Students at HISD’s Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy didn’t want much—just an outdoor space on the grounds of their 88-year-old campus to take an occasional break from their studies.
Now, they have it, thanks to an organization called The Links, Inc. and the seven Houston chapters’ joint community service project.
Representatives from that organization came to the campus on June 19 to celebrate the unveiling and official dedication of the newly renovated courtyard, which is shaded by a huge oak tree, graced with a tiled fountain, and paved with 207 bricks sold for $100 each and engraved with the names of their benefactors.
“The ‘Buy a Brick…Build a Tradition’ community service project began as an idea,” explained Project Committee Chair (and President of the Spring-Cypress chapter of The Links, Inc.) Angela Veale Joubert. “When we asked the girls what they wanted, they said they just wanted a space that would take them out of the building, someplace where they could relax and study.”
The project was funded through the sale of engraved bricks and a substantial donation from the Houston cluster (or seven Houston chapters) of The Links, Inc., as well as a smaller donation from the Western Area director.
“We’ve done some more traditional projects over the years, such as scholarships, but after a while, you might remember one, but you can’t really see it, touch it and feel warm about it,” added Veale Joubert.
“These projects are supposed to be a gift to the host community, that is something of value and will be a reflection of the community for years to come,” she added. “This school is housed in a historic building in a historic area (the former Contemporary Learning Center in the city’s Third Ward), and it’s focused on girls and STEM and education in an underserved population. The design gives students a small, private place to gather and socialize that can also be used as an outdoor classroom. The entire thing was just a good fit. It’s the perfect partnership.”
“We are thankful to The Links, Inc. for its continuous support of our students,” said YWCPA Principal Delesa O’Dell-Thomas. “The courtyard is beautiful and we promise to put it to good use.”