A competition for young men in grades 9 - 12 where they compete against each other for scholarships. The winner of the competition is crowned Mr. Beautillion and while there can only be one Mr. Beautillion there are no losers in this competition as each participant receives a scholarship. The event starts in early summer with various activities designed around exposing the young men to various experiences from the theater, aviation, and sports to etiquette and public speaking. The Grand Finale of the competition is the final night when each participant is presented to their families and friends, celebrated for their accomplishments, and Mr. Beautillion is crowned.
It's a wonderful experience for all involved. The young men meet new people, and have new experiences while the parents get some financial relief for their child's future with the help of family and friends.
The Links Academy addresses the needs of Chattanooga’s underperforming schools, focusing on closing the achievement gap and incorporating other national initiatives as strategies. In its breadth, this program addresses the following goals listed under Young Achievers:
• Implement mentoring programs for youth, geared to males
• Promote health and wellness with youth, families and communities
• Close the high school academic achievement gap
• Implement science, technology, engineering, and mathematics related career awareness programs
• Introduce college readiness programs
• Promote historically black colleges and universities as viable options
• Give students access to financial literacy programs
• Award college scholarships
• Mentor and recruit students to attend and graduate from HBCUs
The Links Academy meets during the school year in each of two high schools. Students have after school tutoring by their teachers who receive teaching stipends from our state grant won by the Chattanooga (TN) Chapter. In addition to the after school program, students participate in the Links Academy summer ACT prep, a six week program designed for juniors and seniors who need to strengthen both content knowledge and test taking skills in English and math. Their parents attend workshops explaining the ACT and other aspects of the college admissions process.
Several college trips to HCBUs occur throughout the year to acquaint students with what they have to offer. These visits are preceded by prep programs we co-sponsor: Youth Blast, Beautillion workshops, and a camp college weekend organized by one of our Links members.
The Comprehensive Debate Tournament is an annual day long event among high school teams representing Tyner, Brainerd and Howard High Schools. The teams at each school work with a debate coach during the semester who helps the students prepare for the tournament.
The tournament consists of two different debates, a Parliamentary and a Group debate. A Parliamentary debate consists of two speakers who either support or oppose the topic. The teams do not know what side they are arguing until the day of the tournament. Topics have been disclosed prior to the event and the teams have been prepping cases that both support and oppose the ideas presented. Each debate consists of three rounds each round is judged by leaders in various areas of the community. Individual and team awards are presented at the end of the day.
National Trends – AARP
Successful aging is more likely when individuals are actively engaged in life. Programs for the elderly will continue to expand so that it will have an increasing impact on structuring the quality of the life of older adults. For this reason, the Chattanooga Chapter of The Links, is actively participating in programs that involve and or is centered around AARP lifestyle.
Our goals are:
To focus on four categories that represent the greatest needs for seniors in our community:
support services/ social activity in the community.
(2) to offer free workshops, tools, and resources to support African American women and men so that they have ready access to services they need when they need them during this aging period.
This program includes monthly meetings that are highly informative. It is a meet and greet session for seniors and service vendors. In addition to information and activities that help seniors navigate the challenges of aging, this program provides monthly no cost health screenings and follow-up services.