Wyman News: Wyman & Award-Winning Public Education Campaign Team Up to Prevent Youth Tobacco Use

In 2015 and 2016, a seven-lesson tobacco and substance abuse curriculum leveraging Wyman’s evidence-based and proven TOP approach will strengthen youth knowledge about tobacco, change youth attitudes toward tobacco and engage young people as tobacco control activists.

In 2015 and 2016, a seven-lesson tobacco and substance abuse curriculum leveraging Wyman’s evidence-based and proven TOP approach will strengthen youth knowledge about tobacco, change youth attitudes toward tobacco and engage young people as tobacco control activists.

Pilot Program Leverages Wyman’s Proven, Evidence-Based Approach

WASHINGTON, D.C.Legacy and Wyman announced today a new collaboration to educate and engage students to prevent youth tobacco use and substance abuse. The two organizations will create a specialized curriculum to reach young people participating in Wyman’s innovative Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®).

Legacy, the national public health organization best known for its award-winning truth® youth tobacco prevention campaign, and Wyman, a Saint Louis-based nonprofit with more than 117 years’ experience helping teens from economically disadvantaged circumstances, have agreed to collaborate on a one-year project to develop and test a tobacco control and substance abuse supplement to Wyman’s successful youth programming.

TOP is a results-driven youth development approach that transforms teens and communities by empowering teens with the tools and opportunities needed to avoid risky behaviors and build a foundation of healthy behaviors, life skills and a sense of purpose.

“Legacy can’t end the tobacco epidemic without partners like Wyman who share our commitment to empowering young people and to achieving health equity,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Legacy. “Together we will build on the TOP program and take on the challenge of ending tobacco’s reign as the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.”

Via a grant from Legacy to Wyman, the organizations are building a seven-lesson tobacco and substance abuse curriculum to strengthen youth knowledge about tobacco, change youth attitudes toward tobacco and engage young people as tobacco control activists. Two sites within Wyman’s National Network will pilot the curriculum. More than 400 teens will participate in the pilots that will launch this fall. A third party evaluator will assess pilot outcomes and publish results in 2016.

TOP uses community service learning to help teens understand local issues and exercise the self-confidence, voice, advocacy, decision-making and priority-setting skills they develop as part of the program. The pilot will engage teens in tobacco control service learning experiences as well as participant-led local youth activism projects.

“This is a truly compelling opportunity to add another level of health advocacy to our work,” said Joe Miller, Wyman’s Senior Vice President of Partnerships and External Affairs. “This collaboration will further improve the lives and potential of TOP participants and trigger a positive ripple effect in communities where youth are most at risk of tobacco use.”

TOP is offered to teens in grades six through 12 at in-school, after-school and community settings via 68 partners and 300 providers in urban and rural environments nationwide. One of the most successful, cost-effective and highly-respected, evidence-based programs for teens in the U.S., TOP has been proven to reduce the risk of problem behavior and to increase healthy choices. To date, more than 600,000 young people have participated in Wyman’s programs.

Since its inception, Legacy has recognized the importance of youth activists in the fight against tobacco use. Legacy actively supports the efforts of young people who are ready to make a difference with programming that includes fellowships, hands-on training and expert-led presentations to develop the next generation of youth and young adult tobacco control leaders.

Legacy envisions an America where tobacco is a thing of the past, where all youth and young adults reject tobacco use. Legacy’s proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy’s life-saving programs, visit www.LegacyForHealth.org. Follow us on Twitter @legacyforhealth and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Legacy.

Media Contact:
Kristin Gumper
Director, Communication and External Affairs


Featured Video: What Changing a Life Feels Like in Harrisonburg, Va.

Wyman recently went on the road to listen to the breakthroughs our partners are experiencing as part of the Teen Outreach Program (TOP).

As one of the 68 partners in Wyman’s National Network, James Madison University offers the innovative, evidence-based approach throughout Harrisonburg, Va. Teens here face poverty, disconnection with their families, or serve as translators to their loved ones who have recently immigrated to the U.S. But through TOP, they’re growing stronger, becoming more confident and working to change their communities.

Watch this video to learn more about their experiences. Or, learn more about Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program here.

Your Voice Is Needed Before Teen Pregnancy Prevention Dollars Are Cut

Your Voice Is Needed Before Teen Pregnancy Prevention Dollars Are Cut

Last week, the full House Committee took action to eliminate TPPP funding. Yesterday, portions of the Senate — the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) Subcommittee — worked to pass its version of the bill, which aims to cut critical programs proven to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Cuts funding for the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs from $101 million to $20 million, which is an 80% cut.
  • This funding has supported programs – like Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP) – that have been rigorously evaluated and proven to change behavior.
  • It also increases funding for abstinence-only programs from $5 million to $20 million, which is a 300% increase.

Our time to act is now.

We must use the power of the National Network to influence tomorrow’s vote by the full Senate Appropriations Committee to ensure the longevity of these important programs.

Why now?

It’s in the Senate where actions by the House have been stopped.

What You Can Do to Take Action 

It is critical to weigh in with your members of Congress on the value of the TPPP programs, particularly if they are on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

We need to make noise if we want these programs to exist next year.

Please ask them to fully fund evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs at $101 million for FY 2016.

To view your Senators, click here.

In addition, you can:

  • Send an alert to others in your network asking them to contact elected officials. Feel free to use this language to make it easier.
  • Ask young people you work with to lend their voice – they can write letters to the editor, send emails to elected officials, and use social media to encourage their friends to contact their elected officials.
  • If you have a board members or other friends who have a good relationships with your congressional delegation, encourage them to weigh in – a quick phone call or email from someone well connected goes a long way.
  • If you haven’t already put your name on this letter circulated in November 2014, email rfey@thenc.org to be added.

Other Resources

  • The National Campaign’s statement on the House LHHS bill.
  • TPPP talking points.
  • A blog and chart pointing out that the decline in the national teen birth rate was twice as large in the four-year period since TPPP started, compared to progress in previous four-year periods. While there are certainly many things that have contributed to the declines in teen childbearing, this accelerating progress is notable.
  • Survey findings demonstrating wide public support for the evidence-based TPPP.
  • November 2014 letter from more than 100 national, state, and local groups demonstrating broad support for maintaining funding for evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs.
  • For state specific information about teen and unplanned pregnancy, and TPPP grants going to the state, see here.

Wyman News: Wyman and inspireSTL Begin Collaboration to Grow Reach and Potential


Transition Enables Both Organizations
to Help More Teens Thrive, Not Just Survive

St. Louis, MO [June 16, 2015] – Wyman Center and inspireSTL signed a formal collaboration agreement on June 15 to combine the two organizations. The agreement will culminate in a permanent merger in early 2016.

Wyman and inspireSTL began discussing a potential partnership in 2014, given inspireSTL’s desire to grow impact and scale, and Wyman’s desire to bolster its programs with additional academic support.

inspireSTL will become a program housed under the main Wyman umbrella, and will serve as a sister program to Wyman’s locally based Teen Leadership Program (TLP) and nationally recognized Teen Outreach Program (TOP).

“As two organizations deeply committed to youth, community and collaboration, we believe that with the right support, our youth can – and will – become the next generation of leaders capable of transforming their communities,” said David A. Hilliard, Wyman president and CEO. “This partnership will help us make that vision a reality by delivering greater resources to support local teens, and giving us the potential to deploy additional groundbreaking youth development strategies nationwide.”

“The opportunity to unify our organizations is an exciting prospect for our youth and our region,” said Charli Cooksey, executive director, inspireSTL. “It is an honor to increase our impact and commitment to pursue outcomes that will be far better than each organization could have achieved independently. I’m thrilled that inspireSTL will join an organization equally committed to social justice and empowering young people.”

inspireSTL supports approximately 140 high potential, under-served scholars, who benefit from the organization’s preparation and matching support. inspireSTL places these scholars, identified as emerging young leaders who have the potential to transform the region, into local college prep schools, including Metro, Collegiate, Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School (MICDS), Saint Louis University High School (SLUH), Whitfield, Villa Duchesne and McKinley. Support begins the summer after 7th grade, and lasts through college, and includes securing financial aid, tutoring, coaching, ACT prep, and when necessary, providing financial resources to close the gap for books, uniforms and fees. inspireSTL also provides leadership development, support and training to scholars, so that they may serve as progressive change agents in their high schools, colleges and communities.

Wyman serves as a trailblazer in evidence-based youth development strategies. Wyman transforms teens and communities by empowering teens, training adults and strengthening communities. Wyman’s programs build teen leadership and perseverance, while decreasing risk factors like teen pregnancy and dropout rates by more than 50 percent. In the last five years, Wyman has improved the lives of more than 125,000 teens.

The integration allows inspireSTL to leverage Wyman’s existing systems and processes needed for organizational growth, rather than using vital resources to build administrative capacity. After a year-long study of best practices, both organizations will explore opportunities to grow inspireSTL throughout the region, and integrate additional academic preparation into Wyman’s existing efforts.

Charli Cooksey and Dave Hilliard

About inspireSTL
Founded in 2011 by Teach for America corps members, inspireSTL provides high potential scholars who are currently under-served with placement and rigorous academic support into some of the region’s best high schools, with the vision that they will emerge as the city’s next generation of leaders.

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.

Media Contact:
Kristin Gumper
Director, Communication & External Affairs


Wyman Partner, St. Louis Graduates, In the News: Working Together to Keep High School Graduates on College Path

Wyman has worked in partnership with St. Louis Graduates and a network of partners to inspire collective impact around the issue of graduation in the region.

Wyman’s Senior Vice President of Programs, Allison Williams, serves as co-chair of the St. Louis Graduates board, and as such, supported in the co-development of a recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch article addressing the issue of “Summer Melt,” a phenomenon that occurs between high school graduation and the beginning of college.

The issue impacts those coming from low-income areas and school districts, who do not make it to campus on the first day of class. According to academic literature, the issue affects 10 to 40 percent of students nationwide, with significantly higher rates occurring among low-income and first-generation college students.

Role for Everyone to Keep High School Graduates on College Path

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Allison Williams and Alan Byrd
June , 2015

Allison Williams, Sr. Vice President Wyman Center St. LouisSummer is upon us once again. While for many young people, this is a time of relaxation, camps and family vacations, those who work with college-bound students know summer as a time of great risk. Far too many students – especially those from lower-income communities and families with less experience with college – see their higher education hopes and ambitions melt away over the summer.

“Summer melt” is a phenomenon that occurs between high school graduation and the beginning of college. Many enrolled students, especially those coming from low-income areas and school districts, simply do not make it to campus on the first day of class. This phenomenon, according to academic literature, affects 10 to 40 percent of students nationwide, with significantly higher rates occurring among low-income and first-generation college students.

The reasons range from insufficient financial aid to a lack of support from family and friends to students feeling intimidated by the bureaucracy of the college enrollment process. During the school year, college counselors and teachers address these issues and help keep students on track. During the summer months, access to this critical support is lost.

In the coming years, the St. Louis region’s economy will require that more than 60 percent of adults have a high quality certificate or an associate or bachelor’s degree. Our region currently stands at 43 percent of adults with some such degree. In a region called to raise racial and economic equity as an absolute priority, this number stands at only 26 percent among African-American residents. From moral, equity and economic perspectives – preventing summer melt is the right thing to do. Fortunately, for the third year in a row, our region is collaborating on a solution.
The St. Louis Graduates High School to College Center has opened at 618 N. Skinker Boulevard in the Delmar Loop. College counseling and financial aid professionals from 23 schools and organizations will be available on a daily basis to support successful student transitions onto a post-secondary campus in the fall. They’ll counsel students on financial aid, housing, orientation and other “what do I do now?” questions. Using College Bound’s Bridgit system, students will leave with a detailed task list, and the center’s counselors will follow up with text reminders and encouragement as they work through it.

Last summer, 167 students representing 50 high schools in the area visited the site for assistance. Of these students, 70 percent enrolled in classes for the fall semester, according to National Student Clearinghouse data. For these students, this equates to a summer melt rate of 30 percent, significantly below the 40 percent of low-income students nationally who fall victim to it.

The High School to College Center is truly a collaborative response to a community challenge and only possible because so many pitch in: The Scholarship Foundation contributes financial aid advisers and laptop computers; Washington University provides space in the student-friendly Delmar Loop; Monsanto, Sigma-Aldrich and United Way of Greater St. Louis provide funding for counselor stipends and operations.

The issue of summer melt, and indeed the St. Louis region’s insufficent degree attainment rate, belongs to all of us, affects all of us and can be improved by all of us. The success of the High School to College Center shows what can happen when a community need is recognized, and caring stakeholders from across the region band together with an innovative solution.

We invite you to be a part of the solution. Come by the High School to College Center this summer with a new high school graduate – your neighbor, your son, your granddaughter, your cousin, the young man in the next pew at your place of worship, the employee working at your restaurant. You can help a high school graduate stay on the path to attending college this fall.

Information about the High School to College Center, including hours of operation, can be found at www.stlouisgraduates.org.

St. Louis Graduates has for six years served as a community catalyst, bringing together education and community organizations to align and strengthen the system of support for low-income students through coordinated services and advocacy. St. Louis Regional Chamber is bringing St. Louis into the Top Ten regions in degree attainment by engaging business and higher education leadership to measure, monitor and inspire action to accelerate degree completion.

Wyman/Teen News: St. Louis Selected for National Initiative to Increase Degree Attainment; and Allison Williams, Senior Vice President-Programs at Wyman Begins St. Louis Graduates’ Co-Chair Position

St. Louis, Missouri – Lumina Foundation recently announced that St. Louis is one of the final 20 metropolitan areas joining  its 75-city community-based attainment network designed to help communities and regions dramatically increase the number of local residents with post-secondary credentials.

Lumina’s focus on community-based attainment began because of the Foundation’s recognition that community-based networks are well-suited to play a role in institutional planning and can provide the implementation and coordination that is necessary to create impact at state and federal levels in order to improve the nation’s higher education system so that it better serves students.

“Two-thirds of Americans live in or near cities. Our nation cannot meet its growing demand for citizens who have earned a post-secondary credential without meaningful community-based efforts that are tightly focused on increasing educational attainment,” said Jamie Merisotis, Lumina’s president and CEO.  “We are very pleased with the way this work has unfolded. With 75 communities across the nation working to align the work of business, civic and education efforts in their local communities, greater coordination will occur, resulting in tangible benefits for students of all ages.  These students in turn will become graduates who form the backbone of the future economic, social and cultural success of those communities.”

St. Louis was invited to be part of Lumina’s Community Partnership for Attainment network because of work already underway through St. Louis Graduates and St. Louis Regional Chamber.

St. Louis Graduates has for six years served as a community catalyst, bringing together education and community organizations to align and strengthen the system of support for low-income students through coordinated services and advocacy. St. Louis Regional Chamber is bringing St. Louis into the Top Ten regions in degree attainment by engaging business and higher education leadership to measure, monitor and inspire action to accelerate degree completion.

As part of Lumina’s Community Partnership for Attainment network, St. Louis will focus on strengthening efforts to increase degree completion rates for area students experiencing the greatest disparities: low-income and African American students.

St. Louis Graduates’ involvement is led by its two new co-chairs who were also recently announced:

Byrd holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, both from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership at UMSL.

Williams holds a Bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University and a Master’s degree from Boston College, both in Social Work.

Byrd and Williams will transition into the co-chair role over the next two months. Founders Jane Donahue, President of St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, and Faith Sandler, Executive Director of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, continue as active members of the St. Louis Graduates Steering Committee involved in the Lumina network as well.

“St. Louis Graduates exists because of the vision and tireless commitment to students of Jane Donahue and Faith Sandler which has led to unprecedented regional collaboration in support of students. Alan and Allison will sustain that focus on students while building a regional advocacy voice,” said St. Louis Graduates Steering Committee member Kathy Reeves, Corporate Community Relations Director at Enterprise Holdings, who, with Cynthia Crim, Foundation Program Manager at Commerce Bank, led the nominating process that identified Byrd and Williams.

As the leader of undergraduate recruitment initiatives at UMSL, Byrd works daily with students who are first in their families to attend college and face significant financial obstacles to get there. At Wyman, Williams oversees implementation of Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program and Teen Outreach Program which build teen confidence, resilience and leadership skills in schools and community organizations locally and across the U.S.

“College and universities cannot work in isolation,” said Byrd. “We need the shared commitment of business and community leaders to ensure our neediest students have the support to not only enroll in college, but graduate.”

“Low-income and African American students face significant barriers to graduation – financial, academic, social-emotional, and cultural. Collaborating with the Chamber, business and higher education strengthens our voice in advocating for state and institutional policies that support students and keeps them on the path to a degree,” added Williams.

Leading the Community Partnership for Attainment work from the Chamber are President and CEO Joe Reagan and Vice President of Education Strategy Anne Klein. Reagan joined the Chamber three years ago after leading Greater Louisville Inc. – the Metro Chamber of Commerce where he helped launch that region’s 55,000 Degrees initiative. Klein joined the Chamber in December and brings extensive experience in policy and planning through positions with both St. Louis County and St. Charles County. The Chamber Higher Education Council and Talent Council representatives are also engaged.

“Not only is there an economic imperative to increase degree completion, there is a moral imperative to ensure greater equity in degree attainment for all St. Louisans. Working together with St. Louis Graduates creates a broad-based effort with the momentum to substantially increase the pool of metro graduates,” said Reagan.

The overall effort connects to Goal 2025, Lumina’s national goal to increase the percentage of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates, and other credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. Progress toward the goal will be measured by credentials earned after high school, including certificates, associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees held by local residents. The cities selected will work with Lumina through 2016 to expand and deepen the work they have demonstrated in advancing postsecondary attainment agendas.

St. Louis will work closely with Lumina and national thought leaders to develop a customized action plan focused on reaching attainment goals to increase the percentage of high-quality credentials. The collaborative effort connects St. Louis and participating cities with significant technical and planning assistance, data tools, flexible funding, and the ability to customize attainment plans that will best suit each community’s needs and the well-being of its residents.

St. Louis Graduates and St. Louis Regional Chamber last week convened representatives of area school districts, higher education institutions, college access organizations and businesses to begin crafting the regional plan.

The third and final cohort of communities include: Atlanta, Ga.; Birmingham, Ala.; Boise, Idaho; Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Durham, N.C.; Fresno, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; Mobile, Ala.; Monterey Bay, Calif.; Racine, Wis.; Rockford, Ill.; Shasta County, Calif.; Southern Indiana; Springfield, Mo.; St. Louis, Mo.; Tampa, Fla.; Tulsa, Okla.; Twin Cities, Minn.; Tyler, Texas. To view a complete list of cities participating in this work, national thought leaders assisting these cities, and to learn more please click here.

About Lumina Foundation: Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025. For more information, log on to: www.luminafoundation.org

About St. Louis Graduates: St. Louis Graduates is a collaborative network of college access nonprofits, K-12 and higher education, business and philanthropy focused on increasing degree completion for low-income and first-generation students. For more information, visit www.stlouisgraduates.org

About St. Louis Regional Chamber:  The St. Louis Regional Chamber is a broad community of leaders united for economic prosperity throughout the entire St. Louis bi-state region. Our aspiration is for St. Louis to be one of the Top 10 U.S. regions in prosperity. Our one purpose is to inspire a greater St. Louis. Together, we will make St. Louis a more attractive place for people to live, work and invest. We will win on today’s regional strengths in focused economic clusters. We will champion a better tomorrow through greater educational attainment, economic inclusion, entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information, visit www.stlregionalchamber.com.

Local Teen News: The Scholarship Foundation Extends 529 College Savings Plan Scholarship Program

Future Forward Wyman TeensThe Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis is pleased to announce the extension of Future Forward, the organization’s 529 College Savings Plan Scholarship Program, in which the Foundation will make available to 120 eighth-graders up to $1,400 per student over the next 5 years. The Scholarship Foundation has partnered with MOST-Missouri’s 529 College Savings Plan to create privately-funded scholarship accounts for these students.

A program announcement was held at 2:30 p.m. on April 19 for eighth-grade students currently enrolled in Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program. Guest speakers included Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel and City of St. Louis Treasurer, Tishaura Jones.

“I’m both excited and honored to support the Scholarship Foundation’s Future Forward program,” Treasurer Jones, a Wyman Board Member, said. “There’s nothing more important than investing in our children and giving them a head start on saving for college.”

The event, held at Wyman Center in Eureka, helped students and their families familiarize themselves with MOST-Missouri’s 529 College Savings Plan and learn how to take full advantage of their participation in the Future Forward Program.

“I am proud of the partnership we have been able to create between my office, the MOST 529 Plan, and the Scholarship Foundation to provide young people with support, skill development and encouragement as they prepare for their future,” Treasurer Zweifel said. “There is no question that higher education is more important than ever before,  and programs like Future Forward are ensuring students have what they need  to meet the challenges of a changing work force.”

For more information on Future Forward, please contact Sarah McClure at 314-725-7990.

About The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis

The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis is a nonprofit organization based upon the conviction that an educated citizenry is essential to a democracy. The Foundation helps area students access post-secondary education through interest-free loans and grants, as well as programs designed to help students and families navigate the financial aid process and avoid excessive debt. Since 1920, more than 10,500 students have been awarded over $59 million in interest-free loans and $3.8 million in grants. For more information on The Scholarship Foundation, please visit www.sfstl.org. 

Wyman News: 2015 Gala Convenes Combined 260 Local Youth and Leadership on Saturday, March 14

Media Contact: Kristin Gumper
Download 2015 Gala News Release

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:

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.


2015 Wyman Gala

2015 gala logo

Please join our annual celebration of success and opportunity at the Wyman Gala.

Join our emcees and a family transformed by Wyman for an extraordinary evening of dinner, dancing, libations and late night noshes.

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 6–11 PM, Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis (999 N 2nd St, Saint Louis, MO 63102)

6:00 PM Cocktails
7:00 PM Special Welcome by a Wyman Family
7:15 PM Dinner
8:20 PM Meet The Wyman Teens and Fund-The-Neead Auction
9:00 PM Dance, Dance, Dance and Late Night Nibbles
11:00 PM  Evening Concludes

Black-tie optional
Complimentary valet parking

Be part of this fun and engaging night in St. Louis, presented by LHA Land, LLC.

RSVP or Sponsor by March 6!

For more information on sponsorships, tickets or donations, contact David Lauber at (636) 549-1247 or david.lauber@wymancenter.org.