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WINNETKA YOUTH ORGANIZATION

winnetkayo.org Tax ID 23-7058578

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HELP US KEEP UP WITH THE HIGH DEMAND OF TEENS PARTICIPATING IN OUR PROGRAMS.
We are working with a record number of kids, but we need to raise funds to keep up with the demand. Two years ago, the WYO served 701 local teens. Last year, we provided services to a grounbreaking number of teens - 995 teens last year alone. So far this year, we have already provided services to over 500 teens, and we are only halfway through the year! Can you help us keep our teens safe and engaged in a positive environment?

You see the news and what can happen when teens lack a positive space to grow and under safe supervision. The YO is helping kids stay away from the dangers of social pressures, drug and alcohal experimentation, depression, and many other mental health challenges through individual development, community engagment, positive peer engagemnt, and skill building programs and services. 

For over 40 years, the WYO has provided a variety of recreational, educational, and service-oriented programming in our teen center where young people can find support as they develop their individual identities. Our creative expression programs on the weekends founded on music and the arts are also very popular among teen participants. In addition to our music events and regular drop-in hours, the WYO offers a range of monthly activities – book and film discussions, social service outings, cultural events and more – meant to help teens release stress, learn about their community and their world, and participate in community service and volunteering. Teens are encouraged to take leadership roles in organizing and executing these activities through participation in a Youth Board that meets with staff representatives, or through one of our mentoring options.  

For many teens, one of the biggest problems they face, at home and at school, is the feeling that no one understands them. The WYO provides a place where they can express their individuality in an accepting environment, and where they can develop meaningful relationships with peers and adult mentors. When more serious problems arise, the staff at the WYO work with parents and within our support network of trained professionals to refer young people to the appropriate community agencies for clinical services. 

Additionally, the WYO is commonly referred to as a resource for teen clients by school social workers and community therapists as a place of additional support and positive development for teens already engaged in clinical services. The WYO programs serve as a reinforcing supplement to clinical intervention for adolescents in need of increased self-esteem, self-worth, and positive peer engagement. 

PLEASE help us today to keep our kids engaged with service projects, music and poetry programs, after school and weekend care.