Aryes B., a student in Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®), is a freshman at Lift for Life Academy in St. Louis and anticipates not only her plans for this summer but also her long term goal of attending college.

Aryes says she’s appreciated her time in TOP® because during club she felt comfortable discussing new subjects every day and was able to reflect on how her own day was going. For her, TOP® is the bridge to learning, where complicated and difficult topics could be analyzed and understood. “If it was up to me,” Aryes enthused, “I would have TOP® for every year that we are in high school. It’s just been such a positive influence on my freshman year.”

Starting in June, Aryes will be an apprentice at St. Louis Artworks, where she will learn social entrepreneurship skills by working on commissioned artwork, preparing budgets, and meeting with clients. “I love sculpting, and I feel like my experience will give me a better understanding of the business side of art,” Aryes said.  The paid summer program has a very selective and rigorous application process, and after submitting an initial application, three references, and participating in an interview, Aryes was one of the less than 20% of applicants who was selected. “Aryes did really well in her interview, and had very positive recommendation letters,” Claire Wolff, the Program Manager for St. Louis Artworks said. “We are glad to have her!”

In her free time, Aryes generally finds herself helping people. From volunteering over 100 hours last summer with her mother at Imagine Academy to wrapping twisted ankles, Aryes has a heart for hands-on service. After she graduates high school she plans to pursue this interest by attending California State University, Los Angeles to become an athletic trainer or occupational therapist.

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