Mission: More than 30 years of youth development research is identifying key factors that help young people prepare for success in family life, social relationships, economic self-sufficiency and civic life. At the same time, researchers and demographers, as well as concerned parents, educators and youth work practitioners, have good reason to be concerned about the struggles faced by many of today''s parents, families and schools, the very places that once contributed so wholesomely to the development of young people. To address this urgent need, Wyman is preparing young people for success in three critical areas of life: healthy family and social relationships; economic self-sufficiency; and community involvement. We''re accomplishing this by teaching youth to be productive in school and work; to connect to community and family; and to be able to navigate in diverse environments and make healthy choices. Wyman''s philosophy, grounded in the most current national research, is that keeping young people "problem free" is simply not enough. We must help them be "fully prepared" to lead successful lives and build strong communities.
Programs: Wyman's signature programs include the Wyman Teen Leadership Program and the Wyman Teen Outreach Program. The Wyman Teen Leadership Program engages teens from economically disadvantaged circumstances year-round for five years beginning in eighth grade. The program is guided by a progressive leadership theme, and teens gain the experiences, skills and values needed to prepare to act as contributing students, family members, employees and citizens. One hundred percent of our last graduating class, graduated from high school on time and went on to post-secondary education. The Wyman Teen Outreach Program (TOP) is a national after-school program for teens whose effectiveness has been proven in over 20 years of operation. TOP is currently being administered in over 400 organizations and schools in the United States, Virgin Islands, and United Kingdom. Based upon the principles of youth development, an approach that provides teens with the necessary supports and opportunities to prepare for successful adulthood and avoid problem behavior, Wyman TOP has proven effective in increasing academic success and preventing teen pregnancy and other negative behaviors among program participants. Teens that complete Wyman TOP experience: 60% lower rate of school dropout 33% lower rate of pregnancy 14% lower rate of school suspension 11% lower rate of school course failure TOP teens gather weekly throughout the school year for open discussions about relevant issues such as peer pressure and making good decisions for the future. Wyman TOP teens also participate in regular community service learning and neighborhood improvement projects.
Wyman is all about teens. I am so impressed with the young people in our leadership program that I was delighted to invite several to join me in Jeff City and to "follow" a day of a Senator. They were fantastic.
It has been a privilege to work on future planning of Wyman and then to share our plans with DESE, the State dept of Elementary and Secondary Education. Our TOP ,Teen Outreach Program is applicable to all school districts -and is growing rapidly.