Letter from the ceo & board Chair
Dear Friends, Supporters, and Partners,
The teens and young adults we serve represent a powerful generation. Despite all they have faced – or, in some cases, because of all the challenges that have confronted them – they know they have the skills, knowledge, and spirit to make the world a better place…and they are determined to do so. We are committed to their power and possibility.
For two years, youth have been navigating disrupted education, isolation from family and friends, reduced access to resources and services, increased economic challenges, and shifting expectations for their futures. These challenges have impacted mental health, school engagement and performance, and postsecondary and career decisions.
Through all of this, the young people we serve have persevered and we have remained by their side supporting them as they grow and learn. We continue to be reminded that these young people, and the staff working at Wyman, are courageous, inspired, skilled, and always striving to succeed. They care about one another – reaching out to each other in hard times and cheering on each other’s successes.
The next several pages highlight Wyman’s work in 2021: the teens we served, the incredible community of support that surrounded our young people, and the powerful outcomes they are achieving in life, leadership, and education. Your investments have fostered relationships, connections, and belonging that create the foundation for success. In the words of one of our 2012 graduates:
“You don’t know what it was for you to just allow me to grow into me. You didn’t make me feel small. You made me feel responsible. You helped me to be accountable, but you let me be vulnerable too.”
The Latin root of the word consortium, “consort,” means to throw our fates together. Donors, board members, teens, families, and staff – all one consortium of individuals who are all seeking the powerful changes that impact us all.
Thank you for your partnership.
President and CEO
2021 Board of Trustees
David K. Rodgers, Outgoing Board Chair
Amy Berg, Vice Chair, Incoming Board Chair
Jacqueline Davis-Wellington, Secretary
Kristin Poole, Treasurer
Donald G. Etling
Lee C. Kling
John A. McHugh
David L. Morley
John S. Sandberg
Honorary & Emeritus Trustees
Warner L. Baxter
Frank C. Bick*
Sidney H. Guller*
S. Lee Kling*
James A. Saitz
Ray A. Scholin*
Peter A. Smith
Kenneth B. Steinback
W. Jack Wichmann*
Isaac E. Young*
We Believe All Youth Deserve to Thrive
For 124 years, we have believed in and celebrated young people
and their leadership, energy, and determination.
Navigating adolescence can be challenging. During the transition from childhood to adulthood, youth face rapid physical, mental, emotional, and social changes.
By partnering with youth and our community, Wyman empowers teens, equips adults, and strengthens systems to create more equitable opportunities for all young people.Our Mission, Values, & Strategy
JASON, 16 YEARS OLD Sophomore, McKinley Classical Leadership Academy
HOW WOULD YOUR FRIENDS DESCRIBE YOU:
FUNNY & KIND-HEARTED
FAVORITE SPORT: BASKETBALL
FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC: HIP HOP
SUPERPOWER: SUPER SPEED
FAVORITE COLOR: GREEN
PIZZA TOPPING: HAMBURGER & PINEAPPLE
Jason’s first exposure to Wyman was in middle school when a Wyman Leaders coach came to speak about the program. “I was so interested in it; it really intrigued me.” These days he is thankful Wyman Leaders has been part of his high school journey and personal growth. “I was young before Wyman. I would say I was naive. I have my moments now, but I’ve grown a lot. Since getting involved in Wyman Leaders, I have become more creative and proactive about life and everything that comes with it.”
One of Jason’s favorite experiences with Wyman Leaders was engaging with his community through service. “It’s fun seeing other people smile. I think that’s one of the things that makes me really happy: knowing that I can make someone else happy.”
This past year, Jason had his first experience attending high school in-person after remote learning. He is thankful the transition back to the classroom went smoothly. “This has basically been my first year in ‘actual’ high school, and it’s going exceptionally. I thought it would be harder going in person, but it’s easier to collect and process things.”
After graduation, Jason’s goal is to focus on either basketball or architecture. “I really like seeing certain buildings, and the stories behind them fascinate me. Especially New York – they have great architecture. St. Louis does too, in some of the urban areas.”
Jason says his Wyman Leaders coaches impacted his perspective on how he will achieve success. “Wyman has changed my viewpoint on college. It’s not that I didn’t want to go before, I just wasn’t very interested. But after participating in virtual college tours and learning about what I want to do, I want to go even more. When I think about my future, the one thing I think about is success in what I want to do. Wyman has really helped me with that.”
When Jason speaks about Wyman, there is one word that continually comes up for him: family. “Wyman Leaders is an education program, but it’s more like a family. They have made it clear they’re going to be there with you for a long time. No matter what. The Wyman coaches are like your mentors. They know where you’re coming from, and they’re very open to listening to what you have to say. It’s something that you can’t put into words, but it’s so positive. It’s family.”
Our Commitment to Anti-Racism & Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Our mission calls for us to embrace and work for equity and inclusion. We are committed to providing a safe environment of acceptance, education, and inclusion for our young people and colleagues.
It is our responsibility to stand up, speak out, and take action. Our teens, colleagues, and community can expect:
A culture of accountability and visibility. We commit to advocating for equity, for anti-racism, against oppression in all forms, and against white supremacy.
A culture of trying. We will be uncomfortable and make mistakes, because if we are not uncomfortable, we are not doing enough.
A culture of learning. We commit to developing ourselves individually, and our organization, as anti-racist and anti-oppression. We will incorporate what we learn into our daily actions, as well as our programs and organizational work.
We acknowledge and honor the fundamental value and dignity of all persons.
We commit to an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are passionate about fostering an inclusive and equitable space that promotes and values diversity and belonging, where every teen and staff member can be confident bringing their whole self to Wyman and achieving their very best.
We commit to courageous conversations, personal development, social awareness, and fostering program spaces and an organizational culture that recognize systemic inequities and center the voices of the youth and communities we serve.DEI at Wyman
The Land We’re on
The land on which Wyman sits, and where our staff and young people live and work, is the ancestral land of the Wahzhazhe, or Osage. Many other tribes have lived on or utilized this land including the Ponca, Kaw/Kanza, Omaha, Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Tamaroa, Peoria, Shawnee, and Delaware. Their history, stories, and contributions deserve to be recognized and honored.
We acknowledge that we are on stolen land. We recognize that through acts of genocide, slavery, and exploitation of the Indigenous tribes who lived here, colonialist settlers systematically forced their way onto this land. The actions of Spanish, French, British and American settlers ultimately drove every one of these Indigenous tribes from Missouri by inciting infighting, withholding trade, and finally resorting to unfair treaties and abuse of annuity payments.
Indigenous people are still here and deserve visibility, appreciation, and support from our community.Land Acknowledgment & Resources
Wyman partners with young people by providing experiences, opportunities, and resources to support and challenge them as they grow and learn.
Our programs include social, emotional, academic, and leadership skill building; postsecondary access and persistence support; community service learning; and positive connections with peers and adults. Wyman staff listen and give support and create a space for connection and empowerment. We challenge young people to be their best selves and make healthy decisions.
These experiences lead to positive, often life-long relationships with peers and supportive adults.
Wyman teens have strong connections to their community. They gain confidence in who they are and what they are capable of. They have successful educational experiences, careers, and lives.
Wyman Leaders supports young people in St. Louis to develop life and leadership skills, enter and complete college and career education programs, and create strong community connections. This 9-year program sees rising 9th graders Through high school and four years post-graduation. Participants are recruited from partner middle schools in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and Jefferson County.
Delivered in two local school districts by Wyman, and nationally by our net work of partners, the Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) empowers teens to develop social-emotional skills, build healthy relationships and community connections, develop a sense of purpose, and avoid risky behaviors. TOP promotes positive youth development through engaging curriculum, community service learning, and supportive relationships with adults. TOP is a 9-month program for 6th through 12th graders.
The Teen Connection Project™ (TCP™) is a 12-14 week program designed to improve peer relationships, social-emotional skills, school engagement , and well-being among high school youth. Between 2016 and 2020, over 400 young people participated in TCP delivered locally by Wyman and nationally by partners. In 2021, TCP expanded to 5 new Missouri sites through a grant from Missouri Foundation for Health.
Both TOP and TCP have received the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and
Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) highest designation for high-quality social emotional learning (SEL) programming. TOP and TCP meet CASEL’s SELect designation and are included in the CASEL Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs.
More information on our programs and 2021 outcomes can be found at: https://wymancenter.org/programs
A Local Organization with a National Impact
Wyman is a St. Louis organization with a national reach. We partner with organizations around the country, training adults to provide our nationally recognized programs to young people in their communities. Wyman’s National Network supports partners to replicate two evidence-based programs – the Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) and the Teen Connection Project™ (TCP)™. We also build their teams’ skills and competencies in working with teens through a suite of high quality, multi-disciplinary trainings. During 2020-2021, the National Network trained 360 adults during 14 trainings. In 2021, the powerful group of professionals from our 72 nationwide partners helped more than 23,500 young people across the country thrive.
Learn About The National Network
Wrap Around Services
At Wyman, we know systems that support young people work best when they align and coordinate to increase equitable access for all youth. In partnership with school districts, Wyman’s Wrap Around Services team coordinates systems across providers, facilitates trainings on youth development and social-emotional supports, and aligns policies and procedures to sustain positive change. The 2021-2022 school year marked our fourth year at the School District of University City.
As a youth serving organization, we are called to work and advocate for equitable systems, fair policies, and humane practices across all systems in which our young people interact and engage. In 2021, Wyman prioritized its advocacy work by by creating our Advocacy department. This team is establishing Wyman’s Advocacy Framework, which centers around three strategies:
- Establishing a Youth Leadership Council to create authentic youth-adult partnerships to affect internal and external change.
- Engaging in Direct advocacy on mission-aligned issues.
- Cultivating strategic partnerships with values coalitions. At Wyman, we are proud to advocate with and for young people on the policies and systems that affect their education, careers, and lives.
Systemic inequities in our society create barriers for the teens we serve. We have a responsibility to influence, support, and strengthen youth-serving systems, and to advocate with partners and coalitions for better policies. We are proud to partner with young people as they prepare to lead and make change in matters that impact their lives and futures.Learn About Advocacy Learn About The Youth Leadership Program
In 2021, a pilot plan for the Youth Leadership Council was established, and in Spring 2022 the Council was launched with 5 young people who are passionate about sharing ideas, creating solutions, and putting those solutions into action with the support of Wyman, their peers, and community stakeholders. We are excited to continue the roll out of the pilot over the next two years.
Thank you to our 2021 Donors
Carole & Arnie Allen
American Direct Marketing Resources, LLC
American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation
American Family Insurance, Sedlak & Associates LLC
Mari-Anne Messman Antweiler
Patrick Arnall & Tommye Fleming
Kathy & Joe AuBuchon
Jack & Anne Bader