Secret Show

Friday, June 21st, from 7pm-10pm

WYO is hosting a “Secret Show” with performances by high school musicians.

Contact us at 847-446-0443 or email to sign-up.

Social Service Saturday

Saturday, June 22nd, from 9:30am-1:30pm

Volunteer at the Winnetka Music Festival’s Family Stage with the Winnetka Youth Organization!

Contact us at 847-446-0443 or email to sign-up.


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 provides a place where teens can have fun, learn and be themselves in an safe accepting environment.

For 50 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.


Our Team

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

Lynne Levernier

Lynne Levernier

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 fun

Hope Pu

Freshman at New Trier High School

“My favorite part of the WYO is I get to perform here!”

Jack Ellis

Sophmore at New Trier High School

“I love the youth organization because we can just be ourselves and have fun in all the activities we do.”

Sloan Walker

Freshman at 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 Commitee Member

“The organization is succeeding, and bringing people into the spirit of service.”

Aaron Lariosa

Sophmore at New Trier High School, Youth Board Member

“This is a really good organization and more teens should come. We have different, fun activities.”

Katy Dickman

Senior at New Trier High School, Youth Board Secretary


Anna Garibashvily, WYO Teen

Who’s Anna?

Anna is a regular participant in WYO programming. She attends all kinds of WYO events, including open mic nights and dances. She also frequently lends the WYO her artistic talent to create flyers and stickers for upcoming events.

Why the WYO?

“I got involved with the WYO because some of my friends attend the WYO regularly as well.”

What does Anna do after-school?

When not at the WYO, Anna enjoys running, playing guitar, drawing, writing, and figure skating.

What you may not know about Anna (if you know her):

She is the only left-handed person in her whole family.

Where does Anna’s artistic inspiration come from?

“My inspiration comes from a lot of places, mainly from my surroundings. Sometimes it hits me in the middle of class because of a poster that’s hung up on the wall, sometimes it comes from one of my friends saying a funny phrase.”

Who is Anna’s Role Model?

“If I had to pick one of my role models, it would be one of my close friends. She’s extremely advocative for herself, her friends, her home, etc. She does so much for everyone around her, and I hope to make an impact on the people around me like her.”

Anna’s Future Aspirations:

“Some of my future aspirations include: publish a book, become a journalist or news reporter, and adopt a rescue cat.”

Anna’s Favorites:

Favorite Book: Simon Vs. the Homo-Sapiens Agenda

Favorite Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Favorite Band: Panic! At the Disco

We are so grateful for the positive energy that Anna brings to the Winnetka Youth Organization!


Stay Current

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

Sunday: Closed

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.

Reach Us

Winnetka Youth Organization

620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL. 60093


Winnetka Youth Organization