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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Western Youth Network Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services

Mission: Our mission is to transform our High Country community by nurturing and empowering our children so that they live HEALTHY, ENGAGED and FULFILLED LIVES. To transform our community and make the brightest futures possible for our youth, WYN is addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their consequences through trauma-informed interventions and advocacy.

Results: For 36 years WYN has faithfully served High Country youth of North Carolina and their families. To date, we have served thousands of youth through mentoring, after school, prevention education, and summer camp.

Target demographics: Local Youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 186 youth in the mentoring program, 101 students in after school and summer camp, and trained 178 adults to keep kids safe from drugs and alcohol

Geographic areas served: Boone, NC

Programs: mentoring, after school, prevention education, and summer camp.

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with WYN and being a part of their mentorship program has been such a unique and by far one of my most valued experiences of my time as a college student in Boone. The team at WYN is so passionate about the work they do and it can be seen in the positive impact they continue to have in the community. While I can only hope my time with my mentee is a valuable experience for her, I don't think it can ever compare to the joy she brings to my own life, and I am so grateful to the WYN staff for bringing us together.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

WYN staff members at all levels are totally dedicated to helping those kids who most need extra help to succeed. Their commitment to and passion for kids is unparalleled. We are so fortunate to have such an amazing organization serving our community!

Donor

Rating: 5

The commitment to the students by WYN’s staff is phenomenal. There is a daily belief in the potential of each child. The Western Youth Network of North Carolina is a model for community support for thise who fall through the cracks of our society. The staff, board members, mentors, and volunteers make this a rare and special group to support.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Words often fail when I am faced with articulating what Western Youth Network means to me and to our community here in western North Carolina - because, quite simply, WYN does so much. WYN is on the frontline, every day fighting to ensure that every child has the opportunity to thrive with the support of a caring, professional staff and group of mentors and volunteers. WYN is working to end the chain of negative consequences that follow adverse childhood experiences, improving the health and outlook of the child, families, and our community through mentoring programs, substance abuse prevention, and after school programming. I count myself fortunate to know first-hand the dedicated, professional staff at WYN and know without a doubt that they will continue to grow and succeed in WYN's mission for decades to come.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a single Mom wanting to stay and raise my son here I could not have done it without WYN! They provided us with the resources and support we needed to be able to stay! We utilized the afterschool program, mentoring as well as summer camp. Their staff opened their arms and welcomed us with unconditional love and an entire focus of seeing us succeed! I LOVE Western Youth Network and our vision to eliminate Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their consequences in the High Country.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My wife is a middle-school teacher and on many occasions shared the positive impact of the Western Youth Network's great work with her students. Consequently, when I was invited to join the Board of Directors she answered "yes" for me! And it's true - through mentoring, after-school programs, community health programs and other forms of outreach, WYN's amazing director, staff and volunteers make a profound difference in the lives of young people who are experiencing challenging times in their lives. The reward of seeing young people with access to opportunities for safer, healthier and happier lives is incredibly fulfilling.

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I was in graduate school at ASU, I worked for the ACT office on campus and it was through that opportunity that I learned about WYN and the amazing work they do day in and day out to make the lives better for children in our community. I recently moved back to the High Country area and did not hesitate to find a way to get involved with WYN. I'm honored to serve as Board Member to help spread the WYN story. If you are passionate about helping children succeed, WYN is the organization to support by volunteering or with financial support.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

WYN is focused on relationships--with donors, staff, Board members, and most importantly, children. They make a huge difference in our community, and they are making the High Country better and better with each generation.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I discovered WYN decades ago as part of my work at Appalachian State University.
Our service learning programming partnered with WYN every year. When I retired - this was the nonprofit that I wanted to serve. Their role in our community supporting children who need us most is inspiring. My voluntary role on the Board has been so fulfilling for the past three years.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first found WYN in the summer of 2004. I was working with a student who needed extra support and she had been referred to WYN summer camp. I was able to join her for her camp experience and I was amazed by the compassion and style in which students were treated at WYN. I loved the way students were held accountable in a loving manner that was respectful and thoughtful. I worked to find a way to work for WYN and after that summer I have had a position at WYN in the mentoring program ever since.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is an outstanding example of community and individual practice. They focus not only on the effects of trauma on an individual but also on how trauma can be exacerbated by community systems. Through their work, WYN seeks to build a stronger more resilient community by focusing on individual needs and community change. I am a strong proponent of the need for change on multiple levels and plan to continue partnering with WYN in order to see this through.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My involvement with WYN started in 2015 when I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the WYN familiy. Family is the best way to describe this organization! I've never encountered another place that is so open-minded, supportive and has the passion to accomplish the vision it lays out. WYN builds strong relationships with the communities it serves and operates as a safe place for all . I'm constantly amazed by how much this organization does each day to met the needs of others, it is extremely humbling.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

For 35 years, Western Youth Network has provided the High Country's youth with a stable environment to flourish. WYN's staff works tirelessly to ensure excellence in programming for after school, mentoring, summer camp, and prevention education. COVID-19 has certainly presented challenges for WYN, yet the staff devised sound methods to ensure our youth's needs continue to be met. I am so proud of each staff member and honored to serve on the Board of Directors.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When I moved to the High Country 10 years ago I kept hearing about the Western Youth Network. At first I thought they were solely a successful youth mentoring program, which I later found was how they started. As I learned more, I discovered they were not only making positive connections for kids through meaningful one-on-one relationships, but also through their impactful Community Health initiatives tailored specifically for each locale. Along with that, they have student-centered active After School & Summer Programming. All of WYN's work comes together to support our kids, making the High Country an even better place to be!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Western Youth Network's dedicated staff work hard to positively impact the lives of youth and families in the High Country community in western North Carolina! Through evidence-based programming in mentoring, after-school, summer camp, and community health, WYN collaborates with partners locally, statewide, and nationally to develop initiatives that span from direct service to advocacy and policy. Western Youth Network, 35 years strong!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Long before I was a board member of WYN, I recognized WYN's passion and commitment to serving the youth and families in the High Country of North Carolina. As a board member, I witnessed the tireless passion and commitment via the lens of an "insider". The unique bond between the staff and youth serves as a reminder that WYN is a community of safety, love and hope. And thanks to the leadership of Jenn Warren, ED, I have no doubts WYN will continue to lead the way in serving youth and families in Western North Carolina and beyond.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen that the staff of the Western Youth Network sincerely care. They attend basketball games and 8th grade graduations; they constantly assess how they can be doing things better; they listen; they have high expectations. I feel so good about donating to this organization because I know that the care that youth receive at WYN is truly life-changing.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Western Youth Network (WYN) has been serving the young people of Western North Carolina for almost 30 years now. Over the years they have tireless worked to change the lives of kids during some of the hardest years of growing up. In a World of endless negative influences, WYN offers young people the chance to learn how to make good choices, develop strong leadership skills and have a positive impact on their community. I have really been impressed by the visionary leadership of the director and the high level professionalism of all the staff. It is an honor to be a supporter of WYN.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

WYN is an amazing organization. They do so many things in the High Country without being recognized or known by the majority. This organization is the only big brother/big sister program for Watauga County. They have multiple programs that make Boone and the surrounding areas a better place. On a day to day basis they are impacting hundreds of lives. Their mentoring, summer and after school programs give the community a better future by providing opportunities for the youth they serve. WYN provides care and guidance to kids and families on multiple levels. The work that WYN does helps pave the way for a brighter tomorrow for everyone involved!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have actively served with the mentoring director of WYN for the past four years. I have learned about and supported WYN mentoring activities that have a profound impact on Watauga and surrounding counties. The strong stewardship is a shining example to other nonprofits as are the innovative programs, the deep connections informing community members while developing youths' full potential.