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.
Colorado Youth Matter (CYM) initiated the Colorado Network for Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® in 2011 to make TOP® more accessible for organizations throughout Colorado. A state-wide organization committed to youth sexual health and access to opportunity for all young people, the organization now supports 23 TOP® clubs serving 350 youth in total. CYM plans to see TOP® continue to grow and reach more youth in need this year.
“TOP® helps our teens make better choices because it gives them two things: the knowledge needed to make informed decisions and the confidence in their own critical thinking to make decisions in their own best interest,” Stefanie Winfield, Colorado Youth Matter’s evaluation manager said.
According to CYM facilitators, the TOP® participants enjoy the emotional safety of club and appreciate feeling like their words have value. The teens experience empowerment from the knowledge they gain about healthy relationships, leadership and sexual health.
“I love that TOP® is a safe place for teens to express themselves. This freedom provides a unique opportunity for them to talk through who they are and what they stand for. Their “Ah-ha!” moments when they discover something new about themselves or see something from a new perspective is incredibly rewarding to witness,” one facilitator said.
For many facilitators in Colorado’s Youth Matter Network, one of the best things about TOP® is how easy the program is to implement. The curriculum allows facilitators to plan out three months in advance, as well as adapt their lessons to the language and experiences of the youth being served. This ease of implementation also permits flexibility in the recruiting process, opportunities for facilitators to offer incentives for club attendance and field trips similar to community service learning activities that engage young people who may possibly join TOP® in the future.
Colorado Youth Matter’s network partners have gained a lot from TOP®. Through TOP®, facilitators connect to and work with organizations in Colorado that are committed to providing positive youth development and community engagement across the state. By developing an encouraging rapport between the young people and their communities, TOP® also fosters hope and pride in communities across Colorado.