Project LINK was co-founded by the late Mary E. Bryant and Geraldine L. Barnes. Project LINK came to life when two powerful women in the West Tampa community lead the charge to make a change on the Westside.
Project LINK began in April 1989, due to their concerns of the growing truancy problems in the North Boulevard Housing community and surrounding areas of West Tampa. The ladies recount the times they drove to work and saw many youths hanging out with no productive motive in sight.
So July 1990, Project LINK was awarded a planning grant to develop a comprehensive community-based outreach system. Project LINK used the planning grant as a developmental opportunity leading to the achievement of several goals.
The main goal was to promote parent empowerment through a comprehensive neighborhood-based program that improves the quality of the parent-child relationship and reduce truancy rosters, discipline referrals, drop-out rates, within Hillsborough County Public Schools.
Mary E. Bryant and Geraldine L. Barnes constructed a massive collaborative with the Hillsborough County Department of Social Work Services that expedited the referral system that would serve children, that had 10 or more unexcused absences.
During these times, the children of West Tampa were bused out to 12 different schools. Project LINK formed a relationship with each of these schools to bridge the gap between parents and school administrators, that enhance academic achievement, improve attendance and build stronger relationships.
To date, we have served over 45,000 families county-wide, contributing to children becoming healthy, safe, educated, and active members in the process.