Luke Jarvis

Founder + Executive Director

Luke is the founding Executive Director of WYLD and has been in Wilkes County his entire life. He is a graduate of Wilkes Central High School, Wilkes Community College, and Appalachian State University where he received his degree in Recreation Management and Nonprofit Management.

He has been involved in the Non-profit realm since 2015 and has always had a passion for working and empowering young people and helping to better his community. During the COVID Pandemic Luke, along with a few other peers, identified a huge need for youth programming in Wilkes. Youth were experiencing a mental health crisis, there was no such thing as “normal” anymore, and kids were missing opportunities to just be kids.

After about 18 months of planning, WYLD was born. Luke has always had a passion for empowering others to be their best and true selves, and what better way to serve the youth of his hometown than by helping them find ways to do just that?

Katherine Johnston

Program Director

Katherine has been a part of Wilkes Youth Life Development (WYLD) since September 2022. She feels that working side-by-side with youth who are inspired to make a difference in their community is so refreshing!

While she was in college at Western Carolina University, she began volunteering in her community in Sylva, NC. She has experience fundraising, conducting community outreach, and leadership. She was the president of an Honors Society, and in that role she was tasked with creating service events that students could partake in. When she moved back home, she knew that being involved in her community in Wilkes was something that she wanted to dive into.

WYLD has given her many opportunities to get involved and learn about the ways that she can make a lasting impact in Wilkes. Katherine has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Health Sciences and is currently working on obtaining a Masters of Science in Public Health from Appalachian State University.

WYLD Board

The WYLD Board of Directors is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for young people to grow, learn, and reach their full potential. We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of their background or circumstances.

At WYLD, we believe in the power of collaboration and partnership. We’re proud to be community-based and work with organizations, businesses, and individuals who share our vision and commitment to youth development. By leveraging the collective resources and expertise of our partners, we are able to create a stronger and more supportive network for our young people.

We are grateful for the support and trust of our community, and we are dedicated to being transparent and accountable in our operations. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about our programs, volunteer opportunities, and ways to get involved. Together, we can make a positive difference in the lives of the youth in Wilkes County.

Jane Casarez

Board President, Substance Use Professional, Parent

Jessica Hammer

Board Secretary, Mental Health Professional

Angela Reins

Board Member, Business Owner

Bryan Terry

Board Member, NC Highway Patrol

Jeff Walker

Board Member, Non-Profit Professional, Parent

Michael Lipford

Board Member, Business Owner, Parent

Thomas Salley

Board Member, Wilkesboro, Parent

Luke Jarvis

Ex Officio

The Ones Who Make

Our Work Possibile!

Non-Profit Organization

PO Box 1112 Moravian Falls, NC 28654

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