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Services to Youth

The History of Project L.E.A.D.

When The Links, Incorporated, adopted Project LEAD (then, Links Erase Alcohol and Drugs) as a nationalsignature program, the Atlanta Chapter, Joy San Brown enthusiastically embraced the initiative and adopted Sammye E. Coan Middle School, now Martin Luther King, Jr Middle School (Coan/King) as its project site. For almost three decades Project LEAD at the Sammye E. Coan Middle School (Coan/King) has evolved into the signature program of the Atlanta Chapter. Recognized nationally for its effectiveness, Project LEAD continues to identify and nurture promising students -- students at risk of not fulfilling their promise.


The Program engages students in activities that promote high academic achievement; impart leadership and life management skills; prevent childhood obesity; provide early exposure to college; introduce career exploration; and broaden their knowledge of the world beyond the local community. Specifically, a cohort of students is selected for Project LEAD at the beginning of their sixth grade year and remain until they finish the eighth grade. Throughout the academic year, the Chapter provides a variety of enrichment activities, intensive workshops, motivational speakers, and field trips. Recent educational and cultural activities have varied widely and have included: participation in workshops dealing with academic growth, cultural awareness, leadership development; trips to the Atlanta’s own Historical Black College and Univeristies and Kennesaw University; exposure to local historical sites, such as the Martin Luther King, Jr., birth place, the King Center, and the Herndon Home; selection for summer scholarships to Ballethnic Dance Company; participation in workshops which exposed the students to the status of Haitian families and provided them the opportunity to raise funds to purchase goats to assist these families; participation in mentoring sessions at the Carver School with the Urban Youth Ensemble; participation in the Artists Showcase where they exhibit their varied artistic skills and abilities, and participation in structured workshops designed to teach and encourage healthy eating choices/habits. 


We are honored to be able to mentor the exceptional young people at Sammye E. Coan Middle School through Project LEAD, and we are gratified to be able to continue mentoring many of these students through high school and college and help them find success in their professional and personal lives. Special appreciation goes to the Atlanta Public Schools and the Coan Middle School students, parents, administration, staff, and teachers, without whom Project LEAD would not be possible. With the funds raised through the 60th Anniversary gala and other fund raising initiatives, the Atlanta Chapter is expanding its commitment to Project LEAD and other service projects to establish a philanthropic fund which will allow us to assist deserving youth from Project LEAD to continue their post-high school educations. We appreciate the support of our friends who are assisting us as we strive to achieve these goals.

Outdoor Team Building


The Project LEAD program sponsors The Bedford challenge outdoor Ropes course to assist with promoting health, wellness, and healthy lifestyles while their participating helps to empower the youth to become problem solvers.  The Bedford Challenge Course is designed to build cooperation, trust and teamwork in groups. We will participate in activities to warm-ups, games, and team building initiative with low and high ropes course elements. These activities assist with problem-solving skills and improving cooperation and communication. 

Project LEAD Travel with Close Up DC


This dynamic hands on program exposes youth to civic education. The Project LEAD students traveled by flightto Washington DC where the studentshad the opportunity to meet students with diverse backgrounds from across the country to learn how the US Government affects their lives and community. This week long experience took our Project LEAD students to visit majority of the National monuments and museums such as the Thomas Jefferson & Lincoln Memorials, Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and the Arlington National Cemetery. Although the students were having fun time, each tour served as an educational experience where the students were given study cases for each memorial where the students discussed their learning throughout the day. 

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