The Winnetka Youth Organization’s mission is to foster individual development in adolescents by providing adult-to-youth mentoring with opportunities for leadership, citizenship and education within a positive, encouraging 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.
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“
“My favorite part of the WYO is I get to perform here!”
“I love the youth organization because we can just be ourselves and have fun in all the activities we do.”
“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!“
“The organization is succeeding, and bringing people into the spirit of service.”
“This is a really good organization and more teens should come. We have different, fun activities.”
TEEN OF THE MOMENT
Kelsey Carroll, WYO Teen
Kelsey is a regular participant in WYO programming, she attends all kinds of WYO events, including art nights and game days. We also learned that she loves the Renaissance Fair and Greek Methodology.
Why the WYO?
When not at the WYO, Kelsey participates in a lot of clubs at New Trier High School and her favorite is Sci-Fi Club. She gets to share her interests in video games, novels, and comics with others who enjoy the same things.
What you may not know about Kelsey (if you know her):
“I enjoy cooking and baking, which is something I wish I could do more of.”
Kelsey’s Future Aspirations:
“Getting to college and seeing where that takes me.”
We are so grateful for the positive energy and creativity that Kelsey brings to the Winnetka Youth Organization!
Make sure you sign-up for our monthly newsletter full of events, news and all things great at the WYO
Teen Drop-In Center Hours (Summer)
Monday – Thursday: 2 PM – 6 PM
Friday: 3 PM – 9 PM
Saturday: Social Service Days
Winnetka Youth Organization
620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL. 60093