ACT for Youth Center of Excellence

Pathways to Success Initiative

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 teens, young men and women, and their families. Being 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. Yet, despite the significant challenges many parenting students face, few federal programs exist to provide support to help these students succeed in secondary or post-secondary education.
Achieving Initiative Goals Together is a Community-wide and State-wide effort.

NYSDOH has distributed funds to one public school district and one community college in each of three target communities across the state (Bronx, Buffalo, and Rochester). The six institutions will work together in their respective communities, along with health and human services providers, 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 of Excellence provides training, technical assistance, evaluation, and data collection support to the grantees of the Pathways to Success project.

Goals and Resources

The aim of this initiative is 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:

Project Activities

  • Needs and resources assessment
  • Establishment of formal and informal linkages with community providers
  • Development, implementation, and evaluation of an asset and risk assessment tool
  • Promotion of parenting resource website
  • Promotion and evaluation of Text4baby text messaging service
  • Sustainability planning
This new initiative is made possible by the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, a competitive grant program through the Affordable Care Act, and administered by the federal Office of Adolescent Health.


The liaison to the ACT for Youth Center of Excellence for Pathways to Success grantees is Heather Wynkoop Beach:


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 # 1 SP1AH000025-01-00 from US DHHS, Office of Adolescent Health. Its contents do not necessarily represent the official views of HRI, NYSDOH, or HHS.