Get To Know Us
The WAY Center, Watering & Advancing Youth, will advocate for academic and total health goals that will serve each child’s development needs and interests, met with intention, care and creativity. As an enriching afterschool program, we will be a safe place for students during non-traditional school hours, and it will serve as a space where excitement, academic and total health success will urgently meet.
The WAY Center was created for underserved children and parents within the St. Louis community, as a solution to the lack of out-of-school time (OST) care.
Our Community Needs Watering
We observed reading/language arts, math and science proficiency data from the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) from our community and compared it to data from higher income communities in the St.Louis Area. The disparity was heartbreaking, with proficiency levels being almost 50% higher in higher income neighborhoods in 2019.
The WaterPower Curriculum will balance academic support, total health, enriching group activities, choice play and fun to deliver this intentional solution.
Extended hours, before care and optional Saturday morning workshops
Enriching academic and extracurricular activities at an affordable price
Student and family centered approach, research-based curriculum, intentional lesson plans and goal planning to support academic and total health success in each student
Ongoing professional development for motivated staff and volunteers. Mentor/peer to peer learning and teaching opportunities, fostering community partnerships
Opportunities for employment, targeting job seekers within the St. Louis Promise Zone
Watering & Advancing Core Seeds:
Be amazing – be amazing in all that you do!
Be intentional – be intentional and focused while achieving your goals!
Be urgent – be urgent and immediate while reaching your fullest potential!
Be healthy – be healthy, make one healthy choice at a time!
Increased proficiency levels and academic success among K-5
Contribute to the total health of the student and family
Increased parent/family and teacher communication and collaboration
Prepared for middle school transition
Exposure to leadership skills and early career exploration
Increased community engagement
Increased high school graduation and college enrollment/graduation, contributing to a diverse workforce.
Financial and wealth success
Increased employment opportunities within the St. Louis Promise Zone
A Word From Our Program Director
Welcome and thank you for entrusting The WAY Center to serve as your intentional out-of-school time solution.
My Name is Kelly! I'm a wife, and a passionate mom of five with a heart to serve my community. As a first generation grad, and a youth education and health advocate, I was inspired to start The WAY Center to solve the educational and health disparities facing my community.
Currently, I am an Operations Manager at World Wide Technology, the largest black owned technology company. In my previous role I served as the Leader of Recruitment at University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). As an experienced HR and Consulting Services professional, with a passion for building and connecting, I am prepared for this moment. I am ready to serve this solution and introduce The WAY Center to the community.
We look forward to contributing to the academic and total health success of our children.
We Are Thankful For Our Team!
Board of Directors:
Kelly Adams, founder, Board President and Program Director
Gabrielle Williams, Board VP and Secretary, founder of Miss Gabbea
Perez Moungo, minority small business owner - Westfall Hauling Inc.
Tina Hines, north county community member
Kristen Frazier, HR Business Partner - Avis Car Rental
Donella Johnson - UMSL/Ritenour Graduate, Boeing Finance Team
Tanja Huston - Consultant/Children's Book Author
Katrina Brown - SLU PHASE Program Manager, Public Health
Anna Bailey, MD, Internal Medicine Physician
Donna Hunter, Academia and Human Resources Professional