Open letter to the community on The Links’ new youth program


The Minneapolis-Saint Paul Chapter of The Links, Incorporated (The Links) is pleased to introduce a new and exciting program called “Links to Success…an African American Leadership Experience.”

A year ago, The Links announced the suspension of the Debutante Cotillion Program for the 2011-12 school year and committed to come back with a new youth program to recognize high achievers. We believe “Links to Success…” will be that program, providing innovative and engaging leadership development and college preparation curriculum, mentoring, and exposure to academically high-performing girls.

We’re optimistically expecting this new program to engage 20 to 30 high school juniors and seniors. We’re looking for teens who are able to demonstrate commitment to community engagement and service.

Applications were available September 4 from the counselors’ offices in the high schools in the Twin Cities school districts and are due back by October 5. Please help us spread the word. We’re confident that “Links to Success…An African Leadership Experience” is an experience that our youth will find extremely valuable.

The culminating celebration is anticipated to be an outstanding awards recognition and scholarship luncheon showcasing the outstanding talents and accomplishments of the participants. No black-tie gala with debutantes in their white ball gowns.

Some may be disappointed, i.e., a family who was looking forward to their daughter being a debutante. However, we hope “Links to Success…” is a more realistic and inclusive reflection on where we need to be in 2012 and beyond!

We look forward to your participation and support and anticipate this being the buzz of the community. Stay tuned; you’ll be invited to the celebration in May 2013.

We continue partnering with community nonprofits and individuals. In May 2012, we held our Young Woman’s Issues Forum, where over 150 girls (ages 13-18) participated in a day-long forum at MCTC experiencing workshops, peer relations and entertainment.

In June and July, The Links had voter registration and information booths at Juneteenth and Rondo Days, respectively. As we approach our 40th anniversary on December 10, 2012, we look forward to celebrating with our Minneapolis-Saint Paul community throughout 2013 with more outstanding programs and events.

We, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, are grateful for your support and look forward to what the future holds. We are committed to continued service and programs that support the needs of the community and fulfill our mission. For more information about “Links to Success…,” email


Marcia Norman Murray, president

Minneapolis-Saint Paul Chapter of The Links, Incorporated