Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE)


New York State PROMISE was a federally sponsored research initiative focused on removing obstacles to adult success for youth who receive Supplemental Security Income. NYS PROMISE was vital because research has shown that youth who receive SSI typically do not successfully transition from high school to adulthood.

The long-term goals of NYS PROMISE included enhancing both employment and educational outcomes for youth with disabilities who receive SSI and improving economic, employment, and educational results for their families. NYS PROMISE brought together the NYS Governor's Office, state disability agencies, the Yang-Tan Institute, local schools, regional parent centers, local service providers, and other transition stakeholders to find the most effective ways to help transform the lives of youth who receive SSI.

Project Activities

NYS PROMISE was a five-year research project that advanced employment and postsecondary education outcomes for youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 -16 who were receiving SSI and their families. NYS PROMISE enrolled 2,000 of these youth who lived in western New York State, the capital region, or the New York City areas. Eligible families received special invitations to NYS PROMISE orientation and recruitment events through their child's school and/or regional parent center.

Of the 2,000 enrolled youth, 1,000 youth were randomly placed in a control group and continued receiving usual transition and education services provided through their local communities, and 1,000 youth were randomly selected to receive additional coordinated NYS PROMISE intervention services and supports. 


  • developed strong and effective partnerships with agencies that provided key services to youth who received SSI and their families;
  • implemented effective practices at local demonstration sites, targeted to the needs of young SSI recipients and their families;
  • evaluated interventions via rigorous project design and data collection procedures.

Contact Information

Michelle Podolec
Project Coordinator


Phone: 607-255-2886

Funding Agencies

New York State Office of Mental Health

Principal Investigator

Thomas P. Golden, Andrew Karhan

Collaborating Partners

● New York State Office of Mental Health

● New York State Education Department

● Department of Labor

● New York State Office of Children and Family Services

● New York State Department of Health

● New York Employment Services System

● New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities

● New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council