HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 29, 2017 – Preparing for college early is not always easy for middle- and high-school students, but a recent event – “LINKS Leader Path to College” – which partnered High Point University with Leadership LINKS, Inc. aimed to do just that.
Leadership LINKS, Inc. – a High Point-based nonprofit organization that focuses on leadership development for young people – teamed with HPU to give seventh to 12th graders, along with their families, educators, and community leaders an opportunity to learn how to best prepare for college while still in middle and high school. It also gave students and families a chance to visit a college campus and hear about potential leadership and scholarship opportunities on campus, such as the Bonner Leader Program. Additionally, they had the opportunity to hear from representatives in the HPU Office of Student Life and the HPU Office of Admissions, as well as students in the Bonner Leader Program.
“Preparing for college early is important not only for admissions and scholarship purposes, but also for the purposes of being successful in college,” says Dr. Allison Blosser, assistant professor of education at HPU who is also on the advisory board of Leadership LINKS, Inc. “Students who have worked hard in high school to develop solid study habits, communication skills, and
their ability to manage time effectively will be miles ahead of their peers once they enter college.”
Life preparation, development, and having a strong work ethic speak to the mission and values espoused by the Leadership LINKS organization. Blosser notes that as a society, we talk often of the achievement gap, but one of the less frequently discussed “achievement gaps” in education is the gap in college access for minority and low-income students.
“Every student who wants to go to college should be able to, regardless of their background,” Blosser adds.
“Leadership LINKS intentionally connects with students from ethnically and economically diverse backgrounds,” says Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, founder of Leadership LINKS, Inc. “This college education initiative is part of the organization’s strategic plan to introduce and connect the right youth with the right schools for college entry, ensure they are positioned to receive scholarships, and that they are prepared to graduate debt-free, employable and encouraged to pursue their own paths of innovation, entrepreneurship and executive leadership.”
Robinson adds that all of the founders of Leadership LINKS, Inc. are graduates of the United States Naval Academy. Together, they understand the value of education and have experienced college as a catalyst for personal and professional development, and life change. Therefore, they partner with schools, organizations and churches to create holistic leadership and learning opportunities, while also cultivating a supportive network for young people to thrive.
To this end, Blosser explains, “Community partnerships become especially important for a young person’s development because it is often local nonprofit organizations like Leadership LINKS, Inc. that are most aware of needs in their communities and are on the ground every day trying to address those needs.”
“Universities, as nonprofit organizations dedicated to the public good, have a responsibility to be in partnership with their communities,” Blosser says. “One way to do that is through the development of university and community partnerships, such as the one between HPU and Leadership LINKS, Inc. … I hope that this event marks the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between Leadership LINKS, Inc. and HPU. And through that partnership, we can develop in young people the skills needed not only to access college, but to thrive while there.”
To find out more about Leadership LINKS, Inc. and the various leadership, mentoring, and education initiatives offered, visit their official website at www.leadershiplinksinc.org, follow them on social media, or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.