Meet the WYO Team

Our vision is to make all teens feel welcome and accepted for who they are, and feel free to pursue what they are interested in and embrace their talents—in hopes that they lead lives of integrity and service. As a team-oriented organization we are transforming into something that modern-day teens both need and want to be a part of.

KRYSTEN WARNES

Executive Director

Krysten, originally from Ohio, was recently director of Bach To Rock, a music school where she managed more than 20 employees at two Chicago locations. Her experience also includes supporting promotions at iHeartRadio in Washington, DC., and managing contestant talent for Telemundo.
If you can’t find Krysten at the WYO on weekends, that’s because she’s serving as a TA through Northwestern University’s Weekend Enrichment courses. Warnes has an Associates degree from The University of Akron, and was a valedictorian of Full Sail University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Music Business.

Fun Fact: Krysten is a huge Ohio sports fan and loves running half marathons every year!

JAMES PAPPADIS

Program Director

A Glencoe native, James has experience with teaching, mentoring, training and behavioral support. He has most recently served as a teacher of English, History, Geography and African Studies at C2 Education in Chicago, which specializes in offering tutoring for standardized achievement tests and select subjects.
His experience also includes serving as program manager for Right At School in Evanston, where he managed all after-school activities at Kingsley Elementary School, working with youth at the Jewish Community Centers in Chicago, and teaching English in Indonesia. Mr. James holds a Master of Education from National Louis University in Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in History from DePaul.

Fun Fact: James served as a chef through college and loves to cook up a storm in the kitchen!

JULIE JENSEN

Youth Advocate

Julie, a Northbrook native, comes to us from recently leaving the corporate sales world after 6 successful years to focus more on her passion for giving back to the community. She is in the midst of getting her Masters in Social Work at Loyola University Chicago where she is specializing in school social work. She brings experience in coaching, mentorship, tutoring, crisis intervention & mindfulness. Ms. Julie graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Advertising.

Fun Fact: Julie loves to travel and tries to go to a new country every year! Her most recent trip was a solo excursion to Australia.

Board of Directors (2019-2020)

John Thomas, Treasurer
Scott Edwards, Secretary

Cari Alexander
Molly Dolkart
Sheila Dolkart
John Hage
David Kelbaugh
Ruth Jennings
Mike Jennings

 

Advisory Board

Dr. Paul Sally
Teddie Kossoff
Wes Baumann
Calvin Tindall
Nancy Randall
Nancy Samberg
Zane D. Smith
Scarlett Stoppa
Michelle Studl
Stephanie Leese Emrich

 

Interested in joining the WYO board?

For more info contact us at: info@winnetkayo.org

What does it take to be a Board Director?

  1. Regularly attends board meetings and important related meetings.
  2. Makes serious commitment to participate actively in committee work.
  3. Volunteers for and willingly accepts assignments and completes them thoroughly and on time.
  4. Stays informed about committee matters, prepares themselves well for meetings, and reviews and comments on minutes and reports.
  5. Gets to know other committee members and builds a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus.
  6. Is an active participant in the committee’s annual evaluation and planning efforts.
  7. Participates in fundraising for the organization.