Last Friday, Wyman hosted its final TOP Connections meeting for the 2011-2012 school year at Kingdom House, a Teen Outreach Program (TOP) partner in the St. Louis area. The event included facilitators from Wyman’s Near Southside, Brittany Woods Middle School, Lift for Life Academy, Normandy High School, and Five Star After-School Programs. Partners from College Bound, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Federation of Settlement Houses also gathered to share success stories as well as the challenges and rewards of working with young people through Wyman’s TOP.
The morning started off with an engaging icebreaker that included spontaneous handshakes and dance moves. It successfully set the tone for the remainder of the gathering: that this was a time to celebrate and reflect on the moments that really made a difference with Wyman’s young people.
Sonia Mims, a facilitator with Wyman, agrees. After witnessing the impact a community service learning event had on one teen, she admitted that ”you never know what’s sinking in and getting through to them.”
During the final “show-and-tell”, facilitators traded stories of teen impact that they experienced throughout their year. The reflections ranged from clubs coming together to plan community service learning projects to teens entertaining seniors with their different talents of dancing and singing. Overall, the experiences highlighted the importance of Wyman’s TOP in these young peoples’ lives while the event reinforced the supportive partnerships Wyman has established throughout the region.
Thanks to all of the fantastic facilitators and organizations who are providing critical supports and opportunities to our nation’s teens!