Shaldew Release Show

Friday, April 26th, Doors Open at 6pm

Aerius is releasing “Shaldew” – Come hear it live!

Featuring special guests: Vargbyte, Brian Sees Stars, and Xariah Chase. $10 cover charge.

Open to the public – All ages show. Questions? Contact us at 847-446-0443 or email

Social Service Saturday

Saturday, April 27th, from 10am-1pm

Help the WYO thank the guests of our 50th Anniversary Benefit!

Help write and seal thank-you cards for everyone who came to support us at this amazing event. Grades 7th-12th only, regardless of residency.
RSVP Required. Contact us at 847-446-0443 or email to sign up!


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


Eli Druker, WYO Community Member 

Eli Druker is a freshman at New Trier Township High School. He has been with the WYO since his time at Carleton Washburne School, where he participated in our programming at The Burne. Now, he regularly joins us for recreational programming, such as board game days and open mic nights.

When not at the WYO, Eli is heavily involved in Dungeons and Dragons, playing regularly with a group at D&D club at New Trier. He is also a talented artist, and is working on drawing something new every day. Eli enjoys video games such as Hollow Knight and Skyrim, and loves to bake. Often, he will bring one of his delicious homemade treats to share when he comes to the WYO!

Eli has been a wonderful member of the WYO community. He has shown tremendous generosity, whether through bringing treats or sharing his art supplies with other participants. In addition, he is always willing to get to know new people and try new things. We look forward to seeing more of Eli in the future!

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 fun

Hope 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