VOTE FOR WYMAN!

Starting April 2nd, Wyman is competing in Monsanto’s Grow St. Louis Contest! Your participation is KEY in helping us grab the top spot and $15,000 to support 72 teens in Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program as they embark on their regional college tour, this summer. The campaign runs for three weeks from April 2nd – April 22nd and the project with the most votes wins.

Please take a second to go to www.stlgrown.com and vote for Wyman’s “Exploring My Future” project. You can vote 1 time per day from April 2 through April 22, so vote daily!

TLP teens at Missouri State University during the 2011 college tour.

The project supports rising high school juniors in Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program as they  explore admissions, financial aid, academic expectations and residential life at a number of regional institutions. The tours will take place this summer and will enable teens to explore such schools as Southeast Missouri State University, Ranken Technical College, Missouri State University, Rockhurst University and Lincoln University, among others. This tour is a crucial experience for TLP teens, giving them the opportunity to see themselves in various college environments, and make informed, positive decisions about their future!

Public voting will determine the top three winners of $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 grants from Monsanto. This is an opportunity for all St. Louisans to have a voice in choosing projects they think will most help Grow St. Louis. We hope you’ll support us by voting for our entry – and spread the word to all your friends and family members to vote for us, too!

Funders and Service Providers Working Together in Networks

The efforts of St. Louis Graduates, a regional network dedicated to helping students get in, stay in, and graduate from college, were recently highlighted at the national Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) conference. St. Louis Graduates is a group of educators, funders, businesses and nonprofit providers (including Wyman) which has committed to a big goal:  50% of adults in the St. Louis Region will have a post-secondary degree by 2020!

St. Louis Graduates knew that realizing this bold goal would occur best through cross-sector cooperation and intentionally using a “network mind-set” to approach the work.  A network mind-set emphasizes collaboration, sharing of knowledge, acting collectively, and cultivating leadership and skills across the board, leading to stronger results.

At the GEO Conference, Deaconess Foundation, Wyman, and The Coleman Foundation, presented “The Key to Advancing Change is Building an Effective Network.” The session used two case studies – St. Louis Graduates and Intersect for Ability in Chicago, to discuss lessons learned about what it takes to initiate and sustain a successful network. Four essential success factors, and how they are evident within St. Louis Graduates, are explored below:

  1. An intentional process rooted in data and best practices is critical to keeping a network on track.  St. Louis Graduates commissioned the region’s first ever report on post-secondary attainment, and will publish an update in 2012.  St. Louis Graduates’ community plan is anchored in best practices in the college access and success field.
  2. A focus on relationships builds a strong foundation for a successful network. St. Louis Graduates has all involved parties at the table, and has taken time to discuss and clarify roles, responsibilities, and agreements to ensure an effective working network. Having funders and providers at the same table, in an equitable manner, provides for rich conversations, improving the understanding of the issues and work on both ends.
  3. Building momentum through action keeps people engaged, leads to further opportunities, and creates meaningful ways for organizations to collaborate. St. Louis Graduates has grown a concept for an initial scholarship excel database into an on-line scholarship application system that streamlines processes for students, and creates value and ease of administration for scholarship providers.

  4. Engaging all levels strengthens the network. While it is critical for leadership of organizations, foundations, educational institutions, and the business community to commit to the process, it is equally necessary to get front-line staff engaged and committed. St. Louis Graduates has effectively gathered staff from across college access organizations, universities, school districts, and youth development organizations for a Professional Development Institute – providing real-time best practice support for college access and success efforts – and meeting a real and stated need of participants.

A special thanks to Jane Donahue and Elizabeth George from Deaconess Foundation, and Clark McCain from the Coleman Foundation for their efforts in sharing these essential “lessons learned” to a national audience.

The Saigh Foundation Honored for Work with Wyman

The Saigh Foundation recently won the Giving is On Going award from the Gateway Center for Giving, having been nominated by a record three nonprofits including Wyman, The St. Louis Zoo and Webster University.

Since 2005, The Saigh Foundation has provided consistent and substantial support to young people in St. Louis through an endowment gift to Wyman. This gift provides perpetual scholarships to two young people through Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program (TLP) from eighth grade through their sophomore year of college. Additionally the foundation established the Fred Saigh Young Leaders Award which provides a $1,000 aid scholarship, each year, to a young person in TLP who has most consistently demonstrated over the program the following attributes: determination and hard work to achieve goals, outstanding service to others, and commitment to personal responsibility in life.

Also from the endowment, in 2010, The Saigh Foundation and Wyman held the first Saigh Symposium – an annual event dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expertise of nationally recognized youth development experts with parents, practitioners and community leaders in the St. Louis area. The goal is to raise awareness of youth development on a broad scale, drawing attendance from national as well as regional and local organizations. Topics may include an update on the latest research on adolescent brain development, best practices in the field of youth development or the importance of the quality supports and opportunities that we as a community need to provide in order to successfully develop the potential of our young people.

Additionally, the foundation’s most recent contribution in 2011, will go to support college access programming, called Wyman Prep, for the over 450 young people in Wyman’s TLP.

We thank The Saigh Foundation for their generous and continued support, and their dedication to making a difference in the lives of young people in St. Louis – the award is an honor well-deserved.

#3 – Federal Support for Teen Health

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!

Last year, the Office of Adolescent Health took a hard look at teen pregnancy prevention programs and chose to invest two-thirds of  $105 million to replicate evidence-based prevention programs, including Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP).

OAH Director Evelyn Kappeler has said, “Using evidence-based models isn’t just a buzz word – it is putting the best science to work to improve outcomes and make the best use of taxpayer dollars.  Resources aren’t unlimited, and so it only makes sense to make investments where science tells us the payoff will be highest.”

Since that time, Wyman’s National Network has grown from 4 to 39 partner organizations nationwide, delivering Wyman’s TOP to over 44,000 young people – developing healthy behaviors, life skills and a sense of purpose.

“The ability to reach thousands more teens nationwide and for Wyman’s TOP® to be delivered with fidelity in so many additional communities is an exciting opportunity that will positively change the life prospects of the teens and, through them, their communities,” said Dave Hilliard, President of Wyman.

Although the HHS funding was aimed at reducing teen pregnancy, Wyman’s TOP was selected because research has shown it is a program that helps young people to develop all skill sets that encourage positive healthy decision making and successful home, school and work lives.

AmeriCorps Members to Mentor Wyman Teens

In August, Wyman will welcome six AmeriCorps members to the Wyman team to work with young people in the Teen Leadership (TLP) and Teen Outreach Programs (TOP®)! This is a wonderfully unique opportunity for Wyman teens to be mentored and supported by people who are committing a year of their lives to service in their community – a powerful example as Wyman programs encourage young people to be involved in their communities, as well.

Two members will be working with Wyman’s TLP to focus on community service learning opportunities with teens and supporting school success and college access. Four others will be working with Wyman’s TOP across in-school, community-based, and after-school sites.

Wyman is one of six St. Louis based nonprofits that received a share of $1.5 million in AmeriCorps grants from the Corporation of National and Community Service. AmeriCorps engages with 80,000 Americans of all ages. Their members serve through more than 14,000 nonprofit and faith-based organizations across the nation.

Wyman’s TLP uses a progressive year-round approach over five years to support healthy teen development, leadership skills and college access. Wyman’s TOP has proven highly effective in increasing school success and protecting youth from risk factors that contribute to school dropout and teen pregnancy, by providing young people with the supports and opportunities that lead to healthy decision making, life skills and a sense of purpose.

Wyman Awarded MO Tax Credits

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) announced Wyman has been approved for state tax credits under the Youth Opportunities Program (YOP).

Wyman Center, Inc., has been approved for $250,000 in YOP tax credits. Donations received as part of this YOP project will be directed to Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP) and Teen Leadership Program (TLP). These programs target St. Louis’ at-risk youth living in neighborhoods and attending schools with higher than average levels of poverty and need. Enrolled youth, ages 11 to 18 years, will participate in life skills and leadership development activities, receive academic support, participate in college immersion/career exploration programs, and complete community service projects.

The Youth Opportunities Program, administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, provides tax credits to organizations administering positive youth development or crime prevention projects.

If you are interested in receiving tax credits for your gift, please contact Alesia Hanners at 636.54.1247 or alesia.hanners@wymancenter.org.

Wyman and Scholarship Foundation Awarded $204K for College Persistence

300 Local Teens Will Receive Support to Persist Towards College Graduation

St. Louis, Mo. [June 21, 2011] – In a collaborative effort, Wyman and The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis were awarded $204,000 from TG Public Benefit Program to support persistence to college graduation among 300 students from economically-disadvantaged circumstances in St. Louis.

The program, Persistence Power, will benefit students from low- to moderate-income families who participate in Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program (TLP) and The Scholarship Foundation’s Interest-Free Loan and Bravo Grant programs. Services include summer orientation sessions for rising college freshmen; preparing them for the psychological and financial transitions related to college; and providing Scholarship Foundation Bravo grants for qualified Wyman students.

The program aims to improve the chances that high school students bound for college become college graduates. Experienced professional staff work with students from their senior year of high school through the end of their sophomore year in college, integrating financial, psychological, and institutional supports for persistence –the three key areas which account for up to 75% of a student’s decision to leave college.*

Wyman, The Scholarship Foundation, and TG Public Benefit Program are partners in The St. Louis Regional College Access Pipeline (CAP) Project. The overall regional goal is to increase the proportion of students in the St. Louis region who earn a higher education degree to 50% by 2020, and this collaborative effort will not only contribute to that goal but will also provide possible models for replication in the region and beyond.

* Center for Evaluation & Education Policy http://www.ceep.indiana.edu/projects/PDF/PB_V8N4_Fall_2010_EPB.pdf

About TG Public Benefit Program
TG’s Board of Directors established the Public Benefit Grant Program in 2005. In distributing its competitive grants, TG intends that the primary beneficiaries of the proposed programs be students who are from low- to moderate-income families. In addition, the competitive process favors proposals that also aim to serve the needs of first-generation college students or students who are from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in undergraduate and graduate education, which may include nontraditional or adult learners.

About The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis
The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, a nonprofit organization founded in 1920, is based upon the conviction that an educated citizenry is essential to a democracy. The Scholarship Foundation provides access to postsecondary education to members of our community who otherwise would not have the financial means to fulfill their educational goals. Annually, some 600 students receive approximately $3.6 million in direct financial support in the form of interest-free loans and grants from The Scholarship Foundation. For more information visit www.sfstl.org.

 

Inaugural Gala Raises Over $128,000

On Saturday February 12, 2011 Wyman hosted the inaugural Wyman Orange Carpet Gala: A Night at the Oscars, presented by Ameren Missouri and raised over $128,000 for young people in St. Louis!

The gala was chaired by Warner Baxter (President/CEO of Ameren Missouri) and John McHugh (Retired, LMS Co-Owner; Co-Founder, COO & CFO). Guests arrived on the orange carpet, greeted by “Joan Rivers” and the Wyman teen paparazzi and entered the elegant Palladium St. Louis for an evening of Oscar excitement. They indulged in a decadent dinner and dessert and danced the night away with entertainment by The Fabulous Motown Revue. The evening presentation, highlighted by an Oscar-opening by a Wyman teen, shared with guests the life-changing effect that Wyman programs have on young people in St. Louis.

A special thanks to our lead sponsors Ameren Missouri, Sense Corp, Brown Smith Wallace, LLC; Archer Wealth Management, LLC; One at a Time Foundation; The Kling Family Foundation and John S. Sandberg for enabling this to be a successful and eventful evening.

Funds raised from the event enable teens in Wyman programs to overcome the odds and achieve grade level advancement on time, graduate high school, and go on to college or careers and develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and their communities – our community!

View Photos From the Event Here

Healthy Responsibility Through Service: STL American Article

Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program was featured in the Health Matters section of The St. Louis American, today.
EXCERPT:
If imitation is the highest form of flattery,the Wyman Center’s Teen Outreach Program, earns TOP honors nationwide for its evidence-based approach to teenage pregnancy prevention and building the skills in male and female youth to improve their lives in other important areas as well – school completion, personal responsibility, work ethic and service.
Follow this link to read the full article.

Wyman Partners Feature Prominently in HHS Announcement of Funding Recipients

St. Louis MO, October 8, 2010 – The United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health has announced the recipients of $75 million in annually renewable, 5-year grants for organizations replicating evidence-based programs that have been proven through rigorous evaluation to reduce teenage pregnancy, behavioral risks underlying teenage pregnancy, or other associated risk factors. As much as one third of the HHS funding in the Tier 1 Teenage Pregnancy Prevention category was awarded to 17 providers who have agreed to partner with St. Louis-based Wyman to deliver Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP) to their constituents. Through partnerships with these providers – Wyman’s TOP will reach up to 100,000 more young people nationwide over the next five years. The funding will create enormous representation in the state of Florida and the city of Chicago, Illinois reaching nearly 70,000 teens over five years between the two.

The funding also allows Wyman’s newly funded replication partners to lay the groundwork to begin serving teens beyond their current capacity. “The ability to reach thousands more teens nationwide and for Wyman’s TOP to be delivered with fidelity in so many additional communities is an exciting opportunity that will positively change the life prospects of the teens and through them their communities,” said Dave Hilliard, President and CEO of Wyman Center.

As the owner of TOP, Wyman leads and manages a national network of well qualified replication partners, which it trains, certifies, supports and whose performance it monitors to ensure TOP is replicated with fidelity. Wyman also leads and facilitates knowledge sharing and manages outcome data analysis to ensure the program’s positive outcomes for teens are being realized. Wyman’s partners, through HHS, have been awarded more than $25M collectively (per year for 5 years) to bring this program to their communities and while the vast majority of those dollars are being used in those communities in direct service to teens; each grant recipient must contract with Wyman for training, ongoing certification, technical assistance and support services.

Even with its fast growing national network of partners, Wyman Center continues to view direct service to St. Louis teens as its most important work. Wyman programs serve 1,000 local teens annually and Wyman and its local partners are continually looking for resources and partnerships to dramatically expand TOP for teens in the St. Louis region. Wyman is a proud member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, whose annual contributions provide significant support for Wyman’s direct services in this community.
Although the HHS funding was aimed at reducing teen pregnancy, Wyman’s TOP was selected because research has shown it is a comprehensive youth development program that when delivered with fidelity, promotes resiliency and well-being (good mental health) by building important skills and competencies that result in dramatic, statistically significant improved outcomes in a variety of areas – from reducing rates in teen pregnancy, school failure and dropout to increasing good decision making, personal responsibility and community service. It’s grounded in contemporary research and theory regarding the developmental, social, mental health and educational needs of young people, especially those in 6th to 12th grade. Wyman’s TOP helps young people to develop all skill sets that encourage positive healthy decision making and successful home, school and work lives.