The mission of the Winnetka Youth Organization (WYO) is to foster individual development in junior high & high school youth in the North Shore by providing adult-to-youth mentoring, prevention services, opportunities for leadership, citizenship, and education within a safe, informal environment. Through our diverse positive youth development initiatives, we empower adolescents to become more active community members and leaders, while also giving them opportunities to develop confidence in their own talents and skills.
The WYO is not a substitute for parental guidance. We are a service to complement and support teens outside of their daily lives and we partner with parents as well as other community agencies to support a holistic approach to wellness. That means nurturing each youth’s individuality, assessing their strengths and weaknesses and building a base of support that they can lean on in times of crisis by:
- Providing a positive, safe environment where young people can be recognized as individuals
- Engaging youth in programs designed to develop leadership skills, enhance positive social skills and self-esteem, and advance constructive behavior patterns
- Sponsoring activities that promote cultural competency and understanding of others
- Assisting in meeting youth needs for friendship, status, safety, and adult mentoring
- Offering programs and services that are positive alternatives to adolescent high risk behaviors
- Facilitating cooperation and communication between the teen population & the community at large
- Enlisting the support of community members, agencies, and institutions to share financial and physical resources to strengthen service youth.
WE STRIVE TO HELP TEENS BE THEIR AUTHENTIC SELVES.
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WYO’s Teen Drop-In Center Hours
Monday – Thursday: 3 PM – 7 PM
Friday: 3 PM – 9 PM
Saturday: Social Service Days
TEEN OF THE MOMENT
Katy Dickman, Youth Board Secretary and Social Service Committee Chair
Katy Dickman is one of our regular volunteers and a member of both our Youth Board and Social Service Committee. According to Katy, she joined the WYO to participate in our weekly social service opportunities, hoping to “connect with the community and meet many different types of people.” Now, she is one of our most active volunteers, participating in everything from soup kitchens to beach cleanups.
When not working with the WYO, Katy is involved in several after-school activities. She is a member S.W.E.E.T.S. club, a STEM-based club for women, where they “work on many projects like building catapults and educating elementary school girls on STEM careers.” She is also involved in Out of the Box Club and DECA, which is a business competition club. She also participates in crossfit.
Befitting the upcoming Christmas holiday, Katy’s favorite movie It’s A Wonderful Life; Katy says she loves it “because it’s a great holiday film and it has valuable moral lessons that I follow and shows how meaningful our lives really are.” What most people don’t know about her is that she loves to travel; Katy intends to study abroad in college, hoping to go to “a country with a lot of ancient and modern history like Paris or Greece.”
We at the WYO are so grateful for Katy’s leadership, dedication to service, and positive attitude!
Our Team Leaders help organize and guide our program to great heights
Board of Directors Chair
Youth Board President
What our teens think
“I had a great time during my interactions with the WYO. I am happy to be a part of this group. My first experience with the WYO is the house renovation. After that, I volunteered for the Kids Against Hunger event. To me, the WYO is a great place to make new friends, hang out with friends, practice problem-solving skills, and volunteer to do something for other people. I will keep participating in volunteer events in the future. The WYO is a place to have fun”Hope Pu
“When we were at the WYO and we played our first show, we got a lot of connections to cool people, cool venues, and made friends. So that’s really nice, and it kind of started us actually having shows, and not just playing around Wilmette. So that’s really cool. So thanks to the WYO and everybody involved!”Austin Lyons
Our Sponsors. We Thank You.
Winnetka Youth Organization
620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL. 60093