WYO's Youth Board

Within our space we encourage teens to be leaders, whether it is with an internship over the summer, sponsorship of a senior project, or through our youth board. Most of our regular teens join the youth board as they progress through high school to help get the next group of students involved, and to provide insight to our program administrators about what sorts of programs to offer. Each semester the Youth Board elects officials to manage social service projects, publicity events, fundraising efforts and the board as a whole. These positions provide students the freedom to excel, and it is often in students that take these leadership roles that we see the most growth.
The Youth Board Mission is to uphold the WYO’s mission by developing program ideas, recruiting new members, publicizing WYO events and being a positive representative of the WYO to the general community.
Meetings: The Youth Board is required to meet every second & fourth Monday of each month at 6:30pm-7:30pm. Located at the Winnetka Youth Organization.

Benefits: Develop and enhance your professional, social, and networking skills; gain hands on experience with business marketing and fundraising; attend professional development workshops; and foster new relationships with professional adults and like-minded peers.

Eligibility: Membership is open to all high schools students in the North Shore. Members must be full-time students and at least 14 years of age. No person will be treated differently with regard to any personally held identity, including but not limited to the following: race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, citizenship, political beliefs, socioeconomic status, height, weight, and/or mental or physical ability.

Youth Board Open Positions Still Available!

 Students needed for the following committee’s:

  • Music Event Chair & Committee
  • Cultural & Diversity Committee
  • Social Service Committee
  • Advocacy Chair & Committee

 

Please contact the Winnetka Youth Organization’s Program Director,
Mary Komlofske, at
maryk@winnetkayo.org to learn more about the application process.

2018-2019 Youth Board Leadership

 
Renee Affinito

Renee Affinito

President

Grade: Senior at New Trier High School

Why I love being apart of Youth Board: It’s a fun way to give back to the community and is also rewarding to see the work we do paying off through the joy of other teens.

What I’m hoping to gain: Experience with a position on a board, handling responsibility and practice bringing positivity to the community.

Current Hobbies: Soccer, track, and working at Hartigan’s Ice Cream Shoppe.

Favorite Music: Anything country!

I aspire to be: A leader within my community to learn how to help others as I move through my education and the rest of my life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Katie Dickman

Katie Dickman

Secretary

Grade: Senior at New Trier High School

Why I love being apart of Youth Board: I love giving back and meeting new people in the community. I enjoy going to new places and experiencing different volunteer opportunities. Truly, it’s very rewarding to see how you have affected the community.

What I’m hoping to gain: New leadership and responsibility that will help me in the future. Through volunteering events, I hope to interact with different people and build new relationships.

Current Hobbies: I love to read interesting stories, exercise through rowing or crossfit, and I like to listen to all genres of music.

Favorite Sport Team: The Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Cubs!

I aspire to be: Someone who challenges themselves and who tackles problems no matter how difficult that obstacle might be.          

Wells Meyer

Wells Meyer

Member / Rainbow Committee Representative

Grade: Freshman at New Trier High School

Why I love being apart of Youth Board: I get to meet new people and contribute ideas that I think are helpful to the discussion.

What I’m hoping to gain: Experience being a part of a board and working with others.

Current Hobbies: Playing the flute, piano, reading, drawing, and learning new languages.

Favorite Song: I’m Fine By BTS

I aspire to be: Someone who helps others and is able to enjoy life.

Chloe Ziomek

Chloe Ziomek

Vice-President

Grade: Senior at New Trier High School

Why I love being apart of Youth Board: I love being in touch with other youth in the community and give back to an organization that is so important to our community!

What I’m hoping to gain: A better sense of the diverse youth. Also experience with volunteering opportunities within our neighborhood. I have gained the love of volunteering through this.

Current Hobbies: Dance team; Rush Hospital Board; Lifeguarding; and working-out.

Favorite Music: Anything country!

I aspire to be: A successful business woman!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Chrissa Katsamakis

Chrissa Katsamakis

Communications Chair

Grade: Freshman at Glenbrook High School

Why I love being apart of Youth Board: I love giving back! It’s a great chance for me to offer my perspective and learn how to get involved in shaping a community. Plus, I am excited to meet new people and achieve new goals together.

What I’m hoping to gain: A better understanding of teamwork, responsibility, and leadership. By getting involved I will learn to work with new and different people on exciting projects and learn to take initiatives and not be afraid to try new things.

Current Hobbies: Dancing and ice skating. I’ve been doing both since I was five years old!

Favorite Song: Simple By Flordia Georgia Line

I aspire to be: In the field of medicine or fashion.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Madeline Sheedy

Madeline Sheedy

Member

Grade: Freshman at New Trier High School

Why I love being apart of Youth Board: I like to be a part of something that can help organize events or help a group of people I care about.

What I’m hoping to gain: Experience with planning and working behind the scenes in an organization.

Current Hobbies: Singing, writing, dancing/making choreography, drawing art, and sign language.

Favorite Song: The Truth Untold By BTS

I aspire to be: A sign language interpreter or something in the medical field.

Maggie Cao

Maggie Cao

Treasurer

Grade: Junior at New Trier High School

Why I love being apart of Youth Board: It allows teenagers like me to take initiative in helping improve the community and allows for direct participation in enriching the lives of those around us.

What I’m hoping to gain: Valuable experiences of working with new people and bringing change to my community for the better.

Current Hobbies: Debate, violin, and fencing! I also love traveling, meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures!

Favorite Sports Team: The New Trier Trivians! I’m not a big sports gal but you bet I have team spirit!

I aspire to be: A doctor one day, so I can continue to help those in need and do everything in my part to better our community.   

Sarah Steinway

Sarah Steinway

Communications Co-Chair

Grade: Junior at Deerfield High School

Why I love being apart of Youth Board: It gives me a chance to be involved with the general community and particpate in fun, new events that I might not typically experience.

What I’m hoping to gain: To feel like I can successfully give back to the community and feel like I have made a difference in other people’s lives.

Current Hobbies: I figure skate 5 days a week. I also participate in BrightStars, which is a program at the Northbrook Leisure Center through the NSSRA that helps special needs children and adults perform in plays with buddies to help them.

Favorite Sport Team: The Chicago Blackhawks!

I aspire to be: An architect and interior designer.                                                                                                                                                                        

Aaron Lariosa

Aaron Lariosa

Member

Grade: Sophmore at New Trier High School

Why I love being apart of Youth Board: I love being apart of the Youth Board because it’s an opportunity to help people. It provides access to do volunteering work and projects that benefit the community.

What I’m hoping to gain: To use the future to help me and others.

Current Hobbies: Playing video games and watching TV shows.

Favorite Song: Plastic Love By Mariya Takeuchi

I aspire to be: I don’t know at the moment, but I’m searching for it. Hopefully by the time I graduate and leave the youth board, I’ll know.

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.

Looking for a Social Media Manager Volunteer

Looking for a 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.

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

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.
FALL-SPRING: Youth Worker Intern

FALL-SPRING: Youth Worker Intern

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 intern! 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.

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Reach Us

Winnetka Youth Organization

620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL. 60093

847.446.0443

Winnetka Youth Organization