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. From September 2017 to April 2018, our growing diverse program initiatives have allowed us to meet 827 new high school students that utilize our drop-in services and 91 7th- and 8th- grade students that attend our programming at Washburne. We have had sixteen Youth Leadership Group meetings, nine new teen bands perform shows with the WYO, and provided thirty new social service projects for teen volunteers. As a team-oriented organization we are transforming into something that modern-day teens both need and want to be a part of.

Christina Gikas

Christina Gikas

Executive Director

Christina discovered her passions and the importance to advocate for all youth during her undergraduate studies at North Park University. When volunteering in Chicago Public Schools, she grew to know and support youth from the inner city with their college aspirations. Christina continued to serve as a mentor to teens when she began pursuing her graduate degree at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work. She spent the summer serving high school students in the foster care system by providing them with guidance, education and emotional support towards their future aspirations. Today, Christina is delighted to take on the role of Executive Director at Winnetka Youth Organization and apply her experience, expertise, and creativity in empowering youth to be their true authentic self. She has a vision to expand WYO’s programming, so that all teens can feel welcome and inspired.

When Christina isn’t working with teens, she is traveling abroad, going to concerts, and taking weekend trips to Michigan. Her favorite rock band at the moment is The Killers and she loves homemade Greek food!

Mary Komlofske

Mary Komlofske

Program Director

Mary went to school at Purdue University and studied English Secondary Education. She believes that adolescents are at a particularly important part of their lives—they are in the process of forming their identities and determining who they are outside of their families in a new way. Mary learned from her own experience as a teenager, that the company you keep and the authority figures that reach out to you, can make a world of difference to how healthy and valuable this formative period can be. She enjoys working with adolescents so she can be as much of a positive force in their lives as she can. Working with the WYO, Mary believes she is helping to create a safe and comfortable space for these adolescents to discover themselves and learn to work with others in a productive way.

When Mary is not working with teenagers, she likes to read, teach herself how to play guitar, and play Dungeons and Dragons with her friends. Her favorite song is “Shut up and Dance” by Walk the Moon, and her favorite movie is Mad Max: Fury Road.

Pamela Tousis

Pamela Tousis

Youth Advocate Intern

Pamela Tousis is an undergraduate student majoring in social work at Loyola University. Pamela’s passion for youth work began as a youth mentor volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chicago. Volunteering there, she realized that she is especially interested in the process of adolescent development as it unfolds within local environments for a better understanding about how to create settings that better support youth. Now with 10 years of experience, she has developed a wisdom and knowledge around the work that she will utilize in her role as the youth advocate intern at the WYO. Her passion to empower youth coupled by her energetic personality brings her much excitement to have joined such a wonderful organization.

Some of Pamela’s other passions include world travel, discovering new cultures, and meaningful conversation.

Board of Directors (2017-2018)

Molly Dolkart, Chair John Thomas, Treasurer
Cari Alexander Sheila Dolkart
Scott Edwards John Hage
Susan Magill

Advisory Board

Stephanie Leese Emrich Nicholas Georgiton
Nancy Randall Nancy Samberg
Zane D. Smith Scarlett Stoppa
Michelle Studl Calvin Tindall

JOIN THE BOARD

What makes 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.

Our Sponsors. We Thank You.

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

847.446.0443

Winnetka Youth Organization