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.

Christina Gikas, MSW

Christina Gikas, MSW

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. 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!

Emma Kumin

Emma Kumin

Youth Worker Intern

Emma went to the University of Iowa where she studied Social Work and Business. She enjoys working with adolescents because they are creative, energetic, and hilarious! Emma is hoping to connect with teens and discover new ways of viewing the world through different perspectives. Her inspiration to become apart of the WYO was because she believes this organization embodies everything she values as a social worker. Some of these values include: advocating for all youth; engaging with teens and creating and authentic relationships that ultimately build trust and encourage positive outcomes.

When Emma is not in school, she loves to travel, exercise, listen to live music, and draw/paint. Her favorite sport growing up was dancing, but now she enjoys watching football, and her favorite food is french fries!

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.

OPEN: Program Director

Job Type: Full-Time at 35-40 hours a week; $30k salary + benefits. Entry Level.

Start Date: August 12, 2019

Summary: Design, plan & host weekly recreational, educational, and diversity after-school programs for 7th-12th graders; Act as a liaison between the youth, the community, and other staff to improve programming, mentoring capacities, policies and drop-in center; and assist in administrative operations – including fundraising campaigns and grants. 

Full Job Description: Please click here

Apply: Email your resume, cover letter, and references to our Executive Director at

Christianne Lariosa

Christianne Lariosa

Outreach Coordinator

What drew Christianne to the Outreach Coordinator position is that it mashes up her love of community organization and non-profit work. She had majored in Communications and minored in Urban Planning at University of Illinois at Chicago, studying to carve a career path focused on humanities. Originally designing and formatting for the WYO’s Instagram and Facebook, she had been hired as the Outreacch Coordinator due to her experience and familiarity with the WYO’s mission and growing love for the organization. The WYO’s motto of providing a safe, informative environment for teens to be empowered and grow, is something she believes all youths to have access to. Christianne aspires to be as impactful to adolescents as her undergrad internship mentors; she hopes to make meaningful connections with teens to help increase their self-confidence and self-love, while increasing their life skill-sets.
Being a creative, it’s hard for her to choose her favorite things of all time, but her recent picks are Home by BTS and In The Mood For Love by Won Kar Wai, for song and movie respectively. Other than art in media – she enjoys biking, trying out new recipes to cook, reading, exploring museums, bopping at concerts, and hanging out with her pets or friends.
OPEN: Social Media Manager Volunteer

OPEN: Social Media Manager Volunteer

Are you a college student looking to build up your resume before entering the marketing or communications field? Don’t get turned down due to the lack of experience! The WYO could be a great space for you to learn and grow your skills part-time.

The Social Media Manager Volunteer works closely with the WYO Team to communicate to our target population about the amazing events and programs we have coming up! You will learn how to effectively communicate to teens, their parents, and community leaders through our various social channels and marketing strategies.

Apply: Email your resume, cover letter, and references to our Executive Director at

Board of Directors (2019-2020)

Lynne Levernier, Chair

Susan Magill, Vice-Chair

John Thomas, Treasurer

Scott Edwards, Secretary

Cari Alexander

Molly Dolkart

Sheila Dolkart

John Hage

David Kelbaugh

Advisory Board

Stephanie Leese Emrich Teddie Kossoff
Wes Baumann

Calvin Tindall

Nancy Randall Nancy Samberg
Zane D. Smith Scarlett Stoppa
Michelle Studl



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.

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