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Program Description

Teen ACTION (“ACTION” is an acronym for Achieving Change Together In Our Neighborhoods), DYCD’s Service Learning program, is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) anti-poverty initiative, which has committed over $150 million annually to explore innovative approaches to poverty reduction.

 Participants, who are in grades 7th through 10th grade, are provided an opportunity to develop life skills while making a meaningful contribution to their community.

DYCD’s goals for Teen ACTION are to foster engagement in school and the community while promoting responsible behaviors.  In particular, Teen ACTION programs seek to:

  • Cultivate an ethic of service;
  • Develop life skills and critical thinking skills.
  • Reduce risk behaviors that may result in teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/AIDS);
  • Encourage use of health and mental health services; and 
  • Promote commitment to academic achievement.

New York's Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD)

Strategies for sustainability

DYCD is committed to building and expanding on partnerships that generate innovative and practical programs for youth, their families and communities. DYCD is also the designated Community Action Agency for New York City, which is the local grantee for the Federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). CSBG funding supports a wide variety of programs that address the conditions of poverty.

Impact of program

As of September 2011, DYCD is administering 17 Teen ACTION programs throughout the City.  Each program offers participants the chance to engage in structured learning, service projects, and reflection.

DYCD supports New York City youth and their families by funding a wide range of high-quality youth and community development programs, including:

  • Beacon Community Centers 
  • Cornerstone Community Centers 
  • Fatherhood Initiative
  • Immigration services 
  • Jobs and Internships for Youth 
  • Literacy Programs for Adults and Adolescents
  • Out-of-School Time Initiative 
  • Runaway and Homeless Youth services 
  • Summer Youth Employment Program
Evaluation tools


Key elements towards success

The Department of Youth and Community Development funds local community-based organizations to provide services that promote positive youth development and strong, healthy communities. 

Challenges to meet them

Among our most significant achievements of the last two years has been preserving and increasing funding for programs despite limited resources during very challenging financial times.
DYCD is particularly excited about the recent expansion of our Out-of-School Time (OST), Cornerstone, and Immigrant Services and Literacy initiatives.

Length & stage of project

The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) was created in 1996 to provide the City of New York with high-quality youth and family programming.