Changes at PYE | April 2020

Deepa Narayan, PYE Board Chair shares greetings during this challenging time, and updates on PYE leadership.

A letter from Deepa Narayan, PYE Board Chair

I’m writing to you with greetings during this challenging time. I hope that you, your family, and your community are doing well as we make our way through the covid situation. I’m also writing with some news about big changes at PYE. 

Gwyn Wansbrough
Gwyn Wansbrough

Since December, we have been going through an organizational change process which unexpectedly has put us in a far better position to weather the covid crisis. Here’s the story. In December, Gwyn Wansbrough made the decision to resign as our Executive Director. Though this was an expected transition, we are sad to see Gwyn go and extremely thankful for all she has done to make PYE flourish.   

Gwyn worked with PYE for almost ten years, first in London, and then in Barcelona.  During her four years as our Global ED, Gwyn led PYE with a steady hand and a clear eye on centering our work in the field of social, emotional, and 21st Century learning. During Gwyn’s tenure as ED, she grew our international partnership network, and together with our partners we now impact over 225,000 youth each year. We are ever thankful to Gwyn for her service to PYE and commitment to young people across the world. And good news, Gwyn will continue on as a PYE facilitator. To read a note Gwyn has written to our community, click here.

Helena Hennighausen
Helena Hennighausen

I’m pleased to report that Helena Hennighausen, PYE’s US Director has agreed to become our Interim Executive Director. Helena has worked at PYE for 6 years with deep dedication. She brings a strong background in innovation and program management and is passionate about providing young people with the skills they need to thrive in our world. As US Director Helena has dramatically increased PYE’s work and impact in North America. She is also a strong advocate for our youth camps. She has been running our Power of Hope Camp and managing our camp network of partners who run youth camps. 

With Gwyn’s departure, we closed our Barcelona office and consolidated our operations to the Seattle area. And then, the covid situation descended. We are happy to say that this consolidation into one location has simplified our operations and set us up to make our way through the current situation far more easily. And while we are now solely located in the US, we remain committed to our international work.  

So what is happening now? We are using this forced pause in our usual work to experiment with on-line offerings, something we have wanted to do for sometime. We are curious to see how much of the magic of the Creative Empowerment Model can be communicated through on-line training. If we are as successful as we hope, we’ll be able to make this work far more accessible and affordable for organizations and practitioners in distant and remote locations–and save on jet fuel!

Here’s what’s coming: 

  • A video to help teachers make their on-line classes more engaging 
  • An on-line version of our Creative Facilitation 1 training
  • An on-line platform to connect and engage Power of Hope Camp youth
  • A series of free live forums and on-line workshops for you led by our facilitators. These workshops should be fun and useful to everyone whether or not you work with youth.  

In this moment of global pause and reset, we are more convinced than ever of the importance of preparing adults to support youth in learning the skills to thrive in an uncertain world. The game has quickly changed and our children need us. Let’s continue to work together to make this world a great place for every child. 


Deepa Narayan
Deepe Narayan

Deepa Narayan
Board Chair
Partners for Youth Empowerment

PS: Please join us on our free on-line offerings. You’ll receive an email in a few days with information and links. 

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BLOG Writing Sections

News: PYE updates, jobs, workshop announcements

Thought Leadership: Innovation Center publications, research, Creative Empowerment Model

Adult Learning: Stories of success using PYE facilitation practices

Impact Stories: Stories from our partners and PYE annual reports

Youth Empowerment: Camps, tips for youth work, camp youth profiles


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