50th Anniversary Benefit

Join us on Saturday, April 13th, 2019 at the Sheridan Shore Yacht Club!

Basic Day

Friday, March 29th, from 6pm to 11pm

Drink coffee, watch Gossip Girl, and have a spa day. Take the time to relax!

RSVP preferred. Contact our Program Director, Mary Komlofske at maryk@winnetkayo.org or call 847-446-0443!

Social Service Saturday

Saturday, March 30th, from 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Bernie’s Book Bank

Come to Bernie’s Book Bank with the WYO to help sort children’s books! These books will be donated to at-risk kids in the Chicagoland area! It is vitally important for kids that they have access to reading from a young age; help us give children a chance to get that access.

For 7th-12th grades, regardless of residency.

RSVP Required. Contact our Program Director, Mary Komlofske at maryk@winnetkayo.org or call 847-446-0443!


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 provides a place where teens can have fun, learn and be themselves in an safe accepting environment.
For over 47 years, the WYO has provided a variety of programs, both recreational, educational, and service oriented. Informally known as “The YO”, the WYO is a place where teens can feel at home, meet new friends, and express individuality with their peers and WYO staff mentors.


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.


Stay Current

Make sure you sign-up for our monthly newsletter full of events, news and all things great at the WYO

WYO’s Teen Drop-In Center Hours

Monday – Thursday: 3 PM – 7 PM

Friday: 3 PM – 9 PM

Saturday: Social Service Days

Sunday: Closed


Madeline Sheedy, WYO Youth Board Member

Madeline Sheedy visited “The Burne” at Washburne as an 8th grader and joined the WYO as a freshman. She frequently attends events, both recreational and volunteer, along with being an active participant on our Youth Board and Rainbow Committee. Madeline has a strong sense of adventure and is always willing to try new things at the WYO!

When not with the WYO, Madeline is involved with several things. She loves K-Pop music and dance, and is a leader at her Tae Kwon Do studio. She also attends several clubs at New Trier, where she is a freshman.

We love having Madeline at our events and on our leadership boards! We are grateful for all of her contributions to the Winnetka Youth Organization!

Want to Help Out?

Your help is greatly appreciated

Donations are a great way to help the WYO provide our teens with educational programs, technology, and more. Your donation can be  easily made via PayPal. We thank you for your support.

Our Team

Our Team Leaders help organize and guide our program to great heights
Molly Dolkart

Molly Dolkart

Board of Directors Chair

Christina Gikas

Christina Gikas

Executive Director

Renee Affinito

Renee Affinito

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 funHope Pu

Freshman, New Trier High School

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

Junior at New Trier High School, WYO Music Committee Member

Our Sponsors. We Thank You.

Reach Us

Winnetka Youth Organization

620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL. 60093


Winnetka Youth Organization