Project Imagine to expand youth development efforts to George Washington High School

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:18 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Project Imagine is extending its violence prevention expertise into the classroom.

Project imagine is a community violence intervention model that provides at-risk and gang affiliated youth with opportunities for success.

They are now partnering with the Communities in Schools of Virginia program to bring their expertise and experience working with the youth in the community to the classroom.

“It’s going to bridge the gap,” said Robert David, Project Imagine Violence Prevention Manager. “Project Imagine has a great connection in the community with youth and parents and individuals. So, I thought, what better way than already being in the community than to connect with those guys and provide some resources and similar expertise to what they’re doing, as well.”

They will hold a class twice a week for up to 60 George Washington High School students to help keep them in school and on the right path. The classes will focus on how to be more self-aware, build self-efficacy, and resilience.

“All the kids know us. So, they understand that this is a trusted entity. They’re more likely to express themselves and, on a preventative measure, it may stop that 9th or 10th grader from being involved in something. So, it works in lots of different facets, but we wouldn’t have that opportunity without Community in School,” added David.

The students in the program come from referrals from teachers and parents.

Students who may need an extra set of helping hands could then be recommended to join Project Imagine.

“It’s already yielding some great benefits with the youth trusting us more and the youth being more open and showing up for the classes and asking those questions. On the flip side, we’re receiving referrals from spaces that maybe we weren’t receiving them before,” said David.

They hope to expand the programming into additional schools in Danville in the future.