Certified Replication Partners in our National Network are successfully replicating Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) across the country. The National Network Spotlight highlights a partner and celebrates their positive outcomes.
Surrounded by canned pet food and bags upon bags of animal treats, toys and supplies, a group of teens participating in Wyman’s TOP® in Michigan can truly see the difference they are making in their community.
These young people are part of a group of more than 150 students engaging in community service learning, team-building activities and lesson plans provided by the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health’s TOP®. Spurred by the community service learning component of TOP® and their desire to positively impact their community, the teens brainstormed, planned and led a successful donation drive at their school for the Jackson County Animal Shelter. And, their efforts did not go unnoticed; MLive, a local news source, featured the teens for their donations and dedication.
In Michigan, this act of service was only one of many ways that teens engaged in TOP®. Monthly, teens plan and participate in community service learning projects that help build their confidence and leadership skills.
“The community service learning piece is one of our favorite parts of TOP®,” Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coordinator Michelle White said. “We see a different side of our students when they are out in the community working with populations in need and expanding their comfort zones.”
In addition to directly improving their community, teens resonate with the goal setting, values clarification and relationship aspects of the curriculum.
“Our students really feel that TOP® is very impactful [for them]. They have multiple stressors going on in their lives, but some just come back to school so they do not miss TOP®,” White reflected.
Throughout her work with teens in TOP®, White has witnessed the program providing an outlet for the students to discuss real-life topics, find support for everyday struggles, challenge one another and bond and grow as a group.
“TOP® is changing our community for the better [for] students who really need the programming the most,” White said.
At MOASH, Wyman’s TOP® is made possible by support from the Jackson County Health Department. (JCHD). JCHD has been a provider of Wyman’s TOP® for three years and is dedicated to creating and promoting a healthy community through disease prevention and control, health education, environmental protection and emergency preparedness.