1. What is Project L.I.F.T.?

Project L.I.F.T. (Life Initiatives for Teens) is an organization with a primary investment in the lives of youth who are struggling with mental health issues, drugs and alcohol abuse. Many times these issues are a result of being a victim of a crime or abuse. Project L.I.F.T. is a multi-systemic program designed to build on the strengths of “at-risk” youth by introducing skilled trades coupled with treatment.  The goal of the Project L.I.F.T. experience is to inspire youth to explore opportunities to be successful while avoiding delinquent behavior. Project L.I.F.T. is committed to creating independent, competent and productive citizens of the community.

2. How was Project L.I.F.T. started?

Project L.I.F.T. was founded and developed by Bob Zaccheo, a Licensed Psychotherapist and Substance Abuse Expert. Zaccheo recognized the growing population of youth who are experiencing mental health issues in the midst of substance abuse problems, depression, anxiety and family conflict.

Realizing the incredible need for unique interventions that would empower and engage while at the same time provide tangible outcomes for participants and the community at large, Zaccheo set out to build a program that targeted the specific needs of our youth in order to develop them into independent, competent and productive citizens of the community.

3. What types of youth are considered "at-risk?"

"At-risk" youth can mean a number of different things. Below is a list of events or situations that meet at-risk youth criteria:

  • Involved in delinquent behavior as identified by department of juvenile justice or by a guardian
  • Substance abuse
  • Victiim of Crime often but not limited to abuse, neglect or exploitation
  • Out-of-school suspensions
  • In-school suspensions
  • Expulsion from school or termination from work
  • Impulsive behavior that has resulted in judicial involvement or law enforcement being requested to assist
  • Poor school attendance/excessive absenteeism
  • Truant behavior
  • Low socio-economic housing areas
  • Juvenile offender/repeat offender
  • Depression, anxiety, impulse control, anger management issues, family functional (home) problems

4. What is multi-systemic therapy?

Multi-systemic refers to a type of therapy that works with youth on several different levels  such as mental health, substance abuse, family interventions, job preparation and service learning opportunities. Project lift Girls and Boys program utilizes the trauma informed organizational model to elicit change, using only Licensed Psychotherapists trained in Trauma Informed Care.

5. How does Therapy work?

Therapy is designed to teach adolescents to understand and replace their tendency towards aggression and antisocial behavior with positive alternatives. Our practices are rooted in Motivational Interviewing - an industry standard for substance abuse treatment - and are combined with mental health therapies, leadership group training and mentoring and skilled trade development.

6. How is Project L.I.F.T. funded?

Project L.I.F.T. is currently funded by family foundation grants, individual donations and several fundraising events. Financial contributions as well as donations of goods and services are needed and always welcome.  And if we can’t directly use what you donate, we will make sure that it gets to other programs in need!

Donate your car to our program and get the full deduction! Uniquely, Project L.I.F.T. will repair your old vehicle and donate it to a family in need. You will receive a full tax deduction while also knowing you’ve made a positive difference in the lives of our Project L.I.F.T. teens as well as a struggling family in our community.

To learn more about how you can invest in the youth of our community and make a difference in their lives please contact us at 772-221-2244 or bob@projectliftmc.com to discuss funding opportunities.

7. How do I get my child involved?

Simply call Bob Zaccheo at his office at 772-221-2244 or email at bob@projectliftmc.com or contact us.

8. Does it cost anything to be in the program?

One of the many benefits of Project L.I.F.T. is that in addition to the service that the program provides for the youth and for the community, you may be eligible to receive full Programming at no cost to the patient.

We are able to do this due to the generosity of our community partners and donors. To learn more about how you can invest in the mission of Project L.I.F.T., contact us for ways to underwrite the costs of our programs or click here to donate.

9. What activities do members of Project L.I.F.T. participate in?

Members of Project L.I.F.T. will engage in developing life, employment and behavioral skills. They will learn how to manage their anger, attitude and/or emotions, including depression, anxiety, impulse issues and substance abuse, while also receiving employment training in areas such as auto repair, boat building, tiling, plumbing, auto body, general carpentry, screen printing, gardening and sewing.

Many of our youth are also in need of continuity, security and academic assistance, which is why Project L.I.F.T. provides a certified educator to help with academic shortcomings.

We outline our activities as follows:

  • Work experiences
  • Occupational skills training
  • Leadership development opportunities and community service
  • Mentoring
  • Comprehensive mental health treatment, which includes trauma informed care, individual counseling, and group treatment this may include drug and alcohol abuse counseling

10. Does a Project L.I.F.T. member participate in all six of the core activities?

All Project L.I.F.T. activities are completed simultaneously. This program is designed to be intensive for the first 14 to 16 weeks (or four months) and then decrease into an "after-care" program that is more specific to each member’s needs. This after-care program has no designated time limit.

11. What types of jobs are offered through Project L.I.F.T.?

Currently, all aspects of auto repair and maintenance, full structure boat building as well as general carpentry, screenprinting, sewing, upholstery, welding, agriculture and metal working which include many different categories such as electrician and plumbing, are available to program members. Project L.I.F.T. also has a screen printing component.

12. Which organizations are benefited by the community service these children/teens participate in?

  • One of the most unique features of Project L.I.F.T. is the ability to give back to the community. We benefit many different organizations who serve the community in different ways. House of Hope and SafeSpace are just two examples of how we partner with organizations who work with adults that are in need of food, clothing, shelter and transportation. Through our unique service learning program Project L.I.F.T. members provide cars and no-cost repairs to clients of other non-profits in need of transportation. In partnership with other Non-Profits Project L.I.F.T. has provided over 65 free vehicles, completed over 400 no-cost repairs and provided over 500 bicycles to area residents in need.   Project Lift's Gardening
  • Project L.I.F.T. is always looking for opportunities to extend our service learning program and partner with other organizations. If you have information about a potential organization or community project that Project L.I.F.T. members can take part in, please contact us.

13. When is it decided that a child/teen has completed the program?

The duration of the program is 14 to 16 weeks, during which the teens will participate in intensive programming. However, the intent of the program is to help the teen become a productive, taxpaying citizen and offer unlimited "after care" program based on individual need.

14. How can I get involved with this project?

There are many different ways to become involved. We encourage you to contact us if you have a skilled trade that you are willing to teach, if you would like to cook meals for our "family style dinner time," or simply feel you have the skill set to mentor, teach or counsel our program members. Click here to fill out a volunteer form.

We also welcome involvement in the way of financial support or direct donations. In fact, if we can't directly use what you donate, we will make sure that it gets to other programs in need!