Youth Development

WOMEN AND YOUTH SUPPORTING EACH OTHER

aka WYSE

Brookhaven, GA

Mission

Women and Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE) is a year-long curriculum-based mentorship program that partners college women with middle school girls in under-served communities across the country. Our program consists of weekly curriculum-based group sessions after school, one-on-one mentoring, and special events. WYSE empowers young women by providing the resources and support necessary to make positive life choices and create community change. We are a national organization with branches at 12 universities in 7 states across the United States.

Ruling Year

2011

Chair

Ms. Melissa Pierce

Main Address

9602 Richeon Ave

Brookhaven, GA 31119 USA

Keywords

Mentoring, middle school, women, youth, empowerment

EIN

45-2503745

 Number

0194635958

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

WYSE was conceived in 1992 when three college women discovered that a large number of homeless women in Los Angeles were single mothers due to unintended pregnancies. Though the initial focus was teen pregnancy prevention, the founders soon realized that a broader scope of programming was necessary to disrupt the cycle and affect community change. Today, young women in the United States are coming of age in a time when making informed choices about their bodies and futures is increasingly difficult. They often receive conflicting messages from their peers, families, schools and the media. WYSE equips young women with the knowledge and confidence to transform their lives and make healthy decisions to determine their own futures.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

WYSE Mentoring

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Women and Youth Supporting Each Other envisions a world in which all women are empowered to determine their future and effect change. Our mission is to empower young women by providing the resources and support necessary to make positive life choices and create community change. WYSE's mission and programming are governed by five key pillars: 1. CRITICAL THINKING AND DECISIONMAKING: WYSE women explore fully and think deeply about significant issues in order to make informed, deliberate decisions; 2. IDENTITY AND SELF ESTEEM: WYSE women strive to recognize, explore, and proudly express who they are as individuals; 3. COMMITMENT TO MENTORSHIP: WYSE women believe in the power of positive relationships to change lives. Through commitment to mentorship, WYSE women dedicate themselves to being a positive influence and role model for those around them. 4. COMMUNITY CHANGE: WYSE women strive to make a better society by gathering information, spreading awareness and taking action on issues that are meaningful to them. 5. SAFE COMMUNITY AND EXPLORATION: WYSE women express their ideas, ask questions, and learn in a safe, open, and accepting community. WYSE women encourage others to speak up and help each other discover new ideas.

WYSE works towards our mission and vision using the following strategies: • Year-long one-on-one mentoring: WYSE mentors and mentees engage in fun, one-on-one outings to spend time together and foster a relationship beyond group sessions. These extra activities are important for building trust and mutual respect between each mentor and mentee and are crucial to WYSE's high retention rate of mentees. Outings include museum field trips, college campus visits, environmental excursions, and WYSE Future Options Day. • Curriculum-based group mentoring: Once a week, mentors travel to their middle school sites to host a group session for mentees on a specific topic. WYSE mentors use an up-to-date and program-specific curriculum to plan and build weekly sessions that are tailored to the unique needs of our mentees. Using the multi-faceted WYSE curriculum as a guide, mentors engage their mentees in decision-making games, in-depth discussions, and community action projects. • National leadership training; For over a decade, WYSE has been hosting our flagship leadership program, the National Leadership Training Conference (NLTC) for our branch directors from all over the country. This is a unique opportunity for the leaders to develop skills as well as learn from their sister branches. • Alumni Network: An extension of our mission to provide opportunities for leadership development and mentorship even after women have graduated from the program. • WYSE Week: Held every spring across all WYSE branches, WYSE Week is a time to celebrate WYSE by hosting events with mentors, mentees, or on campus focusing on community action. All week long, stories are shared on social media. For example, WYSE branches celebrated WYSE Week 2019 with the theme "Aspire to Inspire," celebrating their hopes and dreams for the future. • National Network: The WYSE National Network cross-branch communication strategies that will improve the effectiveness of program delivery through fostering national cohesion and the sharing of best practices. • Fundraising: WYSE seeks to have strong financial health and support our branches.

WYSE is a national mentorship organization that provides adolescent girls in underserved communities with the information, resources, and support to make healthy decisions and create community change. Through WYSE, college women volunteers offer group-based and one-on-one mentorship, employing a national curriculum to address key issues that contribute to a woman’s empowerment, from building self-awareness to exploring future options. The current WYSE curriculum covers a myriad of topics relevant to adolescent girls, including self-esteem, discrimination, conflict resolution, dating violence, sexual health and decision-making, healthy lifestyle adoption, and future options awareness. WYSE is governed by a board of five alumni of diverse professional and personal backgrounds, and branch leaders receive support and leadership training annually.

In 2015, WYSE committed to monitoring & evaluations at a national level and developed a M&E framework for tracking our progress. WYSE collects and tracks process and outcome data as well as organizational evaluations to ensure that we continue to learn and grow. The indicators used to track progress for each of WYSE's five pillars are: 1. CRITICAL THINKING AND DECISIONMAKING: Mentees, mentors, and directors self-identify on mentee and mentor post-survey: • WYSE helped me be confident in my ability to make healthy decisions to achieve my goals. • WYSE helped me to have the resources and tools I need to help friends and others make wise choices. • WYSE helped me to know how to identify and take action if I am in an unhealthy relationship. • WYSE helped me be able to take action when someone around me is faced with sexism, racism, or other discrimination. • WYSE helped me to know how to protect myself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy if I decide to have sex. • WYSE helped me to know that I have the power to make a difference in my community. 2. IDENTITY AND SELF ESTEEM: Mentees, mentors, and directors self-identify on mentee and mentor post-survey: • Participating in WYSE helped me to better understand and accept my personal identity. • WYSE helped me to know that I have the power to make a difference in my community. 3. COMMITMENT TO MENTORSHIP: Mentees, mentors, and directors self-identify on mentee and mentor post-survey: • My WYSE mentor is someone that I trust. • I plan to continue to have a relationship with my WYSE mentor after the program ends. • I would recommend WYSE to other girls. • I plan to continue to have a relationship with my WYSE mentee after the program ends. • I would recommend being a WYSE mentor to other young women. 4. COMMUNITY CHANGE: Mentees, mentors, and directors self-identify on mentee and mentor post-survey: • WYSE helped me to know that I have the power to make a difference in my community. • WYSE helped me to know that I have the power to make a difference in my community. • WYSE helped me to be involved in my community. Community Action project participation WYSE week participation 5. SAFE COMMUNITY AND EXPLORATION: Mentees, mentors, and directors self-identify on mentee and mentor post-survey: • I feel that WYSE is a safe space for all participants. • I feel like I can ask questions and/or talk openly about difficult issues like sexuality, drug use, relationships, and identity during WYSE sessions. • My WYSE mentor is someone that I trust. • I plan to continue to have a relationship with my WYSE mentor after the program ends.

In the 2018-19 program year, 497 mentees and mentors were served by WYSE in 11 WYSE branches nationwide. 198 sessions designed to empower young women were conducted in 15 public and charter middle schools. 76 young women were involved in branch leadership and put on 137 special events including community action, bonding, and campus outreach. Across mentors, branch directors, alumni, and the Board of Directors, close to 30,000 hours of volunteer time were spent achieving WYSE's mission in 2018-19. WYSE's outcomes continue to show that WYSE works! Out of mentees surveyed at the end of the 2018-19 program year, 98% said they felt that WYSE is a safe space; 96% agreed that WYSE helped them take action against sexism, racism, and discrimination; 96% planned to continue a relationship with their WYSE mentor; and 96% agreed that WYSE helped them be confident in their ability to make healthy decisions to achieve their goals. Mentors also reported strong outcomes, with 98% recommending WYSE to other young women and 95% agreeing that WYSE helped them be involved in their community. Perhaps the strongest evidence of WYSE's accomplishments come from the stories of former mentees. One former WYSE mentee explained the importance of the program in her life: "As an eighth grader, I faced many uncertainties about who I was, the direction my education was taking, and my confidence as an individual. WYSE entered my life at a turning point and affected the direction my life was headed towards. My mentor gave me the confidence to believe in my future and the confidence to set challenges for myself." Lily is one of many WYSE mentees who go on to become WYSE mentors in college, fully encapsulating the spirit of the WYSE national organization and network. In the years to come, WYSE hopes to continue expanding our reach to more middle schools and universities across the country. We are always excited to hear from college students who want to start WYSE branches of their own, and we hope to support each and every WYSE woman - current or future - across the country.

External Reviews

Financials

WOMEN AND YOUTH SUPPORTING EACH OTHER

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, website and contact information

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, website and contact information

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

No

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

No

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No