Connecting Youth Initiative

Youth smiling

The Connecting Youth Initiative (CYI) is a community and school-based outreach effort providing assistance to 16-24 year old’s in Harlem, Washington Heights and the South Bronx who have yet to graduate high school and are not employed. Additionally, CYI services those under 24 years old who have a high school diploma or equivalency, but are unemployed. CYI is managed by The Office of Government and Community Affairs at Columbia University, with the main objective of supporting participants with achieving their educational and employment goals.

Through collaboration with local community-based organizations and schools, CYI staff work with under-served young people to identify barriers to their success and connect them with appropriate services and service providers that will address their needs.

In addition, CYI participants may be:

  • Navigating re-entry to the community
  • Court involved
  • Aging out of foster care
  • Homeless

CYI's school-based model provides outreach to youth who are enrolled in school but chronically absent, truant and/or at-risk of dropout or aging out. We assist participants with re-engaging in educational activities and obtaining employment opportunities.