Greetings! As president of the Cincinnati (OH) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, I welcome and thank you for visiting our website!  On our site, you will learn about our accomplishments, current programming and our membership.  The Cincinnati (OH) Chapter is approaching 68 years of being Linked in Friendship and Connected in Service. We were inducted on March 30, 1950, as the 17th Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
The Links, Incorporated, is an international volunteer service organization of committed and talented women who work collaboratively to enhance the quality of life in our communities. For more than 70 years, our organization is focused on enriching, sustaining and ensuring the identities, culture and economic survival of African-Americans and persons of African descent. Several of our distinguished members have been honored to serve on the National level: Link Vivian Beamon, our Fourth National President;  Link Margaret Hough, the first National Director of the Arts; Link Margaret Clarke, National Membership Committee Co-Chair, Link Yvonne Robertson, National Director of the Arts; and Link Kathy Wade, National Communications Committee Co-Chair. The Links, Incorporated’s programming platform has five Facet areas under which we deliver services; The Arts;  Health and Human Services; International Trends and Services; National Trends and Services; and Services to Youth.
I am excited to share with you our Chapter’s new program initiative, the Links Leadership Academy for Girls. This program is a multi-year experience designed to empower African-American teenage girls. The Links Leadership Academy for Girls will help them to develop 21st century skills that will empower them to succeed and lead in both our national and global environments. Bullying, academic excellence, college and career preparation, governance, international trends, the arts’ impact on society, health and wellness and financial literacy  are just a few of the topics they will explore in the Academy.  Specifically, the Leadership Academy for Girls will focus on the following goals: 1.) To build a foundation of cultural confidence and competence that leads to increased self-confidence and awareness; 2.) To enhance skills necessary for success in school and career; 3.) To enhance graduation readiness and life skills; and 4.) To cultivate responsible local, national and global citizenship.
Our inaugural class began with seventh and eighth grade girls from the Cincinnati Public Schools. They will participate in the Leadership Academy through high school graduation with the goal of assisting them through their college and/or career endeavors.  Our objective is to play a significant and effective role, as mentors. This umbrella program is integrated throughout our five Area Facets.  Each facet has created an experiential learning module that focuses on our goals and will be a lot of fun!  There will be a unique and enriching culminating experience to close each of the program years.
The Cincinnati (OH) Chapter is especially proud of our ongoing Award winning Signature Program, The Youth Docent program at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.  Over the past 15 years, we have contributed nearly a quarter of $1 million to this outstanding leadership and educational training program for our high school students.  The objective of the program is to prepare high school students with the facts, leadership skills and work experiences that enable them to make significant contributions to their school and community and interface with a cultural institution. This program aids in developing leadership, presentation, communication and critical thinking skills. The Youth Docent program was designed to encourage and engage high school students and volunteerism.  We are very proud of our 68 year history of exemplary programming for the Greater Cincinnati communities.
Once again, thank you for visiting the website of the Cincinnati (OH) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated!  Enjoy!
Shelley Jefferson Hamler, Ed.D
President, The Cincinnati (OH) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated