News: 16 Teen Leaders to Dine with Notable Community Members at April 9 Gala

Annual Event Highlights Teens’ Lives Changed by Wyman Programs

St. Louis, MO [March 23, 2016] – Wyman will give 16 teens the opportunity to step into their new leadership roles at the Wyman Gala, Celebrating Today’s Teens and Tomorrow’s Leaders, on Saturday, April 9. Teens attending the event include those from Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program (TLP), Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) and inspireSTL.

Two teens attending the gala, Quentin Phillips and Jaques Clinton, will be opening the event. Both had limited support systems growing up, which presented challenges to their success. These two best friends will share how their interactions with Wyman have helped them develop a sense of self, connections to the world around them, and the academic and leadership prowess to become thriving young leaders.

“My experience with Wyman allowed me to see who I am, and recognize my potential,” said Phillips. “Nothing was more powerful to my leadership development than my time with Wyman.” Phillips is currently studying to become a petroleum engineer at Louisiana State University.

“Quentin rarely advocated for himself, but today, he’s learned to take initiative and ownership of his success, and he knows where he wants to go,” said Bryan Capers, TLP Director. “He reminds me that regardless of anyone’s life circumstances, as long as we continue to have hope and encourage teens to think beyond what they think their limitations are, they are bound to be successful.”

“These programs are a huge part of my support system,” added Clinton. “Not only have my coaches helped me succeed, they have encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and create solutions that benefit others. With my coach as my teammate, I’m unstoppable. I couldn’t ask for a better extended family.” Clinton is currently studying mass communication at Dillard University, and serves as a campus chaplain promoting unity and inclusiveness among his peers.

“Jaques embodies a spirit of resilience,” said Tier Payne, inspireSTL High School and College Support Coach. “His positive attitude is contagious; always propelling others toward self-advocacy and rising to a higher standard despite their obstacles. His passion and drive for success inspires others to pursue their goals with confidence, boldness and community in mind. Jaques is a living testament and example that these programs truly make a lasting impact, and influence the outcomes of our young people.”

In the last six years, the gala has raised more than $1 million to support approximately 3,000 teens that Wyman serves locally. Wyman’s programs – offered for more than 118 years in St. Louis, and fifteen years across the nation – are proven to help teens achieve educational success, develop healthy behaviors and relationships and exhibit life and leadership skills.

Presenting sponsors include: Famous Footwear, One At A Time Foundation, with additional support from Ameren Missouri. “In every city where Famous Footwear is based, we are part of the community, working every day to enrich the lives of the people we serve,” said Will Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Famous Footwear. “It is a privilege to partner with an organization like Wyman who proactively and positively helps teens achieve their next steps in life, improving not only their personal outcomes but, in turn, our communities.”

To join the evening’s festivities, visit


What: The Wyman Gala: Celebrating Today’s Teens and Tomorrow’s Leaders
Where:  Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis
When:  Saturday, April 9, from 6 to 11 p.m.
6 p.m.  – Cocktails
7 p.m.  – Special Welcome by Wyman Teens
7:15 p.m. – Dinner
8:30 p.m. – Fund-the-Need Auction
9 p.m.  – Dancing and Late Night Nibbles

About Wyman
Wyman, a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit and proud member of the United Way, empowers teens from disadvantaged circumstances to live successful lives and build strong communities. Originally founded in 1898, Wyman envisions a day when all young people in America will succeed in learning, work and life.

Media Contact:
Kristin Gumper
Director, Communication & External Affairs