Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP) empowers teens with the tools and opportunities needed to avoid risky behaviors – like teen pregnancy – and become leaders with a powerful vision for their future. In addition, TOP enables adults to harness and … Continue reading
Join the entire community of St. Louis in making the city a better place to live!
Your donation to Wyman during #GiveSTLDay helps youth learn how to avoid risky behaviors (like teen pregnancy and dropout) and build brighter futures. Building the next generation of leaders? Now that’s a smart investment.
When you donate on Give STL Day, Tuesday, May 5, your dollars have the chance of being matched, and both individuals and organizations are eligible to win prizes and incentive dollars during power hours.
To donate, visit: https://givestlday.org/#npo/wyman-center.
To learn more about Wyman’s impact, check out this new video featuring our programs in the Bronx, New York, and New Jersey:
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:
- Alan Byrd, Dean of Enrollment Services at University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), and
- Allison Williams, Senior Vice President-Programs at Wyman.
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.
The 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.
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:
- Facebook: http://bit.ly/Wyman2015Gala
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/wymancenter
- Instagram via mobile device: @Wyman_Center
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.
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
Complimentary valet parking
Be part of this fun and engaging night in St. Louis, presented by LHA Land, LLC.
For more information on sponsorships, tickets or donations, contact David Lauber at (636) 549-1247 or email@example.com.
Wyman’s Young Leaders Board presents the 8th Annual Wyman Spring Derby…
Saturday, April 25, 2015
6 – 10 p.m.
Mike Shannon’s Outfield
JOIN THE FUN:
Early-bird tickets $35 until March 31
$50 per ticket beginning April 1
$60 at the door
Purchase tickets now!
Tickets include beer and wine, appetizers, parking and $20 in “horse bucks” to get the betting started!
For more information, contact Amanda Gastreich at Amanda.GastreichWymanCenter.org.
In 1995, Delta Community Supports Inc. created a Family Services division that began offering foster care services to children, youth and families. In addition to general foster care, Delta offers kinship, medical, treatment and supervised independent living programs. Delta’s caring, loving and innovative approach has enabled the organization to become a model for other agencies.
In 2013, Delta created a Quality Improvement Project in an effort to better serve teens. Through extensive research, the staff discovered Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®). The partnership launched in July 2014 as Wyman’s first certified replication partner in Pennsylvania.
In just three months, the program has multiplied the energy and excitement of the teens. Most importantly, facilitators and teens have formed close, cohesive relationships.
How many teens do you/do you plan to serve?
Carmen Davenport, Delta’s Associate Director of TOP: We offer three TOP clubs, which serve 82 teens. By September 2015, the program will expand to serve approximately 400 teens in various settings.
How do you deliver TOP?
Carmen: Although all three of Delta’s clubs are currently provided in high schools, it is our goal to deliver TOP in additional settings, which include:
- Afterschool settings, such as recreation centers, the YMCA, etc.
- Truancy programs.
- Residential/group homes.
- In partnership with the judicial system, so that TOP is used as a diversionary program for courts and police districts.
What excites you about TOP?
Carmen: We are excited about the endless possibilities of a diverse youth development program that spans across education and socioeconomic status. The support that Delta has received during our 40+ meetings is remarkable, and hopefully, the result will be more partnerships!
Hope for Miami is a coalition of several organizations in Miami-Dade County working to connect youth to effective programs, resources and volunteer opportunities, with the mission of seeing the young people and the community will thrive. For three years, Hope for Miami has delivered the Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) as one of four prevention programs that promote positive youth development and reflect the coalition’s core values.
TOP is in alignment with one of the coalition’s core values that youth work should not patronize. They have observed that allowing teens’ voices to be heard prevents a multitude of destructive behaviors.
“TOP allows our students to explore their thought processes in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Students express their views and think through their choices, allowing them to step back and see the many different possible outcomes that their decisions can bring. Teachers and principals have commented on what a difference the curriculum has made. They have seen the number of in school fights decrease, grades improve, and suspension rates decrease among TOP students,” said Chedena Hayes, Community Program Coordinator. “One of our teens shared that the program helps him to ‘know what to do in a real world setting.'”
This year, Hope for Miami plans to deliver TOP to 1,150 middle and high school youth in Miami-Dade County. Clubs are currently running at Andover Middle School and iMater Academy; however, they have received such positive feedback from the community that requests are coming in from all over Miami-Dade County for TOP to be brought to their schools. “I think that these requests speak to the professionalism of our facilitators and the effectiveness of the TOP Curriculum,” said Hayes.
Hayes attributes a large part of the program’s success to community service learning projects. She stated that the projects give students a chance to identify passions and gives them the opportunity to become involved in creating solutions to issues particular to their community. Most recently, students from Andover Middle did a school campus make-over project.
“Students spent months planning designs for a mural, choosing the garden location, and creating slogans and designs for trash cans. Then they showed up in great numbers to clean and decorate their campus. It was amazing. There was a need, and the students chose to meet it! The youth were actually smiling while picking up trash. As facilitators, we encouraged them by reminding them that Andover was their school, which made it their responsibility to preserve the grounds. We challenged them to leave a legacy for the classes that would come after them, and they did. That campus looks amazing now!”
Through programs like TOP, Hope for Miami would like to see their Miami-Dade County community become a place where everyone – individuals, families, neighborhoods, institutions, organizations, businesses and even the environment – is knit together like threads in a tapestry to create healthy, flourishing neighborhoods.
WYMAN CENTER OFFERS IMPLEMENTATION-READY TEEN HEALTH PROGRAMS FOR OFFICE OF ADOLESCENT HEALTH GRANTS
Learn More at http://teenoutreachprogram.com/
St. Louis, MO [Jan. 12, 2015] – The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) has announced several new grant opportunities to fund proven programs that fight teen pregnancy, while promoting positive youth development and engaging the community. Grant submissions are due beginning April 1.
Wyman Center, a national nonprofit that provides tools and training to transform teens and communities, offers the Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) for those interested in completing a grant submission. TOP is an implementation-ready youth development program that builds teen leadership and resilience while reducing risky behaviors.
Through the work of more than 300 providers in 34 states, TOP is one of the most successful, cost-effective and highly respected programs for teens nationally.
TOP lowers teen pregnancy while improving student performance.
• 53 percent lower risk of teen pregnancy.
• 52 percent lower risk of suspension.
• 60 percent lower risk of class failure.
• 60 percent lower risk of dropout.
TOP addresses a national epidemic:
• Children of teen parents are more likely to become teen parents themselves, dropout of school and live a life of poverty.
• Dropouts are more than eight times as likely to be in jail or prison, and there are approximately 1.2 million high school dropouts in the U.S. each year.
• The country would save approximately $17 billion in healthcare costs over the lifetimes of each class of dropouts had they earned their diplomas.
“Choices like dropping out of school and teen pregnancy lead to lifelong consequences for teens – and for society,” said Joe Miller, Wyman’s Senior Vice President of Partnerships and External Affairs. “The secret of our success is that the program addresses the root of the issue – supporting not only teens, but the educators and systems that surround teens.”
During the last round of teen pregnancy grant offerings by OAH, 18 organizations successfully received funding by working in collaboration with Wyman. These partners have witnessed results at the teen level, and also have reported that the training they’ve received has built their capacity as educators, helped them ignite system-level change and helped them improve teen and adult relationships.
Several success stories of TOP in action can be found on the OAH website, including:
• Changing the Odds in the Bronx: According to OAH, the program “Made students more likely to use a condom (70 percent), to use birth control (58 percent), and less likely to have sex (47 percent). The program also helped students “make good choices about their health and well-being (86 percent of 6th graders and 86 percent of 9th graders).”
• Increasing Self-Confidence and School Safety through Community Service at Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest.
• Using Text Messaging to Reduce Teen Pregnancies with Denver Health and Hospital Authority.
Packaged in four levels for each developmental stage from 6th to 12th grade, TOP helps teens build a foundation of healthy behaviors, life skills and a sense of purpose. TOP combines a unique blend of:
• Implementation-ready engaging curriculum.
• Interactive youth forums.
• The opportunity to build social emotional skills critical to lifelong success, like self-awareness, empathy, communication, leadership and resilience.
• Positive adult guidance.
• Opportunities for teens to sharpen their newfound skills during community service learning hand-selected by each TOP group.
Over 16 million children live in poverty. In the last five years, Wyman has served 125,000 teens in collaboration with its partners.
To learn more about how to implement TOP in your community and begin an application for OAH funding, visit Wyman’s new website, www.TeenOutreachProgram.com. The site also houses TOP case studies, sample curriculum, research and partner benefits.
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 survive and 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.
Offered by more than 65 partners and 300 providers, TOP is recognized as a proven best practice program by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Adolescent Health and the U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, among other organizations. For more information on TOP, visit www.TeenOutreachProgram.com.