The Pontchartrain Chapter's Services to Youth Facet focuses on improving the academic, communication, and social skills of youth in our community.  We’ve taken on this challenge through our mentoring program, LINKS Reaching New Heights---Rising Stars, and through many of our other initiatives at McDonogh 35 High School in New Orleans. This school has a rich heritage and, as the first public four-year high school for African Americans in the state of Louisiana, McDonogh 35 has a legacy of accomplished graduates.

Chapter members hold monthly activities with the mentees that focus on enhancing critical thinking on topics ranging from understanding Carnegie college units and preparing for careers in Science, Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM), to anti-bullying and dining etiquette. 

The Arts Facet focuses on enhancing arts education by increasing available resources for school-based instrumental, vocal and graphic arts programs. Through Links Keep the Music Playing, the Pontchartrain Chapter donates musical instruments and art supplies to the fine arts program at McDonogh 35.

The Pontchartrain Chapter also secured a grant from the Jazz and Heritage Foundation that more than doubled the resources for programs of The Arts Facet.

Through our Health and Human Services Facet, we work to promote healthy lifestyles and eliminate chronic health disparities in our communities.

Additionally, our chapter, which includes a host of pediatricians, nurse practitioners, oncologists and mental health professionals, offers our Rising Stars, mentees in the LINKS Reaching New Heights---Rising Stars Mentoring Program, informative and interactive sessions on health-related issues important to young females throughout the year. The Health and Human Services Facet committee recently held an "Introduction to Careers in Laboratory Medicine" presentation at Touro Hospital for the mentees.

On the principles of advocacy, education and service, our National Trends and Services Facet has for many years worked to eliminate disparities via  Project LIFE---Links Increasing Food and Energy. With your support, we were able to partner with Just the Right Attitude Food Bank in East New Orleans and provide more than 1,200 pounds of food to local families during our 2013-2014 program year.

Through the National Trends and Services Facet, the chapter also hosts voter registration drives and serves as a co-sponsor of political forums. In conjunction with the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and the New Orleans Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, the Pontchartrain Chapter hosted the 2015 Legislative Breakfast on Feb. 21. The breakfast, held at the Algiers Regional Library, featured a forum with New Orleans City Council Members.

Our International Trends and Services Facet expands the global platform for programs that meet educational, health, and cultural needs for people of color. We launched a Model United Nations Program in a freshmen-level world geography class at McDonogh 35 and sponsored three young women at the Bolgatanga Secondary School for Girls in Ghana, Africa. Additionally, our Rising Stars have become pen-pals with nineteen young Ghanaian students.

With a purpose to empower women and positively impact children, five members of the International Trends and Services Facet committee embarked upon a mission trip. Leila Eames, chair of the committee, along with members Kiana Mitchell, Tonia Moore, Keely Thibodeaux, and Shawnell Ware traveled to Haiti with the We Care Charitable Foundation to visit the Grand Boulage Village and feed over 500 children and 300 adults. 

In addition to the members' service in Grand Boulage, they also visited the Foyer Espoir Pour les Enfants (FEPE) orphanage and school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which the chapter has supported since 2011.  The members provided each child with packs of undergarments and presented the school with school supplies. FEPE serves a resident population of over 25 children at the orphanage and more than 100 students in its school. 

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