ACT for Youth

The ACT (Assets Coming Together) for Youth Center for Community Action promotes positive youth outcomes and works to reduce risky behavior among youth by advancing the principles of positive youth development and supporting the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based programming.

Principal Investigator and Project Director

Jane Powers

Project Website

Launched in 2000 with generous support from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), ACT for Youth is a partnership among BCTR (lead agency), Cornell University Cooperative Extension of New York City, and the Adolescent Medicine Division at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

group of people in a line posing

ACT staff Brian Maley, Jenny Parise, Karen Schantz, Jane Powers, Vanessa Amankwaa and Marisol de Leon photo: Beth Mickalonis

ACT for Youth serves as an intermediary organization that provides technical assistance, training, and evaluation for several youth initiatives funded by the NYSDOH: Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, Personal Responsibility Education Program, Successfully Transitioning Youth to Adolescence, Pathways to Success, and HIV/STD/HCV prevention programs for young people. In this capacity project staff advance research-based practices, while also learning directly from practitioners about the realities of implementation in the field. Additional funding through Smith-Lever has supported the development of resources and networking opportunities for youth development professionals across the state.


Amanda Purington, Kristine Mesler (NY DOH) and Jane Powers at the NY Department of Health Providers Meeting

NYC ACT Youth Network at Youth Development Team Meeting in Albany

ACT Director Jane Powers presenting at the NY Department of Health Providers Meeting

ACT for Youth develops and disseminates information and resources, including publications, presentations, online training modules, and curricula to aid those working in the areas of positive youth development and adolescent health.

ACT for Youth is also home base for the ACT Youth Network, which serves as s a channel for youth voice, particularly in regard to health. The ACT Youth Network is available for consultation on health projects that seek to reach youth. For more information, see the ACT Youth Network brochure.

From 2000 through 2017, ACT for Youth operated under the name “ACT for Youth Center of Excellence.” In 2018, the name was changed to reflect the commitment of NYSDOH to provide the highest quality services among the many varied and diverse communities across the state.

Project Staff Listing