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Links2Success in the News

Links2Success Receives Major Financial Support from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation for Expansion into Middle School

Links2Success is thrilled to announce a significant financial contribution from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. With this generous grant, we will expand our College and Career Program into the middle school, empowering even more students to pursue higher education and career success. Barancik Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting initiatives that provide equal opportunities for educational achievement and empower students to reach their full potential. Recognizing the transformative impact of the Links to Success program, the Foundation has committed to providing substantial financial support to enable this expansion.

“Links2Success is critically important to so many DeSoto County families,” commented Barancik Foundation President | CEO Teri A Hansen. “Through their college and career prep programs, the organization is creating opportunities that change and inspire the trajectory of students’ lives, many of which will become the first in their families to pursue secondary education.”

The Links2Success College and Career Prep Program, which has been successfully operating in DeSoto County for over a decade, equips high school students with the necessary skills, resources, and guidance to navigate the complexities of higher education and career planning. The expansion into middle school will bring these invaluable opportunities to younger students, setting them on a trajectory for future success.


Key components of the expanded Links to Success program include:

College and Career Exploration: Middle school students will engage in interactive workshops, career fairs, and mentorship programs designed to introduce them to a wide range of educational and career pathways. These experiences will ignite their curiosity, help them explore their interests, and provide a solid foundation for future academic and career decisions.


Academic Support: Recognizing the importance of academic preparation, the program will provide middle school students with academic support services such as tutoring, study skills development, and guidance on course selection. By ensuring they have a strong academic foundation, we aim to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in high school and beyond.


College Readiness: The expanded program will offer comprehensive resources and guidance on college readiness, including assistance with college applications, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities. Students will have the opportunity to visit local colleges, attend college fairs, and engage with college representatives to gain valuable insights into the college application process.


Personal and Social Development: The program will focus on holistic student development by providing workshops and activities that foster self-confidence, leadership skills, and positive decision-making. Middle school students will develop the necessary social and emotional competencies to thrive academically, personally, and professionally.

“We know that only 10.7% of DeSoto County residents ages 25-34 have a two-year degree or higher, and we want to improve these numbers. These students represent our future, and it’s imperative that we prepare them for success,” shared Links2Success Executive Director/Co-Founder Ashley Coone. “We extend our deepest gratitude to Barancik Foundation for their extraordinary support and shared vision of educational equity and opportunity. Together, we will continue to empower students and pave the way for their success.”


About Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation

The Charles and Margery Barancik family has long believed in the power of philanthropy to shape our world and enrich the lives of all people. It was the expression of this belief that led them in 2014 to establish Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation—a private, family foundation located in Sarasota, Florida. Barancik Foundation creates initiatives and awards grants in Sarasota and beyond in the areas of education, humanitarian causes, arts and culture, the environment, and medical research. For more information, visit

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