Dear Friends and Supporters,
A vibrant society is only as strong as its young people. Due to your investment and support, we’ve touched the lives of more than 22,700 teens, as illustrated in this 2016 annual report.
Here, you will read about Gracie, who simultaneously held four part-time jobs to support her family. With Wyman’s support, she also charted a course to reach her childhood dreams. Today, she is double-majoring in animal science and psychology to someday help animals around the world. She’s landed internships to gain experience in the field, is building a rock-solid resume as she applies to vet school, and is networking with senior professionals who stoke her passions.
Across St. Louis, we’re working to empower another 3,000 teens like Gracie with the skills needed to succeed. Through our Teen Outreach, Teen Leadership and InspireSTL programs, teens are learning the social and emotional skills that propel educational success, successful college and career paths and a lifetime of leadership. While 1.2 million youth drop out of high school annually, teens in Wyman’s programs are gaining the skills, confidence and guidance to graduate high school, and enter colleges and four-year universities—at rates vastly exceeding their peers.
Across Missouri, Wyman equips 1,200 adults with the tools and knowledge to exponentially multiply these efforts—creating safe spaces in rural towns and big cities where youth learn skills like problem-solving, decision-making, teamwork and empathy, and avoid risky behaviors that derail success. They are improving their communities while practicing and honing the skills proven to help them thrive and secure gainful employment.
Nationwide, the 60 partners replicating our evidence-based programs across 30 states, along with the triumphant stories we hear from teens, tell us that building the strengths of young people is more effective than intervening only when problems occur. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, each dollar invested in programs like TOP provides an $11 return.
We’re scaling these solutions to reach a critical mass of teens here in St. Louis, where 40 percent of children under 18 live in poverty—right here in our backyard. In 2016, we launched our first Youth Impact Partnership at the Normandy Schools Collaborative. We are actively leading, facilitating and aligning 35+ nonprofit partners to create more effective, efficient and equitable opportunities for the 3,200 youth in Normandy, who will better support their communities.
Now more than ever, we are called to ensure ALL YOUTH live in a society that empowers them to live the life they deserve—where adults encourage them to reach for the stars, and systems coalesce to create paths for their success.
We’re tenacious in our pursuit of a greater future in which each generation thrives. We’re excited you are on that journey with us, and look forward to your partnership as we deploy innovative, multi-front solutions based on our 119 years of expertise. Together, we’re changing the potential of our communities—building a future that is inclusive, thriving and economically fruitful for all.
Thank you for your partnership, persistence and unwavering support in creating lasting, positive change. Together we are unstoppable.