provided dental screenings for more than 1,000 children under the age of 12 for the students at P.S./I.S. 116Q and PS 330Q, the Helen Marshall School. They also have distributed thousands of tooth brushes, toothpaste and brochures, encouraging healthy dental practices, by the children and their families. The graduating class of 70 students of P.S./I.S. 116Q received Oral B electronic toothbrushes, toothpaste audiology wellness and screening materials. Dental hygiene supplies have also been provided to children in Haïti and Dakar, Senegal. With the audiological screening equipment secured by the Chapter from a generous donor, we began to implement our program of conducting audiology screenings. The chapter launched the program in 2022, conducting its first audiological screening at PS 33. In partnership with DOE Special Education/IDEA 504, our Link Sister audiologist along with students from Hofstra University conducted screenings for twentynine (29) kindergarten – 5 th grade students. The program is geared to identifying students who are IEP eligible and those who may need additional services. With a focus on good nutritional, physical and mental health for our members, we have participated in the Heart Healthy Walk-A-Thon, the American Cancer Society – Breast Cancer Walk, and the Dress For Success Walk-A-Thon. We have successfully donated over $10,000 to these campaigns for heart healthy, and breast cancer education, prevention and screening and to support the empowerment of women. In 2022, the Chapter implemented “Greater HEAL-ing: Addressing Disparities & Advancing Healthy Living.” A national program, our goals and objectives are to help reduce breast and colorectal cancer death rates among underserved people of African and Latin descent in Queens. Our outreach includes increased education, facilitating preventive testing and screening, and educating about the risk factors associated with breast and colorectal cancers. Additionally, we provide resources and information about obtaining health insurance, resources on cancer and support upon diagnosis, and how to select a quality healthcare provider. With a focus on mental health, Health and Human Services stressed the importance of “self-care” as we implement Links programming. Meditation, exercise and good nutrition are key components to one’s ability to serve the community. We have empowered chapter members with health focused activities and literature which has included, “The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health” and “Mentally Fit Physically Strong: The Fit Doc’s Guide to Real Life-Real Fitness –Real Health.” For the past 27 years, “Linked in Friendship and Connected in Service” Greater Queens (NY) Chapter of The Link, Incorporated, has blazed a trail of commitment and service throughout the Queens community and beyond. We celebrate a membership of accomplished and dedicated professional women and the recognition we have received over the years as an award winning Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.