By Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, author of Mentor for Life and Visionary Founder of Leadership LINKS, Inc.
I am an African American woman, a wife, mother, and friend. I am also a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, former Marine Corps officer and federal employee of the Department of Homeland Security. Today, I am a traditionally published author, nonprofit leadership, inspirational speaker, leadership consultant and mentoring coach, anti-human trafficking and education advocate. I have a voice and purpose in this world because of the intentional influence of leaders and mentors in my life.
We are familiar with the African Proverb that states, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” From the junior Olympic track coach, guidance counselor, and western civilization teacher in high school to the mentors, seminary professors, and naval officers in higher education, I was challenged to work hard, reach higher, and bring others along as I climbed.
This desire to reach back began with simple actions like offering a smile, a word of encouragement, a listening ear for counseling or mentorship, providing positive affirmations and cultivating safe and nurturing communities for young women. Then is grew into coaching, being a voice and sponsor, offering a listening ear and “table talk,” along with home cooked meals to millennial girls.
Over the years my heart has been burdened that so many girls either do not have the confidence or clarity of direction; moral, mental or character foundation; support structures, safe communities or networks; opportunities, skills, or motivations to thrive beyond high school. I realize that this holistic bundle of success is what now has me living and leading on purpose.
For me, true success includes creating opportunities for others to thrive. This was one of the motivations for founding the 501(c)3 organization, Leadership LINKS, Inc. We exist to “Connect People with Purpose.” We do this by offering leadership education that facilitates impactful living, character and spiritual development. LINKS represents our five core values of: Love, Inspiration, Network, Knowledge, and Service.
Our primary offering is a Leadership Summer Program for adolescent girls. Through this program we provide holistic leadership and character education using the seven learning styles. The program is instructional, interactive, eye-opening for new opportunities and innovative ideas of what’s possible, and service oriented. Participants are given the chance the practice what they learn, and the tools to expand upon that learning throughout the school year.
This program is the catalyst for cultivating peer-to-peer mentoring relationships, and a formal mentor program. It also provides the foundation for future internships, professional development, and job training for the participants in our Network.
If you want to know more about leadership and mentoring, LINK Up with us!
Leadership LINKS, Inc. official website: http://www.leadershiplinksus.org/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LeadershipLinksInc/
Natasha Sistrunk Robinson official website: http://www.natashasrobinson.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NatashaSistrunkRobinson/