#9 – AmeriCorps and VISTA Members Join the Wyman Family

11 in ’11: As we close out the year, we reflect upon and celebrate achievements for youth in our community in 2011. Check back as we count down to the new year! Click here to view the whole list!

This fall was an exciting time for Wyman, because it marked the addition of six AmeriCorps members and five AmeriCorps VISTA members to the Wyman family.

AmeriCorps members commit to a year of service to their community, and engage in activities such as mentoring youth, improving health services, operating after-school programs, and addressing many others critical needs in communities. Our AmeriCorps members are vital to our programs, as they facilitate TOP® clubs, organize various community service learning projects, and focus on building meaningful mentorships with the teens.

AmeriCorps VISTA members function in a similar way to AmeriCorps members but focus on a different type of service. They work to strengthen the skills and abilities of an organization so that they can better fulfill their defined mission. For Wyman, their impact is seen in public affairs campaigns, database creation, volunteer intake, and the administration of the National Network.

Altogether, AmeriCorps members and VISTA members contribute many hours, ideas, and skills towards better serving Wyman teens. Their service and commitment embodies the values Wyman hopes to instill in youth.

VISTA Members to Support Wyman Staff

VISTA LogoThis week, Wyman is excited to welcome Americorps VISTA members to support Wyman’s work with teens for the upcoming year! Five members will be offering administrative support in a variety of areas, including: volunteer recruitment, IT coordination, partner services, program quality and public affairs.

AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more.

VISTA members generally do not provide direct services, such as tutoring children or building homes. Instead, they focus their efforts on building the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic develop, and otherwise assist low-income communities.

Learn more about the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

New Faces at Wyman Headquarters in St. Louis!

The Wyman family extends a warm welcome to our new Senior Director and VISTAs – Take a moment to meet the newest members of the Wyman team!

Katrina Peoples, Senior Director – Wyman Center St. Louis

Katrina, a St. Louis native, has over 10 years’ experience working with and advocating for some of the most vulnerable youth and families.  Her background consists of leadership in the areas of clinical and crisis intervention services, training, program design and delivery, grant management, and supervision of personnel and practicum students.  She has worked with a vast array of youth and families in a variety of capacities including school, community and site based mentoring, residential programming, and a 24-hour crisis helpline. In her spare time, Katrina teaches group exercise fitness classes at a local gym.  She specializes in dance based formats, including the popular fitness craze, Zumba.  She has presented Zumba workshops at a local and national conference for youth serving organizations.

Carly Hughes, Volunteer & Recruitment Specialist VISTA

Carly grew up in Northwestern Illinois and attended Eastern Illinois University, where she received a teaching degree. This will be her third term of service with AmeriCorps, but my first term with VISTA. She is currently finishing up her second term in New Hampshire, and is looking forward to being back in the Midwest!


Kyle Alley, Program Quality VISTA

Kyle is a recent graduate from the University of Missouri, where he studied Psychology and Sociology. He is looking forward to the challenges offered by Wyman’s Program Quality & Support position. He enjoys sports, hanging out with friends, and ultimately plans on attending graduate school.


Andrea Bachmann, Partner Services VISTA

Andrea was born and raised in St. Louis and got her bachelor’s degree in International Relations at American University in Washington, DC. After she graduated last year, she spent six months traveling before coming back home to re-connect with family and friends and start working. Having a strong interest in social and community development, Andrea feels like Wyman will be a good fit for her.

Sarah Keifer, IT Coordinator VISTA

Sarah Keifer has spent the last two years working as a barista at the local coffee shop/ice cream parlor in her hometown in New Jersey.  Prior to moving back home she spent a year serving with AmeriCorps-St. Louis as an Emergency Response Team member responding to ice storms and tornados, assisting with prescribed burns, and using a chainsaw to help save the environment! Sarah attended Goucher College where she spent her time swimming, taking photos and creating large sculptures. She is excited to be moving back to the mid-west to join the Wyman team.

Emily Pirraglia, Public Affairs VISTA

Emily Pirraglia is our Public Affairs VISTA and comes from Spring, Texas. Prior to joining the Wyman Center, Emily worked as an Educational Administration intern at KIPP Austin College Prep, a charter school in Austin that educates underserved students. Emily holds a B.S. in Communication Studies and a B.A. with honors in History from the University of Texas, Austin.

Farewell from a VISTA

Americorps VISTA BamideleA year has gone by and it is time to say goodbye to our friend and AmeriCorps VISTA, Bamidele. Bamidele – We greatly appreciate your hard work and patience as our IT Coordinator VISTA and wish you the best of luck on all your future endeavors!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since that breezy autumn day when I visited Wyman’s campus for the first time. In that time, I have learned many things about teen development, and followed Wyman’s progress nationally and in the local community with equal measures of excitement and astonishment (in a good way, of course!). As I reflect on my time as a VISTA, I am most grateful for the opportunity to have contributed to Wyman’s mission and the fortune to work with the people who dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to ensuring the success of Wyman teens. In my eyes, Wyman is like the NBA, where amazing things happen!”

As I embark on my quest to be a physician, I hope to apply the dedication, patience and vision that I developed at Wyman to work on alleviating the healthcare issues in our local community and wherever else life may take me. To that regard, I appreciate the time that you all took to welcome me to your organization and work with me during my time here, and I am thankful that you decided to take a chance on a dude with a quasi-Nigerian-British-who-knows-where accent.

Again, thanks. Farewell, and to paraphrase the words of one prominent St. Louis native: “If you ever need me, I’m only one call away.” (Chingy, if you’re wondering who)

Keep up the good work!

Teen Matters: Summer 2011


The Summer 2011 issue of Teen Matters is now available here (PDF)! Read on to learn about the latest TOP service project, find out how Americorps VISTAs are impacting Wyman and hear from one of two TLP graduates who received a full ride to Missouri State University from Wyman.

Teen Matters is a quarterly publication from Wyman. Its purpose is to inform our supporters of significant developments in the organization and its programs, and to keep them connected with the teens we serve.

If you would like to begin receiving Teen Matters by mail or email contact emily.black@wymancenter.org.

Teen Matters: Spring 2011


smiling teensThe Spring 2011 issue of Teen Matters is now available here (PDF)! Read on to find out the immense value of our volunteers, see more on Wyman’s inaugural Orange Carpet Gala and learn about TLP teen Drew and his love of the stage!

Teen Matters is a quarterly publication from Wyman. Its purpose is to inform our supporters of significant developments in the organization and its programs, and to keep them connected with the teens we serve.

If you would like to begin receiving Teen Matters by mail or email contact emily.black@wymancenter.org.