Annual Event Highlights Teens Lives Changed by Wyman Programs
St. Louis, MO [Feb. 10, 2015] – More than 55 teen leaders from across St. Louis will converge at The Wyman Gala on Saturday, March 14. St. Louisans are invited to join the festivities, and learn how they too can help support the development of tomorrow’s teen leaders.
The gala, “Celebrating Today’s Teens and Tomorrow’s Leaders,” helps fund positive youth development programs offered by Wyman Center, a national trailblazer in positive youth development strategies that help teens thrive, not just survive.
Wyman’s programs – offered for more than 116 years here in St. Louis – are proven to build teen leadership and resilience, while also reducing teen pregnancy, dropout, class failure and truancy.
Risky behaviors, like teen childbearing, lead to a lifetime of consequences, as well as more than $9 billion in costs to the nation annually. For this reason, prevention programs such as Wyman’s yield a powerful social and financial return on investment – about $10 for every $1 spent.
Teens featured at the gala include those from Wyman’s Teen Leadership and Teen Outreach programs, who will talk one-on-one with gala guests. The teen meet and greet is a highlight of the annual gala, which has raised more than $800,000 over the last five years to support local Wyman programs.
“More than 13.5 million young people live in poverty,” said Amie Nolan-Needham, event chair. “Wyman has served more than 125,000 nationally over the last five years, but we’ve got more work to do. With support from those who attend the gala, we know that together, we can ignite even greater change – for our teens, our community and the next generation at-large. Having the chance to speak with Wyman teens, learn about the challenges they faced, and discover how they’ve overcome these challenges and transformed their lives is one of the most inspiring moments of my year.”
“Wyman helped me become the person I am today,” said Da’Vione Johnson, who joined Wyman’s programs after experiencing both poverty and gang violence as a young teen. “Wyman gave me a mirror to look at myself for who I am, figure out where I wanted to be, and explore the places I could go. Today, I’m in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, and hope to become an Air Force pilot. Wyman gave me hope, and I am eternally grateful for the people and opportunities that Wyman has placed in front of me.” Currently, Johnson is also full-time student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and a part-time student at Saint Louis University.
Emceeing this year’s gala is a family who will share how these programs have changed their lives – Andre and Dominique, who are both Fox High School students, along with their mother, Joy.
What: The Wyman Gala: Celebrating Today’s Teens and Tomorrow’s Leaders
Where: Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis
When: Saturday, March 14, 2015, from 6 to 11 p.m.
- 6 p.m. – Cocktails
- 7 p.m. – Special Welcome by a Wyman Family
- 7:15 p.m. – Dinner
- 8:20 p.m. – Meet the Wyman Teens, followed by a Fund-the-Need Auction
- 9 p.m. – Dance, Dance, Dance and Late Night Nibbles
To purchase tickets visit: http://wymancenter.org/2015-wyman-gala/.
Join the conversation:
- Facebook: http://bit.ly/Wyman2015Gala
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/wymancenter
- Instagram via mobile device: @Wyman_Center
About Wyman’s Work:
Through the work of more than 300 providers in 35 states, Wyman offers some of the most successful, cost-effective and highly respected programs for teens nationally.
Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) is a nationally recognized program for teens in 6th to 12th grade that reduces the risk of problem behavior and increases healthy choices.
TOP engages teens in curriculum-guided discussion and community service learning throughout the school year. Delivered during a critical time in adolescent brain development, discussions and activities support brain maturity as youth are engaged in thinking about their goals, values and behaviors.
2013 – 2014 School Year Results (St. Louis):
- 100 percent of TOP teens remained in school
- 100 percent of TOP students graduated on-time
- 98 percent of TOP teens progressed to the next grade level
Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program (TLP) provides immersive residential summer experiences and school-year support over the course of six years to build the leadership capacity of teens, and increase college access and persistence.
2013 Results (St. Louis):
- 100 percent TLP seniors graduated from high school on time
- 92 percent enrolled in post-secondary education or training upon graduation
- 91 percent of TLP alumni have graduated with a degree, are currently enrolled in a degree or training program, or are in the military
About Wyman Center
Wyman, a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit and proud member of the United Way, partners with communities to provide teens with the support and opportunities they need to thrive in life. Originally founded in 1898, Wyman’s mission is to enable teens from economically disadvantaged circumstances to lead successful lives and build strong communities.