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New York Life Foundation Grants $300,000 To Inwood House

NEW YORK, N.Y., August 6, 2012 — The New York Life Foundation announced today a three-year, $300,000 grant to support Inwood House’s educational services that help approximately 300 pregnant and parenting youth and their children who are in foster care, are runaway and homeless, or are involved in the juvenile justice system. The programs help these New York City teens achieve a high school diploma or other credential, and improve their life skills and their employability.

"We are thankful for this grant from the New York Life Foundation which will support our highly effective programs that help teen parents improve their education, employability, health, personal development and their babies' well-being,” said Dr. Linda Lausell Bryant, Inwood House Executive Director. “Our young parents are determined to create a better life for themselves and their children. We partner with our teens to help them complete the tasks of adolescence and take on the adult responsibilities of parenting. This funding allows us to provide a structured, supportive environment where good health and learning are associated with responsible behavior and success in life."

"We are pleased to help Inwood House provide young women with access to educational services, which are essential to finding employment and becoming self-reliant," said Marlyn Torres, assistant vice president of the New York Life Foundation. “This grant aligns with the Foundation’s educational enhancement focus and provides one of the most vulnerable populations, pregnant youth and new mothers, with support to help prepare them to be self-sufficient adults."

Inwood House’s individualized educational services start with an initial assessment based on an interview with the teen, a review of academic records, family input, and, when available, interviews with past guidance counselors. The Inwood House Coordinator of Education Services assists each teen in developing an educational plan based on her current educational status, career goals, and parenting goals. This educational plan focuses on meeting the young person’s educational needs through middle school, high school, a GED program, vocational training, a special education program, or college.

The Inwood House staff also works with teens individually to help them identify vocational training and employment opportunities based on their interests and strengths. Weekly workshops are conducted on topics such as resume writing, interview skills, office etiquette and job retention. Staff organize career panels and seminars to encourage teens to explore a range of career opportunities.

An independent evaluation of Inwood House’s residential programs showed that one year after giving birth, teen moms were on track with their goals – 92% were in school or had graduated, 69% held a paid internship, 26% held a job, 82% had a bank account, 100% had retained custody of their babies, and 100% had health insurance and had fully immunized their babies.

About Inwood House

Established in 1830, Inwood House is a leader in helping teens become healthy, self-reliant adults and was one of the first agencies in New York City to develop programs addressing the intergenerational poverty, and child abuse and neglect empirically linked to teenage pregnancy. Inwood House's programs serve youth at-high risk for becoming pregnant, are parenting teens who are in foster care, are homeless or adjudicated, or who have "aged out" of foster care. The agency serves over 3,500 youth in 17 program sites across New York City and in Atlantic County, NJ. Teens come from neighborhoods that have the highest incidences of teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, dropout rates and violence. Inwood House’s school-based and community programs serve 3,250 middle and high school students and focus on pregnancy prevention, leadership development and academic enrichment. Inwood House's Teen Family Support programs serve more than 300 young people and include Residential Programs for pregnant teens and teen moms providing them with comprehensive care; Mother/Child Foster Family Care, which provides a nurturing home for the teen and her baby; Partners in Parenting for on-going support while transitioning to independent life, and counseling for young fathers. Inwood House has transformed the lives of countless vulnerable young people by reaching them at critical junctures and providing them hope, guidance, and the tools to make a fresh start. For more information, visit www.inwoodhouse.com.

About the New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life's tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $155 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on "Nurturing the Children," the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Life program. To learn more, please visit the Foundation's Web site at www.newyorklife.com/foundation.