WHAT: WYSE, Women and Youth Supporting Each Other, a project of Community Partners, is a volunteer and college-based national afterschool program in which college women provide education and mentoring to middle and high school girls (predominately of color) in low-income communities. Through education and mentoring girls develop self-esteem and leadership skills, discuss a variety of topics affecting their lives, receive compre-hensive sexuality education, become aware of future options and are encouraged to create community change.
MISSION: The WYSE mission is to provide girls with the information, resources and support necessary to make informed decisions about relationships, sexuality and their futures and to create community change.
ORGANIZATIONAL SERVICES: In 1996, WYSE mentors and mentees created the WYSE National Resource Office (NRO) to maintain the quality and effectiveness of the afterschool program by providing year-round support, structure and guidance to our volunteer mentors through trainings, resources and evaluation. The WYSE NRO also updates the WYSE Curriculum, ensures the legal viability of all 14 WYSE Branches, sustains the continuity of each branch as Branch Directors transition from college and leads the expansion process at new sites.
WHO: WYSE is a grassroots organization as the WYSE afterschool program and all WYSE Branches are student-run and led by women from colleges and universities who volunteer as mentors/educators.
WHEN: Every week, for the duration of an academic year, WYSE mentors go afterschool to a middle or high school to facilitate a one or two-hour group mentoring and educational session. There are also two mandatory fieldtrips, one to the mentors' college campus and the other to a women's clinic in the mentees' community.
HOW: WYSE mentors provide group and one-on-one mentoring by meeting individually with their assigned mentee(s) for a portion of the weekly group session as well as calling their mentee(s) once a week and going on outings once a month. In the afterschool sessions, WYSE mentors provide education using the WYSE Curriculum which is made up of three units: Self Awareness and Self-Confidence Building; Sexual Health and Decision-Making; and Broader Women's Issues and Future Options. In addition, WYSE mentors mediate community change by having mentees participate in Community Action Projects and the annual WYSE National Movement.
WHERE: Currently, there are 12 WYSE Branches at 10 colleges and universities that serve 14 middle schools and 4 high schools.
In order of inception since 1992:
1. Women from the University of California, Los Angeles mentor girls at Mark Twain Middle School in Venice-Mar Vista, CA.
2. Women (undergraduates) from Yale University mentor girls at Troup Middle School and Sheridan Academy for Excellence (middle school) in New Haven, CT.
3. Women from the University of California, Berkeley mentor girls at Longfellow Middle School in Berkeley, CA.
4. Women from the University of Chicago mentor girls at Madero Middle School in Little Village, IL.
5. Women from Harvard University mentor girls at Dearborn Middle School in Roxbury, MA.
6. Women from Harvard University mentor girls at Madison Park High School in Roxbury, MA (will change in
7. Women from Stanford University mentor girls at Edison McNair Academy (middle school) in East Palo Alto, CA.
8. Women from the University of Southern California mentor girls at John Adams Middle School in the Downtown area and Los Angeles Academy (middle school) in South Los Angeles, CA.
9. Women (law students) from Yale University mentor girls at Eli Whitney V-T High School in Hamden and James Hillhouse High School and Cooperative High School for the Arts in New Haven, CT.
10. Women from New York University mentor girls at the Secondary School of Law, Journalism and Research (a middle school, formerly John Jay High School) in Brooklyn, NY.
11. Women from University of California, Irvine mentor girls at Portola Middle School in Orange, CA.
12. Women from Occidental College mentor girls at Luther Burbank Middle School in Highland Park, CA.