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ACT for Youth

Pathways to Success in New York City: Building Supportive Communities for Young Families

Pathways to Success, an initiative funded by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), aims to improve educational, health, and social outcomes for expectant and parenting adolescents and young adults as well as their children.

Becoming a parent as a teen or young adult can pose special challenges to students enrolled in secondary and post-secondary education, including issues related to child care, financial aid, transportation, and academic and career planning. The responsibilities related to pregnancy and parenting can potentially undermine a student's ability to pursue and achieve his or her educational goals. This disruption to young parents' education adversely affects their futures, as educational attainment strongly influences health, occupational opportunities, and earning potential.

To address these issues, the initiative seeks to create sustainable, community-level infrastructure that will support expectant and parenting teens and young adults in improving their health, education, and self-sufficiency as well as strengthening their families. This will be achieved through the following goals:

  • Strengthen community systems serving expectant and parenting teens and young adults
  • Improve the health, development, and well-being of young parents and their children
  • Improve young parents' self-sufficiency and long-term success through educational attainment
  • Increase awareness of resources available to expectant and parenting teens and young adults in each community and statewide
The Pathways to Success initiative was piloted from 2013-2017 in the Bronx, Buffalo, and Rochester. Building upon what we learned from the pilot, the new round of funding prioritizes New York City where the need is high and potential impact is great. In 2016, there were 4,466 teen births in NYC, representing 45% of all teen births in the state. Pathways to Success in NYC began in July 2017. We are currently working with community colleges, a community-based organization, and a broad range of health and social service partners in order to ensure students have the support they need to be successful academically and as parents and providers for their families.

The ACT for Youth Center for Community Action provides training, technical assistance, evaluation, and data collection support to the grantees of the Pathways to Success project:

  • Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Hostos Community College
  • La Guardia Community College
  • Public Health Solutions

This web page was developed with funding provided by Health Research Inc. (HRI) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Division of Family Health, by Grant # SP1AH000041-01-01 from US DHHS, Office of Adolescent Health. Its contents do not necessarily represent the official views of HRI, NYSDOH, or HHS.