Wyman Grads “Paying It Forward”

Everyday Wyman works to encourage dedication to the community, opportunities for higher education, and to give the valuable support and resources of a “second family.” Recently, our Sr. VP of Programs, Allison Williams was able to introduce a representative from the Missouri Department of Higher Education to 13 of Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program graduates who have committed their summer to work at Wyman as mentors and coaches, passing along their knowledge and experiences with our current teens. Allison’s reflections from this meeting tell us so much about the long-term positive influence Wyman has had on the lives of these teens.

“Wyman’s graduates spoke about ‘finding themselves.’ At Wyman, they didn’t need to be self-conscious, but could focus on who they truly are, discover their gifts, and develop confidence in their abilities and accomplishments. Wyman also challenged them to build a sense of community both with their Wyman peers and by contributing to the larger community. One graduate explained that Wyman helped him to envision a different kind of community, to think about how we’re all connected – even across the globe – and to learn how he can give back to his own community.

They also discussed the support for higher education – from the college tours to FAFSA workshops to the overall confidence in their potential – especially in the face of family situations where little was known about the college application process.

Finally, these graduates spoke of Wyman’s support in their development of crucial non-cognitive skills, including a positive self-concept, having long-range goals, leadership, and the ability to learn in non-traditional ways, which research has shown to be an important determinant of success in higher education.

To some Wyman will always be a ‘second family’ which continues to play a significant role in their lives and is an on-going source of support. The graduates are proud to be back this summer at Wyman ‘paying it forward’ to current Wyman teens and the community which has supported them.” – Allison

Thank you, for being a part of this special ‘second family’ and for leading and supporting these powerful, life changing opportunities for St. Louis teens.