Our Wyman Leaders program supports 530 teens annually to enter and complete college and career education programs, develop life and leadership skills, and create strong connections to their communities. Typically, more than 90% of Wyman Leaders youth enroll in postsecondary education the fall after high school graduation, and more than 85% of them remain in school following that first year. In 2020, rates for both of these measures were lower due to COVID-19 and the impact it had on teens and their postsecondary plans. However, outcomes for Wyman Leaders teens continue to exceed state and national rates from pre-pandemic school years.
Wyman directly delivers the Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) to approximately 500 teens in the St. Louis area. TOP® promotes positive youth development through a social-emotional learning curriculum, community service learning, and supportive relationships with adults. During the 2019-20 school year, TOP® teens continued to build connections with supportive adults and feel a sense of belonging.
Since 2016, Wyman has delivered the Teen Connection Project (TCP) to 353 teens in the St. Louis area. TCP, Wyman’s newest evidence-based program, is designed to improve peer relationships, social-emotional skills, school engagement, and well-being among high school aged youth. Wyman teens are developing the social-emotional skills and competencies that are key to success in life.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Spring 2020 Wyman’s programming moved to a virtual format, and has primarily continued in the virtual setting. Not only did the pandemic change our mode of program delivery, it presented unique challenges for the youth we serve, including difficulty accessing and succeeding in online learning, disconnection from school and peers, uncertainty surrounding postsecondary plans, and family financial hardship.
Despite these challenges, Wyman staff employed creativity and agility to continue delivering services to our teens. Our youth are persevering through unprecedented obstacles to continue to gain the foundational knowledge, confidence and skills needed to be successful in postsecondary education, career, and leadership roles.