On Friday, November 6, I had the privilege of celebrating my 20-year anniversary with Wisconsin Youth Company. When I look back at those years, one word jumps out at me: CHANGE. Granted, the past seven months we have seen the most change in our programs, but over the years I have watched WYC grow into an organization I am proud to be part of.
When I first started all those years ago, WYC’s mission was to provide care for children during out-of-school time. It was a great mission, and WYC did just that. Over the years our mission has developed into so much more: W Y C!
We value relationships. I am truly grateful for the relationships I have built over the years at Wisconsin Youth Company. The people I work with are truly wonderful people. I look at the many people who have been with the company for more than a couple years and it proves that Wisconsin Youth Company is a great place to work.
I also value the relationships I have made with many families over the years. I love answering the phone and hearing the familiar voice of a parent or guardian who needs help with registration, billing or something else. I am so glad that over these years I have been able to help these families.
I also value the relationships I have made with staff at the schools and the people in the communities that I have worked with over the years. It makes my job a true joy!
Youth are our focus. I have enjoyed going into the schools over the years and being able to play with children and help them either start their day off with a fun activity or end their day with helping them unwind from the busy school day.
WYC doesn’t stop with before and after school programs. Over the years, I have watched our summer programs grow to being so popular that most of them are full before summer even starts. I remember one time, many years ago, subbing on a summer swim day. It was so much fun to watch the children playing in the water and having a great time.
Our Middle School U summer program is second to none! Every year when the class schedule comes out, I end up wishing I was a middle schooler so I could take part in the program. Maybe when I retire, I will volunteer in this great summer program.
Collaboration is the way we work together as a team. WYC doesn’t stop collaborating with the schools we service. Since transferring to our Madison office a couple years ago, I have been able to see the work that is being done in our Elver Park Neighborhood Center as well as working with school staff, social workers, and community members.
Last year, the apartment complex across the street had some structural problems and many people were displaced. WYC stepped up and had an open house with dinner for the residents. Community members came to help these families. It is just one of the many ways I have seen WYC work with people in our community.
My supervisor often says “WYC, it’s the place to be.” And he’s right. Whether you are a parent, child, community member, or a person looking for a job, WYC is certainly the place to be!