‘Project Imagine’ honors second round of graduates in Danville

Southside Virginia News

(Image courtesy of the City of Danville).

DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) – Last week, a ceremony was held to honor the second class of teenagers who completed the first phase of the expanded Project Imagine Program.

Project Imagine gives gang-affiliated teens a future off the streets by providing them with life skills, instruction and work readiness training.

The program began in 2018 and consisted of a nine-week paid work experience and mentoring while on the job partnering with an agency.

The first phase of the program involved the teens receiving strength-based assessments using the Casey Life Skills and Clifton Strengths tools that aim to set youth on their path toward developing healthy, productive lives.

The focus is now on developing relationships with gang-affiliated teens and maintaining those relationships as each teen progresses in meeting the goals they established during the initial phase of the program.

One of the City’s three new youth services and gang violence prevention outreach workers is assigned to mentor each teen in the program for a minimum of one year.

The teens involved in the program are chosen from referrals from the police department, courts, schools and parents.

In 2020, Robert David, the Youth Services and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator for the City of Danville, was named the winner of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award by the National Gang Crime Research Center.

The program itself received the President’s Award from the Virginia Municipal League in 2019.

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