Preventing teen pregnancy from the South Bronx to citywide
Unintended teen pregnancy and early parenthood can limit opportunities for teens and their children for the rest of their lives. The South Bronx is among the NYC communities with the highest rates of unintended teen pregnancy, poverty, and student dropout.
The Fund wrote a persuasive grant that secured $7.5 million in CDC funding for five years to help jump-start an innovative teen pregnancy prevention initiative—the Bronx Teens Connection. This multi-City agency and community engagement initiative—implemented by the NYC Health Department—improves sexual and reproductive health and reduces unintended teen pregnancy rates. In conjunction with the Health Department, the Fund helped set up the program infrastructure and on-the-ground mobilization, which included 40 partnerships with local schools, clinics, and youth serving organizations and involved collaboration with the NYC Department of Education. The Fund also recruited and hired eight staff members to manage the project. This initiative has since been expanded to serve the entire city, and is now known as the New York City Teens Connection program.
By the end of the fifth year, more than 6,100 South Bronx teens had received proven pregnancy prevention education in 21 partnering high schools. School-based Health Centers and community clinics provided more than 760 referrals or appointments for reproductive health care. The number of 12- to 19-year-olds receiving long-acting reversible contraception increased by 41 percent. Even after the grant ended, knowledge of community resources enabled the young people to continue accessing pregnancy prevention services. The program also supported the efforts of community engagement groups to address socio-economic conditions that affect teen pregnancy rates. The project was so effective that the Fund obtained a new five-year federal grant in 2015 to expand the model citywide, aiming to reach 15,000 youth annually.
The Fund invites businesses, philanthropic organizations, and individuals to join us in making a significant impact on the health of all New Yorkers. Please contact our development team to learn about opportunities for supporting our work.