Wire Youth Development Programs

wire logoThrough WIRE, the Walker Institute fulfills an important part of its mission: to help build more equitable and inclusive communities through community service. Since 2008, more than 1,000 youth between 7 and 13 years-old have participated in one or more WIRE Youth Development Programs from the Walker Institute.

WIRE programs help youth envision themselves in college and in desirable careers—and provide culturally sensitive guidance and instruction to help them get there. All programs are free of charge.


REGISTER NOW OPEN -- 2018 WIRE Sports-based Youth Development Program


Are you looking for a great FREE program that will promote healthy growth, development, and learning of your child? Enroll your child in the WIRE Sports Program Today!


Who: Kalamazoo youth ages 7-12

When: Saturday mornings from 9 am-12 noon January 20 - April 21, 2018

Where: Western Michigan University Recreation Center - 1640 Ring Rd S.

Directions: From Stadium Driveà Take Oliver St west, turn right on Ring Rd S, and then right into parking lot 13.


Through WIRE Sports your child will:

  • Learn sports skills
  • Get to know WMU campus and interact with students and staff
  • Listen to life lessons given by outstanding role models from the Kalamazoo community each Saturday during the “half-time” talk. Respected community professionals will describe the work that they do and how they got onto the path of success, and what kids can do and should be doing now to prepare for the future. 
  • Have fun!

Click here to register  For more information, please contact Gus Calbert at gus.t.calbert@wmich.edu and 269-910-9211. 


Additional programs may be offered, depending interest and availability of resources.

Other WIRE programs occasionally offered since 2008

  • Together Kalamazoo: An Exploration of Youth Creativity, Diversity & Community through the Arts—in collaboration with BIGthink (spring, 2014)
  • WIRE Golf (Sm, 2013)
  • Merze-Tate Travel Writers Club– a collaboration with Community Voices (2013-2014)
  • WIRE Summer Book Club (Sm, 2012 and 2013)
  • Edison Cooks Nutrition and Food Preparation Program (2011)
  • Razas United Youth Program, 2008-11, with Hispanic American Council and Boys and Girls Club
  • Kalamazoo Youth Media Initiative—a collaboration with the WMU School of Communication and the Public Media Network (2008-09)