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Bronx Pathways to Success Initiative

The Bronx Pathways to Success initiative, a collaborative effort between the New York City Health Department's Office of School Health (OSH) and Hostos Community College, aims to strengthen efforts to assist expectant and parenting teens in achieving educational success.

New York City Health Department's Office of School Health

As part of the high school component of this initiative, the OSH has partnered with both the NYC Department of Education's Living for the Young Family Through Education (LYFE) program and School Based Health Centers (SBHCs) located on Bronx high school campuses. The LYFE program employs an early childhood education model to positively influence the life outcomes of student parents and their children. LYFE provides free education to children between the ages of eight weeks and three years. LYFE supports student parents through academic guidance, social support, and advocacy to help them stay on track toward graduating from high school or completing their High School Equivalency. LYFE has 38 classrooms across the five boroughs to meet young families' needs.

Quality primary health care is provided by SBHCs, Article 28 primary care clinics primarily located in areas with limited access to health care services. In the Bronx, there are approximately 21 SBHCs serving 88 high schools, eight of which have a LYFE Program co-located on the same school campus.

Leveraging these resources, the Bronx Pathways to Success initiative seeks to strengthen existing systems and community partnerships to help student parents graduate from high school and support their transition into parenthood by providing consistent, high-quality childcare, support services, and primary health care.

Contact:
Kelly Celony, PhD, MPH, LCSW
Director, Pathways to Success
DOHMH - Office of School Health
Phone: (347) 396-4506
FAX: (347) 396-8936

Hostos Community College

Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change, transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. Hostos serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, and a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. Hostos offers 29 associate degree programs and five certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions.

At Hostos Community College, the Pathways to Success initiative is represented by the Empowering Student Parents (ESP) program. The ESP program is a great fit for the South Bronx and Hostos Community College. The program operates in an area that has been dubbed "the poorest congressional district in the nation," a community that needs extra support due to its unfavorable economic circumstances. The majority of Hostos students are members of this community, so providing additional support and access to resources for the parenting students has a positive, empowering effect on the students that extends to their families, neighborhoods, and the South Bronx community.

The ESP program helps young expectant and parenting college students with issues that have the potential to cause poor class performance or indefinite withdrawal from school. Not performing well academically leads to exclusion from desperately needed scholarships and grants, as well as loss of existing financial aid funds. Having to leave school forces these students to continue living a cycle of poverty with no foreseeable end. The ESP program helps connect students with resources within the college setting as well as their communities. We direct them to resources that can provide them with necessary assistance, including services such as childcare, after-school programs, health care, tutoring, food sources, transportation assistance, counseling services, family planning, support groups, and much more. In addition, the ESP program provides parenting students with educational programming facilitated by Hostos staff and outside community organizations. Lastly, the program provides parenting and expectant students with a positive and encouraging environment at critical times when they need it most.

It is our expectation that the work of the ESP program will increase retention and graduation rates for expectant and parenting students, as well as improved health, self-esteem, family relationships, and overall quality of life. In addition, the Pathways to Success initiative will result in graduates who have a greater awareness of available resources and their points of access. This will help create stronger, more productive individuals who have this same impact on their families, neighborhoods, and the entire South Bronx community.

Contact:
Fabián Wander, LMSW
ESP Program Coordinator
Director - HCC Health and Wellness Center
120 East 149th street D-101-D
Bronx, New York 10451
(718) 518-6567
fwander@hostos.cuny.edu

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