The Colorado Springs (CO) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated
Starting a Link's Chapter in Colorado Springs, CO was a dream that began with Edna C. Daniels, our organizer. On Mothers Day, May 15, 2013 she had a conversation with her friend, Ms. Danielle Summerville. As it turns out, Ms. Summerville had recently spoken with Ms. Regina Baker, a member of The Links, Incorporated, about her desire to be a part of this organization. Upon learning of this desire, Ms. Baker suggested that Ms. Summerville speak with Ms. Daniels. When Ms. Daniels and Ms. Summerville spoke, they quickly realized that they shared a common goal. This conversation compelled Ms. Daniels to reach out to her long-time friend, Ms. Constance Fitzpatrick Smith who was now the Western Area Director of The Links, Incorporated.
After Ms. Daniel's conversation with the Western Area Director, knowing that tenacity, commitment and excellence would be key to chartering a chapter; she enlisted the support of two dynamic and visionary women in the community. She asked Ms. Summerville and Ms. Rhonda L. Arrington - who also happened to be friends - to work closely with her to help make this dream a reality. Together, these three women, under the leadership of Ms. Sandra Dorsey Malone, Chapter Establishment Chair, and Ms. Sherry L. Jackson, Denver (CO) Chapter, worked diligently for over a six-month period to generate interest in forming a chapter in the community. They hosted several information sessions and through these meetings were able to attract ladies who also have an abiding passion for and steadfast focus on civic engagement and community service! The dream of one had become the dream of many!
These distinguished like-minded ladies with a heart for the Colorado Springs community would become members of a group who would call themselves Pikes Peak Women of Purpose! Once organized and aligned as Pikes Peak Women of Purpose, the ladies started to complete the detailed application to officially request recognition as an “Interest Group” of The Links, Incorporated. Hard work and tenacity paid off when Pikes Peak Women of Purpose was officially granted interest group status on December 21, 2013. What an exciting way to end the year!
On January 6, 2014, the Interest Group was given a series of commitments they needed to uphold in order to move forward to the next phase of chartering. The year 2014 was one of growth, organization, creativity, innovation, initiative and will. Pikes Peak Women of Purpose conducted monthly meetings to achieve goals and standards outlined for them. Collectively, they set their sights and focus on chartering by developing strategic and business operating mechanisms, electing its first officers and defining the target audience for its umbrella program.
After months of brainstorming, planning and defining program goals with measureable outcomes, it was time! On September 18, 2014, we debuted and implemented our Pearls of Wisdom mentoring program with parents and students at Panorama Middle School in Harrison School District No.2. The goal of our program is to guide and empower middle school females to become productive members of society in their pursuit of educational excellence, career aspirations, family and social life balance, and personal health advocacy. We currently have twenty-five beautiful, vibrant and engaged students and continue to work with them by hosting stimulating and meaningful workshops throughout 2014. Our goal is to extend this program to the remaining three middle schools in Harrison School District No. 2 by the year 2018.
On November 1, 2014, we had our first meeting with the new Chapter Establishment Chair, Ms. Ethel Isaacs Williams, as Ms. Malone’s tenure of service was complete. The transition was smooth and Ms. Williams’s leadership, energy and investment in our Interest Group, would take us to the next phase of our journey and into the New Year. Ms. Deborah L. Staten, Ms. Jackson and members of the Denver (CO) Chapter stayed unwaveringly by our side to mentor, coach and help us to better understand more about the esteemed organization that we dreamed to be part of someday. As December came to a close, we maintained our focus and drive but knew that we had ‘miles to go before we sleep.’
In 2015, our dream had come full-circle! We had the opportunity and pleasure to host the Western Area Director, Ms. Constance Fitzpatrick Smith and members of her executive team in February 2015! Colorado became a virtual snow globe but our visitors still enjoyed their visit to our great and pioneering city. This visit was surreal. We finally had the chance to meet Ms. Daniels’s friend, the one who put our dream in motion and now it seemed that it was within reach! And, on March 26, 2015, we were notified that we had advanced to Chapter-Elect status!
Our journey from Pikes Peak Women of Purpose to Chapter-Elect has taken us to our final stage of chapter establishment as we humbly become esteemed women of the Colorado Springs (CO) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated today, Saturday, May 2, 2015. The newly chartered Colorado Springs (CO) Chapter is a diverse group of thirty-two women with a broad range of skills and interests, who look forward to continuing to build a strong network and legacy of service in our community.
The Dream of one-Ms. Edna C. Daniels had become the dream of many.
And so today our journey begins and our dreams continue!
The Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of nearly 14,000 professional women of color in 280 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.
The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Inc. has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation. The organization is the recipient of awards from the UN Association of New York and the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation for its premier programs.
The outstanding programming of The Links, Incorporated has five facets which include Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services and Health and Human Services. The programs are implemented through strategies such as public information and education, economic development, and public policy campaigns.