St. Louis, MO [Jan. 27, 2016] – Thanks to the merger between Wyman and inspireSTL, the New Year brings new opportunity for teens who are high-potential, yet previously underserved in the City of St. Louis. The merger, which culminated on Jan. 1, 2016, creates a stronger suite of programs to serve thousands of teens with social, emotional and academic support, as well as leadership development.
The merger ensures the long-term sustainability of inspireSTL – a program designed to produce leadership talent for urban communities in St. Louis. inspireSTL currently serves 140 teens, and will eventually grow to serve 400 teens annually.
“In partnership with inspireSTL, and now as one combined organization, we believe that every young person is high-potential, regardless of their circumstance,” said Dave Hilliard, Wyman President and CEO. “It’s up to us to remove the barriers to their success, and empower them with access to high quality, affordable education. inspireSTL provides our region’s future leaders with access to academically rigorous education – and just as importantly – bolsters their ability to succeed through a long-lasting support network throughout their educational journey. It’s one of the many ways we’re working to answer the call to close the achievement gap in our region.”
inspireSTL now serves as a sister program to Wyman’s St. Louis-based Teen Leadership Program (TLP) and nationally recognized Teen Outreach Program (TOP).
Wyman Solutions At-A-Glance:
- inspireSTL provides high-potential scholars with rigorous academic preparation to help them emerge as next-generation leaders. inspireSTL places these scholars into competitive college prep high schools. The program begins the summer after seventh grade, lasts through college, and includes securing financial aid, tutoring, coaching, ACT prep, and providing financial resources when necessary. In 2015, the first cohort of inspireSTL scholars graduated from the region’s top college prep schools and successfully entered high-caliber, four-year universities across the country. At least 90 percent of these teens are first-generation college students.
- On a national scale, Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) empowers teens from sixth through twelfth grade with the tools and opportunities needed to build a foundation of healthy behaviors, life skills and a sense of purpose, and avoid risky behaviors that can derail success. Caring and highly trained adult facilitators guide students through a unique combination of engaging curriculum and experiential community service learning opportunities that help teens build their strengths and hone social emotional skills proven to bolster success later in life. TOP has helped teens lower their risk of academic failure, dropout, teen pregnancy and school suspension by more than 50 percent. TOP is offered locally at Brittany Woods Middle School, Ferguson-Florissant School District, Normandy Schools Collaborative and the Near South Side.
- Wyman’s St. Louis-based Teen Leadership Program (TLP) boosts teens’ college tenacity through a six-year course of leadership experiences, college access and persistence programming that begins the summer after eighth grade and lasts through the second year of post-secondary education. Annually, 100 percent of TLP teens graduate from high school and 90 percent are accepted into post-secondary institutions.
Applications are currently being accepted to join inspireSTL’s 14-month Prep Academy. Students must currently be in seventh grade, be a resident of St. Louis City, and attend a St. Louis Public or charter school in St. Louis City. Click here to learn more, and apply here.
As a trailblazer in evidence-based youth development strategies, Wyman empowers teens, equips adults and strengthening communities. Nationally, Wyman has improved the lives of more than 125,000 teens in the last five years.
Founded in 2011 by Teach for America corps members, inspireSTL provides high-potential scholars who are currently underserved with placement and rigorous academic support into some of the region’s best high schools, with the vision that they will emerge as the city’s next generation of leaders.
Wyman, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit and proud member of the United Way, partners with communities to provide teens with the support and opportunities they need to thrive in life. Originally founded in 1898, Wyman’s mission is to enable teens from economically disadvantaged circumstances to lead successful lives and build strong communities.
Director, Communication & External Affairs