Project Link Update

Coordinator's Report to Oversight Committee - November 2015

Education. Workforce. Community. Success.


Project Link’s mission is to create a college going culture by linking Waco students to post-secondary education and workforce opportunities. We are devoted to challenging and supporting students to reach their full potential by advocating success through personal discovery, academic growth, and community involvement.


Our vision is to promote a culture of students who desire to graduate from high school and pursue college or workforce opportunities, preparing them to become effective contributors to society.







October Activities

  • Planning Project Link/Career Prep Course with MCC Course
  • Project Link Access Training
  • Radio Interview with M&M Broadcasters
  • ApplyTexas training
  • Project Link Team Meeting x2
  • 1:1 Meeting with Natalie
  • College & Career Fair
  • LIT Monthly Meeting
  • Counselor’s Luncheon
  • Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Wetlands Field Trip
  • Met with Seniors for 1:1, Admissions Applications, Scholarship Applications
  • Completed flyers for after school sessions

Completed October Goals

  • Began Lunch Sessions
  • LIT Monthly Meeting
  • Document previous 1:1 in Access Database

November Goals

  • Complete senior’s after school session (ApplyTexas)
  • Complete junior’s after school session (Intro to Financial Aid)
  • Complete sophomore’s after school session (Texas Genuine)
  • All Juniors 1:1
  • Continue Sophomore/Freshman lunch sessions
  • Order business cards
  • Handout Sophomore/Junior flyers for after school sessions
  • Prepare for group sessions
  • Social Media
  • LIT Meeting


Invites to Student Group Sessions

Office Visits/Lunch Sessions


McLennan Community College & La Vega High School Workplace Communication Project

MCC students from Mrs. Jenna Hoefer’s SPCH 1311 classes researched, gathered, and presented a workplace communication skills workshop for CTE and Project Link students from La Vega High School.

The workshops included:

  • Looking for a Job - This presentation provided LVHS students information on how to search for current job openings. What to do when inquiring about a job, how to determine if you have the required or desired experience or training, and how to appropriate follow-up on the status of a job you have applied for.

  • Mock Interview - Mock interviews were conducted by MCC students. The mock interviews began and maintained throughout the interview as if it were a real interview. After the interview was complete, the interviewer provided constructive feedback on how the LVHS student performed. Additional tips and pointers were provided to the students.

  • Resume Building - LVHS students were required to complete (before) and bring with them a career/job resume and a college resume. The LVHS students had the opportunity to sit one-on-one or two-on-one to have their resumes reviewed and critiqued. Additional tips and pointers were provided to the students regarding their individual resumes. LVHS students had the opportunity to ask additional questions regarding what to include, what not to include, and how their overall resume should look.

  • Impression Management - This presentation included how to make a good first impression, confidently and firmly shake someone's hands, appropriate eye contact and body gestures, and what to or not to wear for a job interview.

In addition, the LVHS students came together to hear from one of MCC's Success Coaches who talked about the Success Coach program at MCC and other campus resources. Natalie James also introduced herself and her role as the Project Link contact at McLennan Community College, and how the Project Link program worked at McLennan Community College. At the end of the workshops, LVHS students were given the opportunity to ask the MCC student presenters any additional questions regarding workplace communications or anything related to being a college student. (You could tell both our LVHS students and MCC students really enjoyed the Q&A time.)

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La Vega Field Trip to the Wetlands


LaTishia & Brittany Last Month for Interview with 101.3 FM on Project Link

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October Activities

  • Attended Dual Credit Info session at WHS hosted by WHS advanced academics department

  • Host afterschool office hours every Mon & Wed for JR and SRs

  • Coordinate and organize upcoming guests or trips for PL students

  • Handout group session invites to Juniors - Freshmen.

  • 1:1 Sessions Seniors

  • UT visit at UHS

  • TCU visit at UHS

  • Prepare for group sessions and plan activities

  • Met with KCEN

  • Met with Radio

  • Plan after school sessions for juniors and seniors

  • Every student sign up for text reminders

  • Meet with LIT team Wed. Oct 6th.

  • Find Volunteers, Volunteer, and Attend H. O. T. College Fair

  • Attend H.O.T college fair committee meeting

  • Work on Marketing items

    • Website

    • Business Cards

    • Social Media

    • Project Link Posters

  • Attend Access training

  • Attend ApplyTexas training

  • Host Project Link Advisory meeting

  • Assist in planning and hosting UHS College Night

  • Send data updates/reports

November Goals

  • Assist with ApplyTX application drive for all seniors

  • Attend social media/website media strategy sessions

  • Host local nurses to speak with pre nursing students

  • Plan TSTC tour day for senior TSTC applicants

  • Send out Project Link Pre-Survey

  • Start 1:1 Sessions with Juniors

  • Continue to Serve seniors during lunch periods

  • Create goals list for seniors. Set Deadline December 1.

  • Begin student leadership team and start scheduling events


Invites to Student Group Sessions

Below is a copy of Brittany & Marlayna's invite notifying each student about their first group session and how to sign up for Remind 101. The liaisons are using Remind 101 to notify the students via text or email regarding upcoming one-on-ones, group session, other events, and to complete any necessary activities or assignments.

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Lunch Pick up/Drop off process

After finalizing their student's schedules for group sessions, Brittany and Marlayna met again with the Child Nutrition Specialist and created a final plan how the students would receive their lunch in the Project Link room for their group sessions.

Before group sessions begin, the liaisons pick up double warmers and coolers (for drinks) for attending students. The liaisons mark the students who received lunch, so they are not charged or double charged when they do not attend their group session, are absent or decide not to eat.

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Scholarships List

Brittany and Marlayna helped to create a scholarships list now featured on the WISD/UHS website. You and other will also be able to access this list from the Project Link website once completed.



Project Link Leadership Club at University High School

The UHS liaisons are working had at starting and recruiting a student leadership program here University High School. The Project Link Leadership program will be one that mirrors a student council type organization, but will be specifically for students actively in Project Link. The goal is to give Project Link students the opportunity to learn parliamentary procedure, gain community service credit and have a say in what activities they do as a group. Brittany and Marlayna are very excited to get there Leadership Program at UHS underway.
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University High School College Night

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H. O. T. College Night

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11/6/15 The U Show

A little about Reginald Jones (RJ)

Reginald Jones (RJ) is a Project Link senior at UHS. RJ plans to pursue a career in video production and aspires to attend University of North Texas in Denton. RJ enjoys listening to movie scores and creating his own music videos in his spare time. RJ wrote this rap song for UHS' The U Show. We are so proud to have RJ as a representative of Project Link and to have the opportunity to be apart of and experience his overwhelming creativity!




October Activities & Meetings

October 1
  • Planning Meeting, for Partnership between Project Link La Vega, La Vega CTE, and MCC Professor Jenna Hoefer for a College Student Lead Career Services Workshop for High School Students.
  • KCEN Interview
October 2
  • Bi-weekly meeting w/Beth Holquin, TSTC POC
  • Meeting w/Matthew Polk, Prosper Waco
October 5
  • Project Link Access Database Training w/Dr. Rhodes & Brittany Fitz
October 6
  • Monthly Meeting w/Rob Wolaver & Beth Holquin, TSTC
October 7
  • ApplyTexas Training for the Project Link Team, Counselors from LVHS, and Counselors from UHS w/Jenifer Janek, Region 12.
October 8
  • Project Link Team Meeting
  • One-on-One Meeting w/LaTishia Watson, La Vega Liaison

October 14

  • Project Link Information Session I
October 15
  • Project Link Information Session II
October 16
  • Project Link Information Session III
  • Bi-Weekly meeting with Beth Holquin, TSTC POC

October 20

  • One-on-one Meeting w/Brittany Davis, University Liaison
  • Project Link Team Meeting

October 21

  • Project Link Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Project Link Data Management Meeting
October 22
  • Workplace Communication Skills Workshop, hosted by MCC & Ms. Hoefer’s Students for La Vega CTE & Project Link Students.
October 23
  • MCC Student Development Retreat
October 26
  • Meeting with Matthew & Jillian, Prosper Waco
October 27
  • One-on-one Meeting w/Angela Reiher, UHS POC
  • One-on-one Meeting w/Marlayna Botello, University Liaison
October 29
  • Naviance Webinar
October 28
  • Prosper Waco Education Steering Committee Presentation

Student meetings throughout the month

November Activities & Meetings

November 2
  • Bi-Weekly meeting with Beth Holquin
  • Monthly Meeting w/Rob Wolaver & Beth Holquin, TSTC
  • SmarterMeasures Meeting

November 3

  • Event Food & Supply Errands for LVHS
  • Project Link Team Meeting
  • One-on-one meeting w/LaTishia Watson, LVHS liaison

November 4

  • Naviance Meeting
  • Oversight Committee Meeting

November 5

  • Prosper Waco PSA Filming
  • Interview w/Stephanie Butts, Waco Tribune Herald

November 6

  • MCC Professional Development Day

November 10

  • Event food and supply errands for LVHS
  • Project Link Media Meeting

November 11

  • One-on-one meeting w/Brandon Chappell, TSTC Specialist

November 12

  • Bi-Weekly meeting with Beth Holquin
  • One-on-one meeting w/Krumnow, LVHS POC

November 13

  • Supervisor Training

November 16

  • A Symposium on Higher Education at Baylor University

November 17

  • Project Link Team Meeting
  • Reading Non-Verbal Signals (MCC Professional Training)
  • Project Link and Baylor Poverty Initiative Meeting

November 18

  • One-on-one meeting w/Brittany Davis and Marlayna Botello, UHS liaisons

November 19

  • Conflict to Collaboration (MCC Professional Training)

November 25-27

  • MCC Thanksgiving Holiday

Student meetings throughout the month.

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RSVP form students linked to from postcard.

Completed Goals from October

  • Collaborated with Project Link Team and Data Management Team on additional tracking needs within the database/tracking system (ACCESS) for the high school liaisons.
  • Created pre-survey postcards with links for Project Link students and parents to be sent by the High School Liaisons. Deadline to complete the surveys was changed to November 13, 2015.
  • Finalized High School Project Link cohorts. Continue to get more buy-in and participation at the College level.
  • Met with MCC Project Link Students and tracked information
  • Hosted three Project Link Information Sessions to try and gain more interest and involvement of qualifying PL students at MCC
  • Attend ApplyTexas Training
  • Met with PL team members and POC at University for monthly one-on-one meeting
  • Collaborated, coordinated and hosted the Work Communication Skills Workshop where MCC students from Mrs. Jenna Hoefer’s SPCH 1311 classes researched, gathered, and presented on a variety of workplace communication skills for CTE and Project Link students from La Vega High School.
  • Work with Cindy Riley on updating the College MOUs regarding roles and responsibilities of the Project Link position at each location. Also worked with Dr. Riley on updating the High School MOUs to include a small operational fund ($250 for LVHS and $500 for WISD) for the liaisons to purchase event food, drinks, and supplies. Reimbursement can be made to the schools, as long as, purchases are pre-approved by the Coordinator and appropriate documentation is provided (itemized receipts).
  • Coordinated Interviews for Project Link team with KCEN and Mix 101.3 FM.

November Goals

  • Hire a permanent full-time Project Link Outreach Specialist @ TSTC
  • Continue to collaborate on an evaluation survey for the PL program and services as a whole.
  • Continue to work on and begin finalizing project link evaluation process and tools for staff
  • Continued collaboration on data collection and coordination
  • Continued to find and coordinate training, team-building, and professional development opportunities
  • Continue to set-up Project Link Activities for MCC PL students
  • Obtain results of the Project Link pre-survey. Deadline to complete set for November 13, 2015.
  • Continue to get more buy-in and participation at the College level.
  • Met with MCC Project Link Students and tracked information
  • 1:1 Meetings with PL team members and POCs
  • Meet with Brandon Chappell and TSTC Point-of-Contact regarding Project Link and partnership efforts.
  • Met with PL team members and POC at University for monthly one-on-one meeting
  • Met with PL team members and POC at University for monthly one-on-one meeting
  • Collaborate with Mrs. Jenna Hoefer and University on providing the Workplace Communication Skills Workshop where MCC students from Mrs. Hoefer’s SPCH 1311 classes presented on a variety of workplace communication skills for CTE and Project Link students from University High School during Spring 2016.
  • Work with Data Management Team to purchase and implement Naviance for the Project Link team.
  • Work with Data Management Team to coordinate training on the Naviance system.
  • Finalize and activate Project Link website.
  • Finalize social media content schedule and activate social media accounts. (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram)
  • Begin evaluating where Project Link, as a whole, is at after the first semester, and begin making any necessary adjustments and plan additional activities or events for Spring 2016.




Hurray, it is Official! Brandon Chappell is Now a Full-Time Member of the Project Link Team at TSTC.

Brandon Chappell is a native Wacoan but was raised in Houston Texas where he ultimately graduated from Westbury High School. After high school, Brandon chose to attend Prairie View A&M University to pursue his degree in Communications. To pay for his education, he applied for a marching band scholarship and participated in the band while working part-time as well. In 2012, he graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a minor in Social Work.

After returning to Waco, Brandon had the opportunity to apply his Social Work minor in the position he held in the Department of Student Life at Texas State Technical College. There, he managed the campus’ Clothing Closet, Food Bank and the TSTC Textbook Lending Library. After two years of hard work in that department, Brandon was hired to be a Success Coach in the Advising and Retention Office. As a Success Coach, he provided academic advising for students needing assistance in their classes and with the registration process. Brandon also served on the Refocus Program Committee, which provides support and help to students who have had faced barriers and difficulties in college with getting back on track and in good academic standings with TSTC.

Brandon’s experience as a Success Coach has made him very excited about his new position with Project Link. He is excited to use his skills in academic advising to help ensure a seamless transition for Project Link students as they matriculate from high school into college. Brandon believes the Project Link program as a whole will be very beneficial to students who believe that obtaining a post-secondary education is not a realistic possibility. Brandon is very excited and happy to be a member of the Project Link Team.

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The Pirate Press - News at La Vega High School

Ms. Watson was interviewed by one of La Vega's very own student about her new role at La Vega High School and with Project Link.

Helper of Students

Q: Ms. LaTishia Watson, do you like this job?

A: Yes, but I have not worked in this environment before.

Q: How do you feel about coming to this school?

A: I have no complaints about this school and was excited to come.

Q: How many years have you been in a school?

A: This is my first time working in a high school.

Q: What college did you attend?

A: I went to McLennan Community College and other universities.

Q: Why did you pick this school?

A: The Project Link liaison position was available.

Q: Do you live far away from this school?

A: No, I do not live far from the school.

Q: What subject do you teach?

A: I coordinate Project Link.

Q: What is Project Link?

A: The goal of the program is to ensure that more students have the opportunity to develop personal relationships with professionals who are focused exclusively on the process of supporting them through high school and ensuring a seamless transition to college, where they will receive continued support. To achieve this, the staff of Project Link will ensure that students have a coach and cheerleader from ninth grade through college. Ultimately, the objective is to increase college enrollment and success among students.

Te’Andre’ White, Former Staff Writer • October 2, 2015


7th Annual Early Childhood Provider Recognition Banquet

Natalie James was a guest speaker at the 7th Annual Early Childhood Provider Recognition Banquet on Tuesday, October 13, 2015. As a past program participant in Child Care Service (CCS) through the H. O. T. Workforce Solutions, she shared her experiences as a teen mom, how CCS benefited her and her daughter, and how TSTC Child Care Center provided her child with nurturing teachers and early learning opportunities that has benefited her and her daughter to this day. Natalie also shared how CCS and other resources provided her the opportunity to work towards her educational and career goals.




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as of October 2015





Advisory Committee Minutes





The Coordinator's Report will be provided to the Oversight Committee by the 10th of each month. This is a private report. Only people with the report's address can see it by typing that address into their browser or if the link is shared with you. This report can still be shared with other people, but the report will not be shown or listed publicly on In addition, Google will not be able to index the report, it will not be featured on Smore's Feature page, and it will not show up in the Smore Account Owner's profile.

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