Project LINK was established in April 1989, by the late Mary E. Bryant, a former assistant superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools, and Geraldine L. Barnes, a Hillsborough County social worker for over 30 years.
The birth of the organization was due to concerns of the growing truancy challenges in the North Boulevard subsidized housing community. The ladies would recount the times they drove to work and saw youth hanging out with no productive motive in sight.
During these times, the children living in West Tampa were bused to twelve different schools across the county.
Project LINK formed a relationship with each of these schools to bridge the gap between parents and school administrators, which enhance academic achievements, improved attendance, and built stronger relationships.
These two powerful advocates within the West Tampa community, lead the charge for equitable family engagement focusing on meaningful engagement activities, and systems between schools and parents that do not characterize or treat specific groups as deficient in their level of engagement or approach to education.
In July 1990, Project LINK was awarded its first planning grant from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County to develop a comprehensive community-based outreach system.
Project LINK used the planning grant as a developmental opportunity leading to the longevity of the organization.
To date, we have served over 128,000 families county-wide, contributing to children becoming healthy, safe, educated, and active members in the process.