The Wily Network
Judi Alperin King I Founder
Supporting college students who have persevered through such life challenges as aging out of foster care, homelessness, or lack of family support.
After more than 30 years of working with children who struggle with serious emotional and behavioral problems, Judi feels the strongest connection to children without family privilege. Throughout her career at Wediko Children's Services, as a clinician, administrator, program director, and development officer, her dedication to these children has never wavered. In 2015, Judi founded The Wily Network to focus her attention on this population as they enter their next stage of development. Judi has an optimistic outlook and fierce desire to help these college students. She'll tirelessly prepare for them, anticipate their needs, listens to their challenges, and champion their successes. In sum, she'll meet these young adults where they are and serve as their support system through college graduation. Judi has three daughters with her husband, Tim. Judi is overwhelmed by the gift she has received in being able to parent her children through each critical stage of their development.
Our vision is to establish the Wily Network on college campuses to improve outcomes for youth who, having persevered through such life challenges as aging out of foster care, homelessness, or a lack of family support, are navigating their post-secondary careers independently. The Wily Network partners with public and private colleges in the greater Boston area to develop this support system for interested students. Through coaching we help students identify and secure year-round housing, maintain food security, and access health care to ensure a college experience commensurate with that of peers. Wily Network staff are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide a safety net for our Scholars. Wily employs three core components to support students from orientation through graduation: One-to-One Weekly Coaching, Supplemental Financial Assistance, and Community and Networking Experiences.
Many of our Scholars have needed to be wily in order to gain college admission without the support of permanent family. To reach college, these students have had to be single-minded, strategic, and focused on their own survival. As they transition into college life, our Scholars face the challenge of integrating their existing skills into a new environment and developing new skills. They need a network to thrive in college and to develop a community, to build reciprocal relationships, and to utilize the resources available to them on the college campus. The Wily Network is committed to supporting our Scholars by creating a dynamic network to ensure their success in college and beyond. In addition to the emotional needs of our scholars, financial, food, and healthcare insecurity create further complications. These students often need basic supplies for their dorm rooms and their classroom work, and assistance with housing during school vacations and summer breaks.
We are currently working with 25 Scholars to ensure that they have the tools and networks necessary to thrive in four to five-year residential colleges. We provide them with tangible and intangible benefits that most college students with homes and families take for granted. Our mission is to empower our Scholars to transition successfully into post-college life and become vibrant members of their communities. We will have 3 Scholars graduating in June this year and our goal is to provide these same benefits to 15 additional Scholars by Fall of 2018.