About

Our distinctive mission

Guiding you to reach your full potential

FLYY serves as a catalyst for youth and young adults as they transform their outlook, develop coping skills, and build resilience. Our vision is to co-create a community where participants are able to realize their full potential in spite of social, economic, and behavioral obstacles.

Celebrating 10 years in the Madison community

FLYY’s Wilderness Roots

FLYY began as a wilderness program. Co-founders, Jessie Kushner and Troy Gosz, developed a program that was informed by shared decades of work with high-risk teens in wilderness settings around the U.S.

FLYY remains a leading catalyst for individual and community-based change.

Today, we ally with youth in all types of situations

Although FLYY no longer offers wilderness programs, our approach to working with teens, young adults, and families continues to be informed by this original vision. We use the external environment, experiential learning approach and a larger culturally responsive lens as a means by which to transform the outlook of participants, develop coping skills, and build resilience.

FLYY is a community-based nonprofit

Mental health help designed to strengthen families

Established in 2011, FLYY is a community-based nonprofit serving youth, young adults, and their caregivers throughout Dane County.

FLYY uses a distinctive trauma-informed framework to support long-term success, one that is grounded in four fundamental components.

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Community-based

FLYY sessions often happen in non-traditional settings, utilizing the external environment as a tool for optimizing growth, experiential modeling, and healing the spirit. By working outside of a therapy office, FLYY increases opportunities for participants to become active members of the community, as they both utilize and contribute to its resources.

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Trauma-focused

We understand the impact of toxic stress and adversity on multiple domains of daily living, including physical and emotional health as well as the ability to feel safe, regulated and engage in relationships that feel healthy and fulfilling. Providers draw from a range of theoretical perspectives and methodologies but share a sense of traumatic stress as the root of much psychosocial stress, mental health challenges and substance use disorders in our community.

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Relationship-centered

Mental health recovery starts with a healthy participant-provider relationship. FLYY providers take into consideration the impact of early life trauma on attachment and model healthy relationship patterns in real time interactions with participants. Relationship to self is another area of focus, wherein FLYY staff guide participants to view their thoughts, feelings and actions through a lens of self-compassion.

Strengths-based

We understand the therapeutic value of hope and celebrate resilience as an innate healing tool. FLYY providers reject an understanding of trauma as illness and ask instead, “What happened to you?” or even “What has made you stronger?” We engage directly with the internal strengths and resources that participants have access to and work creatively and compassionately to bring play, connection and a sense of future back to the lives of those we work with.

It's time to clearly see what life can hold.

Are you ready to look forward?

FLYY is a community-based nonprofit serving youth, young adults and their parents or caregivers throughout Dane County, Wisconsin.