Heather Hirsch joined Philliber Research & Evaluation as a Data Analyst in February 2001 and became an Evaluation Coordinator in October 2005. She has a Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University. Her portfolio includes projects in the area of unintended pregnancy, school readiness and school success, early childhood, youth development, teen pregnancy, and other areas of human service programs. Along with data cleaning, data analysis, and report writing, Heather coordinates and conducts interviews, trainings, and data collections.
KEY OR RECENT PROJECTS
Cicatelli Associates Inc. has been awarded a five-year grant from the Office for Adolescent Health to test the effectiveness of Achieving Condom Empowerment (ACE)-Plus, an intervention designed to increase correct and consistent condom use among young males in foster care settings in New York City to help prevent teen pregnancy and improve adolescent health. Philliber is evaluating the implementation and impacts of the program using a random assignment design.
The United Way for Southeastern Michigan received a Social Innovation Fund grant to provide fragile families in the Detroit metro area with enhanced access to social services through the Family Checkup Model. Philliber is conducting a randomized control trial to document the impact for families and children.
Cicatelli Associates Inc. was awarded a five-year grant from the Office for Adolescent Health to test the effectiveness of Development for Youth among a randomly selected sample of foster care youth in New York City. The program attempted to delay the initiation of sexual intercourse, increase contraceptive use, and reduce pregnancies. Philliber evaluated the implementation and impacts of the program using a random assignment design.
The Brighter Futures Initiative of the Hartford Foundation seeks to increase school readiness and school success among children in Hartford, Connecticut. The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving supports grantees working to improve the quality of child care, the health of children, and the strength of families. For the past decade Philliber has documented the impact the Initiative has had helping families meet basic needs, develop parenting skills, build support systems, and helping young children enter school ready to learn and succeed in school during the first three years.
The Iowa and Colorado Initiatives to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies funded by a private donor, was designed to increase access to family planning services and reduce unintended pregnancies in Iowa and Colorado. Philliber, along with the University of California San Francisco, monitored activities of over sixty agencies and collected data in both states to evaluate the progress and effectiveness of these Initiatives and, ultimately, to see if there was a decrease in unintended pregnancy after these Initiatives ended.
Girls Inc. NYC is an interdisciplinary female empowerment program in New York City. For this multi-site evaluation, we designed survey instruments, trained data collectors, and conducted focus groups with students and program staff. Philliber documents changes in social-emotional competencies, academic outcomes, risk-taking behavior, and program satisfaction.
Women’s Sports Foundation. Philliber has worked with WSF on three separate projects. Our first project for WSF was to evaluate the formation of a knowledge exchange funded by the New York Community Trust (2015-2016). This project brought together WSF and three organizations dedicated to girls and sports: Row New York, Girls for Gender Equity, and Figure Skating in Harlem. The evaluation consisted of a description of the knowledge exchange activities, as well as design and baseline data collection of a shared youth survey. The second project with WSF was Sports 4 Life, an outcome evaluation for their portfolio of girls’ sports programs funded jointly with espnW (2014-2022). This evaluation, now in its second cycle, utilizes the Youth Athletic Fitness Survey (YAFS), program leaders surveys and interviews, and grant report data. The third project (2018-2022) is a regional capacity building initiative in Western New York and Southeast Michigan. For this evaluation we helped design capacity building assessment tools and we also administer and report on all of the same Sports 4 Life data collection tools.
The Student Success Network in New York City is an organization comprised of educational and nonprofit leaders across New York City. The goals of the organization are to, first, use research methods to gain insights into the types of programs that are producing student gains in social emotional competencies; secondly, to examine which social emotional competencies are associated with students’ academic success and; thirdly, make recommendations for “best practices” in the area of social emotional education. For two years, Philliber assisted agencies in collecting data from the young people they serve on these competencies and their relationships to academic achievement. Philliber worked directly with the NYC Department of Education Research and Policy Support Group to attain student academic data.