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!

MacKenzie Scharf

MacKenzie Scharf

Youth Worker Intern

MacKenzie was inspired to join the WYO because of her high school experience as Peer Helper. She was a volunteer at Stevenson High School, where she assisted in providing her peers with an inclusive enviorment where anyone could come and speak freely and come and go as they please during their lunch and free periods. Making a difference in teen’s lives is something she enjoys and she aspires to study special education.
When MacKenzie isn’t at the WYO, she is instructing swim lessons for children with special needs at Big Blue Swim School. For fun, she loves to listen to country music and go to concerts.
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.

Looking for an Outreach Coordinator Intern!

Looking for an Outreach Coordinator Intern!

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 Outreach Coordinator Volunteer works closely with the Program Director 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 various social channels and marketing strategies.

Email your resume, cover letter, and references to our Executive Director at christina@winnetkayo.org.

Julia Bogen

Julia Bogen

Youth Advocate

Julia went to Indiana University in Bloomington. Despite the bitter rivalry with Mary’s college, they are still good friends! Driven by a love of language and culture, she studied linguistics, East Asian studies, and French. She aims to go back for her master’s degree in counseling, having discovered her passion for it very late in her academic career. In counseling, as well, she plans to work primarily with adolescents and young adults, as she believes this is the most emotionally and psychologically vulnerable stage in life. Her hope is that she can help teenagers feel empowered, optimistic about the future, and above all, that they are not alone. At the Winnetka Youth Organization, she is looking forward to meeting all these new personalities. Julia hopes to be a mentor and ally they feel they can go to, whether it’s to have a fun conversation, vent about a bad day, or whatever else is on their mind.

When Julia isn’t working with teens, she is writing a story, playing video games, or crocheting something cute. Julia’s favorite food is butternut squash ravioli and tuna gimbap, and her current favorite movie is Captain America: The Winter Soldier!

OPEN: Youth Worker Volunteer

OPEN: Youth Worker Volunteer

Are you a college or graduate student looking for additional volunteer opportunities and field experience? Join the Winnetka Youth Organization as a part-time youth worker volunteer! You will be apart of a team of professional staff, who hold a degree in either social work or education, that promote teen’s individuality and strengths.

Our programs are meant to address teen’s needs and utilize the staff’s skills. There will be opportunities to create and facilitate programs focused on prevention, leadership, service, art & music, and cultural education. Interested?

Email your resume, cover letter, and references to our Executive Director at christina@winnetkayo.org.

Board of Directors (2018-2019)

Molly Dolkart, Chair
Susan Magill, Vice-Chair

John Thomas, Treasurer

Scott Edwards, Secretary

John Hage, Advisory Board Chair

Cari Alexander

Sheila Dolkart

Lynne Levernier

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