"Maximizing Our Impact Through Leadership, Service and Friendship"

LINKED
IN THE
COMMUNITY

The members of the Columbia (SC) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated are professional women who are leaders in their career fields and the community. Our members serve in leadership positions of various community and State commissions, boards and non-profit organizations. The Chapter also supports and partners with several local organizations such as Central Carolina Community Foundation, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, and Richland County School District One.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE SINCE 1952

The Columbia (SC) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated was organized in April 1952 by Elise F. Jenkins and Marian B. Paul as a not-for-profit service oriented local affiliate of the national organization of The Links, Incorporated. The Links, Inc. is an organized membership of women leaders who are linked in service and friendship to promote and engage in educational, civic and intercultural activities in order to enrich the lives of members and the larger community.

LINKED
IN
ACTION

Our volunteer programs aim to assist local community members where it is needed most. From the “L.I.N.K.S (Learning Initiative Navigating Knowledge for Success)” after school program to “Links Healthy Lifestyle,” the chapter continues to lend a helping hand.

Chapter Highlights

About Us

SA_Links_Green_Large_lightgreen_Columbia-(SC)

Who We Are

The Columbia, South Carolina Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is a not-for-profit service oriented local affiliate of the national organization of The Links, Incorporated. The Links, Inc. is an organized membership of women leaders who are linked in service and friendship to promote and engage in educational, civic and intercultural activities in order to enrich the lives of members and the larger community.



Leadership

 A Message From The President

Greetings,

On behalf of the Ladies of the Columbia (SC) Chapter of the Links, I welcome you to our website. It is my pleasure to serve as President of this Chapter for the 2018-2020 program years.

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation of professional women established in 1946. The Columbia (SC) Chapter was established in 1952. Our National Programmatic Facets are Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services and Health and Human Services.

The Columbia (SC) Chapter has successfully implemented programs in all of these areas for the last 66 years. We have partnered with the City of Columbia, Richland School Districts 1 & 2, Palmetto Health Foundation, Historic Columbia Foundation, Central Carolina Community Foundation, Sistercare, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands and the Girl Scouts of America to address educational enrichment, healthy living, social and economic needs in the community.

Our Chapter has left an indelible footprint of service and giving in this community. Our umbrella project at Burton- Pack Elementary has touched the lives of many students, staff, faculty, and parents. Anchoring this project is an incredible Exercise Trail that will serve the school as well as the community at large. Opportunities for children to attend cultural events such as the Columbia City ballet performances; to have dental care through the services of the Colgate Dental Bus; and, to be exposed to career professionals are just a few of the many tentacles supported by the Facets.

The Columbia Chapter has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships to high school seniors through our Links Scholars program.

We have been gifted with the legacy of a chapter founded by smart, talented, and community-minded women, it is upon this foundation that we will continue to serve the Greater Columbia area.

Thank you for visiting our website and it is my hope that you will find it to be informative as to the many programs, events and activities that we sponsor in this community.

Sincerely,

DeAndrea Gist Benjamin
Chapter President

 

DeAndrea Benjamin Bio

The Honorable DeAndrea Gist Benjamin A life-long Columbia native, DeAndrea Gist Benjamin was born in Columbia, South Carolina on October 4, 1972 to Donald and Adrienne Gist. She is married to the Honorable Stephen K. Benjamin, attorney and Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina. The Benjamin’s have two daughters. Judge Benjamin attended public school in Richland County and graduated from Columbia High School in 1990. She enrolled in college at Winthrop University in 1990 and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelors of Arts. While at Winthrop, she was inducted into the Political Science Hall of Fame and received the Order of the Omega. Judge Benjamin went on to attend Law School at the University of South Carolina and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1997. While in Law School she served on the Student Government Council and was selected as a Kellogg Child Welfare Fellow. She was admitted to the South Carolina Bar on November 18, 1997, the SC District Court in September 2001 and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in November of 2002. Following law school, Judge Benjamin clerked for the Honorable L. Casey Manning. Upon completing her clerkship she began her career as a Prosecutor in the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office. In 2001, she joined her father’s law firm, Gist Law Firm, where she practiced until being elected to the Circuit Court bench on February 2, 2011.

She has served on the Juvenile Parole Board (2001-2004) and as a Municipal Judge for the City of Columbia from July 2004 until April 2011.

Judge Benjamin has been very active in the bar and in the community. She has served on the SC Bar Board of Governors, SC Bar House of Delegates, SC Bar Young Lawyers Division (Chair 2006-2007), Children’s Law Committee (Chair 2010 –2011), Richland County Bar Association, SC Black Lawyers Association, SC Women Lawyers Association, and Appleseed Legal Justice Board. As a young lawyer Judge Benjamin, was very active in the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. She served as District Representative for South Carolina and the Virgin islands and served on various committees.

Judge Benjamin has served on the following: EdVenture Children’s Museum Board, Sexual Trauma Services Board, Congaree Girl Scouts Board, Arts Council, USC Community Advisory Board, North Main Street Redevelopment, and Saint John Baptist Church Pre-school Board. She is a member of the Columbia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Columbia Chapter of the Links, Inc., 2015 Class of Liberty Fellows, and Jack and Jill of America.

Judge Benjamin and her husband Steve have two daughters. They attend St. John Baptist Church of Columbia.

Executive Committee

Front Row (left to right): Ebony Hines (Corresponding Secretary), Krista Hardie (Recording Secretary), Benetta Bell (Vice President), DeAndrea Benjamin (President), Tonya Green (Treasurer), and Mary Elam (Financial Secretary)

Back Row (left to right): Sandra Sims (Sargeant at Arms), Breon Walker (Parliamentarian), Bettie Owens (immediate Past President), Kristian Cross (Reporter), Martha Smith (Organizational Effectiveness), Michelle Childs (Assistant Secretary)

Community Programs

Events

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