Powerful advocates for youth

Vision/Mission

Vision: We envision a day when all young people in America will thrive in learning, work and life.

Mission: To empower teens from economically disadvantaged circumstances to lead successful lives and build strong communities.

Annual Report

Our Beliefs

At Wyman, we believe that every young person…

  • Has the potential to succeed and lead, regardless of life circumstances.
  • Deserves to have connections with caring adults who empower them to share their voice and engage within their communities.
  • Deserves equitable access to quality education, work and life experiences – ensuring a better future and a better world.

Strategy

Youth who are at-risk are proven more likely to succeed when they are supported by positive adult support. That’s why we work to build the capacity of adults and communities to transform future generations. Our proven solutions enable them to build the strengths of young people. View our Strategy for Action and Framework for Thriving Youth.

Wyman’s training helps adults learn how to constructively recognize, utilize and enhance the strengths of young people. Our training reinforces a holistic approach to youth development, in contrast to interventions that focus on single problems.

In addition, we work to increase the effectiveness of the field by capturing and analyzing data, then sharing practices that can ignite innovation across the nation.

Governance

Wyman is governed by a more than 40-member board that represents our diverse stakeholders.

This team helps:

  • Monitor performance
  • Guide strategic initiatives
  • Ensure long-range planning meets the needs of future generations
  • Oversee policies

Our sound management practices, high performance standards and commitment to stakeholders are recognized by various governing bodies and institutions.

Wyman serves as one of only 10 percent of charities nationwide to earn consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator—its top honor—which signifies exceptional commitment to fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency.

View our Board of Trustees Listing and 990 and Full Donor List.

Executive Leadership

Claire Wyneken — President and CEO
Claire.Wyneken@WymanCenter.org

Claire Wyneken works with the Wyman Board of Trustees and executive leadership team to define and achieve the agency vision, mission and strategic goals to empower teens from economically disadvantaged circumstances to lead successful lives and build strong communities. She oversees Wyman’s delivery of an innovative Strategy for Action that pushes traditional boundaries and creates the building blocks teens require to become leaders in their communities. This multi-front approach includes empowering teens, equipping adults and strengthening systems.

Wyneken joined Wyman in 1987, and has dedicated her career to youth development and expanding high quality and equitable opportunities for youth. She served Wyman in direct service with teens, led Wyman’s programs and operations team, launched Wyman’s national initiatives, and has been a member of the executive leadership team since 1994. In addition to serving on many boards and advisory councils, Wyneken is an alumnus of the National Conference for Community & Justice – Dismantling Racism Institute (1997), CORO Women in Leadership (1998), Leadership St. Louis (2002). She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a Master’s in Organizational Change at Saint Louis University.

 

Karen GuskinKaren Guskin, Ph.D. — Sr. Vice President, Research & Learning
Karen.Guskin@WymanCenter.org

As a developmental psychologist who has worked in early childhood and positive youth development organizational settings for more than 15 years, Dr. Karen Guskin has experience in outcomes measurement, quality improvement, and the development, replication and evaluation of evidence-based youth development programming, including Wyman’s nationally replicated Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®).

She is responsible for leading Wyman’s research strategy, which is focused on measuring outcomes and designing and evaluating the organization’s programmatic innovations and resulting impact on youth in St. Louis and across the nation. Dedicated to serving youth for more than a century, Wyman’s engaging, empowering and experiential programs and services help teens achieve educational success, develop healthy behaviors and relationships and exhibit life and leadership skills.

Prior to joining Wyman, Dr. Guskin led the research and evaluation team at Parents as Teachers National Center. Her presentations, publications and research interests are focused on social-emotional development, children’s coping skills and the implementation of effective positive youth development practices. She holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a doctorate in psychology from Stanford University.

 

Joe Miller 2013 - Square_smJoe Miller, MPA — Sr. Vice President, Partnerships
Joe.Miller@WymanCenter.org

Joe Miller leads Wyman’s Strengthening (School) Systems work and possesses over 20 years of senior executive experience.  A professional in system improvements and partnership building, Joe began his career working for the City of St. Louis, and then transitioned to a corporate executive/owner. As a corporate executive, Joe created over $150 million of public-private partnerships and led and grew six companies from $5 million to $50 million in ten years. Joe and his colleagues sold the $50 million company to a $7 billion organization, where Joe worked for an additional three years.

In 2006, Joe decided to take his executive business and government skills into the non-profit sector. Over the past 11 years, Joe has served on the Wyman Executive Leadership Team leading direct programs and creating a national network of program providers, where he worked with all types of school districts, ranging from New York City and Chicago to suburban and rural districts in Missouri. Most recently, Joe created, and leads Wyman’s (school) systems work.

Joe has blended his non-profit, government and business expertise as an adjunct professor at St. Louis University and was selected as a 2013-2014 Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellow. He holds a master’s degree in public administration and frequently shares his youth leadership skills with various St. Louis community organizations and schools. Joe has a particular passion for working with youth, and has personally coached over 70 youth sports teams in the past 15 years. Joe regularly works with school superintendents and school boards to improve their school systems. Currently, Joe is an elected member of the Clayton School Board (where he is Board Treasurer).

 

Sharp, Mindy 2013Mindy Sharp, MBA — Sr. Vice President, Finance & Administration
Mindy.Sharp@WymanCenter.org

Mindy Sharp joined Wyman Center in 2003, a non-profit organization enabling teens from economically disadvantaged circumstances to succeed in life, work and community where she previously held the role of Director of Finance. In 2007, she assumed the role of Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration. Her responsibilities include providing leadership, direction, accountability and strategic positioning of the support departments of the organization, including Finance, Talent Management and Human Resources, Information Technology and Vended Services. In 2012, Sharp was recognized as a St. Louis Business Journal CFO of the Year Finalist. In 2014, she served as a panelist at the White House Pay for Success Regional Summit, sponsored by the White House Office of Social Innovation and the John Arnold Foundation. Her 15+ years of experience include prior finance and administrative management roles at JetCorp, LLC and TDK Technologies. Sharp serves outside of Wyman, as well, offering her expertise as former President of KEEN St. Louis and Treasurer of KEEN USA, an organization dedicated to providing athletic opportunities to children with disabilities. She was a 2012 member of the Girl Scout Council of Eastern Missouri’s Strategy Team and served as a Board Finance Committee Member from 2013-2016. She is a recent graduate of Greater Missouri Women’s Leadership, class of 2016.

 

Williams, Allison 2013 - SquareAllison Williams, MSW, LCSW — Sr. Vice President, Programs
Allison.Williams@WymanCenter.org

Inspired by the belief that “Growing Up Takes a Long Time,” and “Problem Free Isn’t Fully Prepared,” Allison Williams has spent her career supporting positive youth development efforts that make a real and lasting difference in the lives of young people.

As Senior Vice President of Programs at Wyman Center, a trailblazer in evidence-based youth development strategies, Williams is responsible for the organization’s overall teen development services on a national and local level.

This work includes overseeing the nationally recognized Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®), which helps teens across the nation build leadership and social emotional skills critical to lifelong success. Williams has served as an integral part of the team that grew TOP from 30 teens served in St. Louis to over 22,000 teens served annually throughout the U.S. In addition, Williams spearheads Wyman’s St. Louis-based Teen Leadership and InspireSTL programs, which have helped hundreds of teens from low-income backgrounds graduate high school and secure their college degrees.

After more than 20 years working in the field, Williams plays a vital role in advancing positive results for teens through both advocacy and collective impact efforts. In particular, she provides leadership and guidance as a steering committee co-chair for St. Louis Graduates. This network seeks to increase post-secondary degree attainment rates and improve long-term outcomes for low-income, first generation, and students of color through building public support, engaging in state, federal, and institutional policy advocacy, and advancing effective access and persistence strategies.

Williams is a regular presenter at the Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work in St. Louis and also serves as a social work field instructor for Saint Louis University, Washington University and the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Williams earned a Bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University and a Master’s degree from Boston College, both in social work, and holds a Missouri Clinical Social Worker license. She is a graduate of Leadership St. Louis, as well as the Institute for Dismantling Racism, and the Non-Profit Services Consortium Women’s Leadership Academy.

In addition to her role at Wyman, Williams supported children and families as a clinical social worker for Boston Public Schools, the Bridge of Central Massachusetts and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Funders and Partners

For funders looking for long-term social impact and high economic returns, our solutions bring results to scale, while helping teens thrive. Our solutions are evidence-based and incorporate social-emotional learning elements that research has proven to deliver an $11 to $1 return on investment.

View our 2016 Full Donor List, Board of Trustees Listing and 990.

Awards

NAACP Commitment to Education Award, 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Distinguished Youth Organization Award, 2015

St. Louis Business Journal’s Best Places to Work, 2015

Superintendent’s Choice Award, University City School District, 2014

Focus: What’s Right with the Region Award

St Louis County’s BRAVO Award

World of Children Award from the former Progressive Youth Center (now Epworth)

Innovative Practices Award from the Council on Accreditation, 2013

Social Impact Exchange S&I 100 Index of Top Non-Profits Creating Social Impact, 2012

City of St. Louis Community Service Award, 2011

Missouri House of Representatives Resolution (In recognition of Wyman’s century of service to the region’s teens at-risk, 2011)

Lions’ and Kiwanis’ International’s Leadership and Service Award

Wyman History