Megan Millenky
Senior Associate, Youth Development, Criminal Justice, and Employment

Millenky leads MDRC’s large-scale Building Evidence on Employment Strategies for Low-Income Families (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.

  • MDRC Publications

      February, 2021
      Jillian Berk, Ariella Kahn-Lang Spitzer, Jillian Stein, Karen Needels, Christian Geckeler, Anne Paprocki, Ivette Gutierrez, Megan Millenky

      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.


      Implementing Individual Placement and Support in a Workforce Setting

      September, 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.

      Issue Focus

      A Case Study of PACE Center for Girls

      January, 2019
      Megan Millenky, Farhana Hossain

      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.


      Four-Year Results from the National YouthBuild Evaluation

      May, 2018
      Cynthia Miller, Danielle Cummings, Megan Millenky, Andrew Wiegand, David Long

      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.


      An Implementation Study of the PACE Center for Girls

      April, 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.


      Interim Impact Findings from the YouthBuild Evaluation

      November, 2016
      Cynthia Miller, Megan Millenky, Lisa Schwartz, Lisbeth Goble, Jillian Stein

      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.


      An Introduction to an Evaluation of the PACE Center for Girls

      January, 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.


      Final Impact and Implementation Findings from the Foundations of Learning Demonstration in Newark and Chicago

      January, 2013
      Pamela Morris, Chrishana M. Lloyd, Megan Millenky, Nicole Leacock, Cybele Raver, Michael Bangser

      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.


      Final Results from the Evaluation of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Transitional Jobs Program

      January, 2012
      Cindy Redcross, Megan Millenky, Timothy Rudd, Valerie Levshin

      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.


      Three-Year Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation

      June, 2011
      Megan Millenky, Dan Bloom, Sara Muller-Ravett, Joseph Broadus

      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.


      How Classroom Management Training Can Help Teachers

      November, 2010
      Pamela Morris, Cybele Raver, Megan Millenky, Stephanie Jones, Chrishana M. Lloyd

      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.


      Interim Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation

      May, 2010
      Megan Millenky, Dan Bloom, Colleen Dillon

      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.


      A Preview of Findings from the Foundations of Learning Demonstration

      September, 2009
      Pamela Morris, Cybele Raver, Chrishana M. Lloyd, Megan Millenky

      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.

  • Other Publications

      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.

  • Projects