DIRECTOR & FOUNDER
Tom is a Social Worker and a Developmental and Prevention Educator. He has taught courses on Adolescent and Young Adult Development at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for over 20 years. During his 25 years as college counselor and faculty he created an effective model for helping youth understand and navigate their own development. Tom is also an expert on Prevention and Treatment of Addictions.
STRATEGIC PLANNING OFFICER
Bergen graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in Public Administration-Nonprofit Management and Communications.
Her award-winning film, “Miniskirts, Mace and Other Misconceptions” (MMOM) dares to change campus culture at it’s very core when it comes to sexual assault. She was a TV News Reporter until, she returned to Chattanooga to work for the Partnership for Children and Families.
MARY E. RICHARDS
Mary is widely known for her financial prowess and has been the CFO in major companies. Her experience in grant writing and finance are major assets for our organizations. Mary lives in Ann Arbor, MI.
Alonna is a Freelance Writer and Editor and has been practicing writing for eight years. She will be attending The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for the Fall 2017 Semester as a freshman Creative Writing Major. Her organization skills earned her the chairperson position by unanimous consent.
Alexander is a recent graduate from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a political science degree in Non-Profit Management. During his time in university, he was a Cultural Ambassador to students who studied abroad in Chattanooga. He finished out his college career with a semester long internship with YoungandWiser and helped coordinate a relief trip to Baton Rouge. He is currently on tour in Germany.
TECHNICAL BOARD ADVISOR
Tyler is the Digital Producer for WTCI Public Television. He obtained degrees in Mass Communications and Music. Tyler won an Emmy for WTCI's full-length documentary "From the Streets to the Stage: The Journey of Fredrick Davis," and was nominated for two others for WTCI short documentary films.
BOARD HOLISTIC HEALTH ADVISOR
Vinay graduated from the University of New York with degrees in both Finance and Accounting. After working in the finance sector in New York, Vinay returned back to Chattanooga while working as a Financial Analyst for Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries. Recently, Vinay has become an RYT certified Yoga Instructor and has been looking for ways to spread yogic principles of mindfulness and awareness to those who could benefit from it most.
BOARD YOUTH ADVISOR
Emily is completing her dissertation for her Ph.D.. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Memphis and has a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Western Kentucky University. She really enjoys working with young adults - especially regarding topics such as identity development, transitioning to adulthood, and building resilience and positive coping strategies.
News and Information
New Twitter account - check it out!
Flood Relief Trip Sideshow
Teen Dating Violence Program Launched at
The Center for Creative Arts
REFLECT & RESPECT
Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program
Reflect and Respect is a four-session prevention program addressing Teen Dating Violence (TDV). During these sessions, students will be given crucial information on TDV and all that it entails. This program will provide students with the opportunity to participate in hands on activities promoting healthy relationships.
Session 1 - Defining TDV/ Risk Factors
Session 2 Developmental Issues/ Consent
Session 3 -Healthy Relationships/ Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Session 4 - Community Resources
We are doing a pilot program at the Center for Creative Arts. The students there are receptive and they are helping us spread the word.
From more info contact us.
COLLEGE INTERNSHIPS AND HIGH SCHOOL SERVICE
We offer internship opportunities for college students who are self-directed and eager to participate in the operation of the organization and providing services to youth. The title of the position is based on the students role. As this implies the student will have specific duties along with other activates based on their interests, talents and college majors. Below are some of the activities that will be available for interns.
1) Mentoring youth.
2) Developing marketing tools such as brochures, fliers, etc.
3) Creating and conducting presentations for potential donors or supporters of the organization.
4) Recruiting faculty and student speakers.
5) Assisting in development of multimedia training programs for college and high school students.
6) Establishing links with new sponsors.
7) Assisting with conducting meetings, setting agendas and assigning tasks. Of course other opportunities will emerge out of the above.
High School students can complete volunteer hours with us and often can get credit from their school,
Since we are a non-profit and most of our services are free to the public, we depend on the generosity of others to be able to provide these vital services. We are always look for volunteers and supporters. PleaSe help us by donating or volunteering.
Apply to volunteer here.
Vision - YoungAndWiser, Inc. envisions a world in which empowered young adults and adolescents are able to make positive and healthy lifestyle choices with increased awareness and understanding of the developmental challenges they face physically, socially, and emotionally.
Mission - We provide developmental education programs and services and collaborate with educational and other institutions serving adolescents and young adults.
This organization and the idea behind it were developed by Tom Bissonette, MSW. The underlying concept is simple - yet profound. Most, if not all adolescents and young adults experience developmental delays in one or more areas. The purpose of this organization is to help them catch up to themselves and their peers through life education. We use assessment tools to help youth increase awareness of the challenges they face.
For, example one student might be academically advanced but way behind most of her peers socially. Another might be just the opposite. A third might be ready intellectually and cognitively for college but may lack coping skills - a delay in emotional development. By now you get the picture. But it’s not enough just to be aware of these delays!
That’s where the YoungAndWiser™ approach comes in. We help young people understand what's happening to them by training peers or adult mentors to reach students in a way that reflects understanding of their experiences. We give them the truth and the tools to catch up in the needed areas without falling behind in others. Our motto is, "We Trust Youth with the Truth." Contact us and we’ll show you how to use our method.