Millenky leads MDRC’s large-scale Building Evidence on Employment Strategies (BEES) project. Much of her research focuses on evaluations of programs for opportunity youth and young adults. These programs include Roca Baltimore, the Florida-based Pace Center for Girls, YouthBuild, YouthLed Tech, and the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program. She was a member of the impact analysis team for the Foundations of Learning project, a demonstration and evaluation of an early childhood intervention, and for the evaluation of the Center for Employment Opportunities’ transitional jobs prisoner reentry program in New York City. Before joining MDRC, Millenky received a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. While at Georgetown, she worked at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
An Individual Placement and Support (IPS) ProgramMarch, 2022
A San Diego program used IPS to help people with a range of disabilities find employment. This report summarizes 15-month evaluation findings from an earlier report and presents new impact findings. Of note, the analysis found the program increased earnings by almost $4,000 over the two-year follow-up period.ReportFebruary, 2021
Participants in the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program are more likely to obtain a GED or high school diploma, earn college credits, and be employed. This study evaluates an expansion called Job ChalleNGe, which includes more court-involved youth and includes an add-on residential training program.Report
Implementing Individual Placement and Support in a Workforce SettingSeptember, 2019
Breaking Barriers was a San Diego-based program that provided employment services to low-income individuals with a range of disabilities or other health conditions. Preliminary analyses based on a survey found that the program did not have an impact on the primary outcomes measured — employment, length of employment, and total earnings — during a 15-month follow-up period.Report
Results from the Evaluation of PACE Center for GirlsJanuary, 2019
PACE provides academic and extensive social services in a gender-responsive environment to girls at risk of juvenile justice system involvement. Over a one-year period, PACE increased school enrollment and attendance, as well as girls’ likelihood of being “on track” academically.Issue Focus
A Research-Practice Partnership to Strengthen a Program for Girls at Risk of Justice System Involvement
A Case Study of PACE Center for GirlsJanuary, 2019
MDRC worked closely with PACE in evaluating its program for girls. As an organization dedicated to continuous improvement, PACE used the implementation research findings to refine its services in several ways. This issue focus summarizes the study and the partnership and explains how the program applied some of the lessons.Report
Four-Year Results from the National YouthBuild EvaluationMay, 2018
YouthBuild serves more than 10,000 young people each year at 250+ organizations nationwide. In a random assignment study, the effects observed after four years on education and work indicate that the program provides a good starting point for redirecting otherwise disconnected young people, but one that could also be improved upon.Report
An Implementation Study of the PACE Center for GirlsApril, 2017
To serve at-risk girls, PACE provides academic and social services in a gender-responsive environment, focusing on safety, relationships, and girls’ individual strengths while accounting for the effects of trauma. The program offers low staff-to-student ratios, counseling and case management, and a life skills curriculum targeted to girls.Report
Interim Impact Findings from the YouthBuild EvaluationNovember, 2016
YouthBuild provides construction-related or other vocational training, educational services, counseling, and leadership-development opportunities to low-income young people ages 16 to 24 who did not complete high school. This interim report presents the program’s effects through two and a half years.Brief
An Introduction to an Evaluation of the PACE Center for GirlsJanuary, 2016
Girls at risk of delinquency have a different profile from that of boys. PACE uses a “gender-responsive” model of education and counseling services, taking into account how girls develop and respond to trauma. This study will evaluate the program’s implementation in 14 centers, its costs, and its impacts on girls.Report
Final Impact and Implementation Findings from the Foundations of Learning Demonstration in Newark and ChicagoJanuary, 2013
Intensive professional development and in-class support for preschool teachers produced more positive teacher-student interactions, more effective management of challenging behaviors, less problem behavior, higher engagement in learning, and more instruction time. However, there was no clear effect on short-term academic achievement, and the long-term effects on children remain uncertain.Report
Final Results from the Evaluation of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Transitional Jobs ProgramJanuary, 2012
Ex-prisoners who had access to CEO’s transitional jobs program were less likely to be convicted of a crime and reincarcerated. The effects were particularly large for those ex-prisoners who enrolled in the program shortly after release. The recidivism reductions mean that the program is cost-effective — generating more in savings than it cost.Report
Three-Year Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe EvaluationJune, 2011
After three years, participants in National Guard Youth ChalleNGe, an intensive, “quasi-military” residential program for high school dropouts, are more likely than their control group counterparts to have obtained a GED or high school diploma, to have earned college credits, and to be working. Their earnings are also 20 percent higher.Report
How Classroom Management Training Can Help TeachersNovember, 2010
Foundations of Learning provided training and in-class support to teachers to help guide children’s behavior and emotional development. In Newark, NJ, the program improved teachers’ classroom management and productivity, reduced children’s conflict with peers, and increased children’s engagement. A year later, few effects for children were sustained as they entered kindergarten, but teachers were still engaged in positive practices.Report
Interim Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe EvaluationMay, 2010
Interim results from a random assignment evaluation of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, an intensive, residential program for high school dropouts, show that young people who had access to ChalleNGe were much more likely than those in the control group to have obtained a high school diploma or a General Educational Development certificate. They were also somewhat more likely to be working, in college, or enlisted in the military.Report
Can Teacher Training in Classroom Management Make a Difference for Children’s Experiences in Preschool?
A Preview of Findings from the Foundations of Learning DemonstrationSeptember, 2009
Early evaluation results from Newark, NJ, show that Foundations of Learning improved teachers’ classroom management and productivity, reduced children’s conflict with peers, and engaged students in the learning tasks of preschool. The intervention was implemented in Head Start programs, community-based child care centers, and public schools.
Millenky, Megan. 2016. “Connecting High School Dropouts to Employment and Education: An Impact Study of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program.” IZA Journal of Labor Policy 5: 10.
Morris, Pamela, Megan Millenky, C. Cybele Raver, and Stephanie Jones. 2014. “Does a Preschool Social-Emotional Intervention Pay Off for Classroom Instruction and Children’s Behavior and Academic Skills? Evidence from the Foundations of Learning Project.” Early Education and Development 24, 7: 1020-1042.
Millenky, Megan, Sarah E. O. Schwartz, and Jean E. Rhodes. 2013. “Supporting the Transition to Adulthood Among High School Dropouts: An Impact Study of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program.” Prevention Science 15, 4:448-459.
ProjectsMegan Millenky, Lily Freedman, Caroline Mage, Douglas Phillips, Kyla Wasserman, Emily Brennan, Susan Scrivener, Viktoriya Syrov, Shelley Rappaport
A variety of organizations have developed a wide range of programs and services tailored towards addressing the health, economic success, and broader well-being of individuals with substance use disorders. Individuals with a substance use disorders often experience barriers that make finding and maintaining stable employment a challenge, a problem that was only...Megan Millenky, Lily Freedman, Caroline Mage, Douglas Phillips, Emily Brennan, Susan Scrivener, Viktoriya Syrov, Johanna Walter, Sally Dai
Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidence-based model for delivering employment services originally developed for people with serious mental illness and implemented in community mental health settings. It has since gained interest as a strategy to promote employment for a variety of populations with mental health and substance use...
Roca, Inc. delivers services to young men between the ages of 16 and 25 who are involved in the justice system and who are at a high risk of being incarcerated or reincarcerated. Roca uses a cognitive behavioral intervention model that aims to create behavioral change in such young men. Its four-year program starts with two years of...
The Bridging Access to Benefits and Care (BABC) project is a partnership among three organizations: Acacia Network (Acacia), St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction (SACHR), and Seedco. It is designed to address the social determinants of health for a vulnerable and disenfranchised, opioid-dependent population in the Bronx...Megan Millenky, Dan Bloom, Susan Scrivener, Charles Michalopoulos, Dina A. R. Israel, Johanna Walter, Lauren Cates, Sally Dai, Caroline Mage, Emily Marano, Viktoriya Syrov, Douglas Phillips, Kyla Wasserman, Lily Freedman, Osvaldo Avila, Emily Brennan, Jillian Verrillo, Gilda Azurdia, Frieda Molina, Shelley Rappaport, Clinton Key, Nandita Verma, Cynthia Miller, Jared Smith, Shawna Anderson, Kelsey Schaberg, Caitlin Anzelone, James A. Riccio, Keri West, Caroline Schultz, Ethan Feldman
Many Americans struggle in the labor market even when overall economic conditions are good. Unemployment is persistently high for some demographic groups and in certain geographic areas, and a large proportion of...Charles Michalopoulos, Kristen Faucetta , Megan Millenky, Ximena Portilla, Marie-Andrée Somers, Livia Martinez
A small body of research has found that families who participated in a home visiting program when their children were young may continue to benefit through their children’s adolescence. Therefore, a long-term follow-up study is being planned for families in the Mother and...
Chicago has seen a staggering increase in violent crime over the past three years, with violent crime rates that are over double the national average. Violent crime rates tend to rise during the summer months, a time when students in Chicago lose the refuge of school and often have few options for safe, productive activities, leaving them more vulnerable to violence....
Adults with disabilities and recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) often struggle to find stable and meaningful employment, while state TANF agencies struggle to provide effective employment services in a timely and cost-effective manner. In 2013, MDRC, in collaboration...Megan Millenky, Jean Grossman, Louisa Treskon, Melanie Skemer, Sally Dai, Lily Freedman, Caroline Mage
Young girls and women make up an increasing share of the youth in the juvenile justice system, despite a national decline in the overall rate of juvenile incarceration in this country. In 2011, girls made up nearly 30 percent of all juvenile arrests, up from 20 percent in 1980. However, girls account for a very small share of the juvenile arrests for violent crimes and...
An estimated five million Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 are both out of school and unemployed. These youth are more likely than those who work or complete a degree to face long-term unemployment, permanent school dropout, welfare dependence, and criminal involvement and incarceration. The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program was developed in the early 1990s...Cynthia Miller, Dan Bloom, Dina A. R. Israel, Michelle S. Manno, John Martinez, Megan Millenky, Louisa Treskon, Sally Dai, Caroline Mage, Sharon Rowser
Making the successful transition to adulthood had become increasingly challenging for disadvantaged young people. Two changes in the labor market have contributed to this trend. First, the rise in demand for higher skilled workers, while increasing the payoff to college, has resulted in declining real wages for less-educated workers. On top of this, youth are finding...Kate Gualtieri, Dan Bloom, Melissa Boynton, William Corrin, Fred Doolittle, John Martinez, Louisa Treskon, Jean Grossman, Leigh Parise, Marie-Andrée Somers, Michelle S. Manno, Rebecca Unterman, Megan Millenky, Rashida Welbeck, Mary Bambino
The Social Innovation Fund (SIF), an initiative enacted under the Edward Kennedy Serve America Act, targets millions of dollars in public-private funds to expand effective solutions across three issue areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development and school support.
Low-income children too often begin school without the basic behavioral, emotional, and cognitive skills that they need to thrive academically — putting them at an immediate disadvantage and contributing to the large gap that develops in school achievement between low-income children and their more affluent peers. States and localities are responding by making major...