Penny, 22, was taken away from her parents at age 5 and placed into foster care. Growing up, Penny needed the skills and values to start her life in a positive direction. She found them at Wyman Center.
Wyman Center, a United Way supported agency, helps enable teens from disadvantaged circumstances lead successful lives and build strong communities. The Wyman Teen Leadership Program is a five-year program that starts with teens in the 8th grade. The program helps teens gain the experiences, skills and values needed to become contributing students, family members, employees and citizens. “Wyman is a place where economic status and race don’t matter. Everyone is seen as equal, and everyone is given a fair chance for a successful future,” Penny said. Penny became a participant of the Wyman Teen Leadership Program at 13. In the program she learned leadership and social skills she could not learn at home. “Attending Wyman has made me the person I am today. The atmosphere is so positive,” Penny said. “Wyman created a place for me to come and escape the harsh realities of my neighborhood.” Today Penny is a junior at the University of Indiana. She received a full scholarship through the Cheryl and David Morley Scholarship Endowment started by Wyman. Penny believes that Wyman Center has made a huge difference in her life – so much of a difference, she’s been a counselor at Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program for three years. Because of her own experiences, Penny is able to relate to the kids on a personal level. “I know what they are going through because I went through it,” Penny said. “I feel as if everything happens for a reason. I was taken away from my parents at the age of 5 and placed into foster care. Then, I was placed at Wyman. It was destiny.”
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