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Project LIFT

The path to a better future.

Project LIFT
1330 S.W. 34th Street
Palm City, FL 34990
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What is Project L.I.F.T.

Combining service learning, motivational therapy, mentoring and mental health practices, Project LIFT offers hope for at-risk teens already struggling with substance abuse, lack of support and academic failures. Licensed therapists and skilled volunteers work intensively with small groups of teens to replace negative behaviors with self-esteem, skill development and positive goals for the future

How We Began:

In March 2010, Project LIFT was founded by Bob Zaccheo, a licensed psychotherapist and certified substance abuse expert, who recognized that troubled teenage boys needed motivation to change their behavior. By taking teens out the of office and providing opportunities to learn skills, confidence in themselves and trust in others, he discovered that these boys were more likely to graduate from high school, stay off drugs and alcohol and become positive members of the community.  

Our Intensive 14 Week Program

  • Comprehensive Mental Health Therapy including substance abuse counseling, group and individual treatment to help teens process anger, depression, anxiety and family issues that often are the root of substance abuse problems. At the end of each night a family-style dinner is provided.
  • Vocational Skills Training provides hands-on experience for a variety of employment opportunities including auto repair, tile work, boat building and repair, plumbing, welding, carpentry, textile printing and more. Participants receive a small stipend to motivate.
  • Service Learning gives leadership opportunities to teens by donating repaired vehicles and bicycles to needy families in the community and restoration of buildings for area non-profits agencies.
  • Mentors for teens who otherwise may have no one else to trust.

Who is an At Risk Teen?

Project LIFT focuses on intervention and prevention of at-risk behaviors in teens. These behaviors include:

 Involvement in delinquent behaviors, as identified by the Department of Juvenile Justice, or by a guardian

  •  Substance abuse
  •  Out-of-School suspensions
  •  Poor school attendance
  •  Absenteeism or truant behavior
  •  Juvenile offender
  •  Economic struggles
  •  Overwhelming emotions

With NO COST to participate, the buy-in for this program has been impressive. By 2011, 82% of participants have stayed sober and out of the juvenile justice system. They are graduating from high school and staying on a positive path.

Our New Girls Program

This year Project LIFT, with the help of many dedicated donors, has expanded their focus to include girls. This new cutting edge program under the leadership of our Girls Program Director, Nicole King, utilizes Licensed Psychotherapists, Professional Female Business Leaders, and the skilled trades to elicit change.

Aptly named The Willow Project this program is designed for young ladies of middle and high-school ages 12-19 who have chosen unhealthy behaviors as a result of trauma they have experienced, poor decision making and/or substance use issues. The girls will develop skills to strengthen their character and become empowered with the strategies to make healthy choices into the future.

Our intention is to create a positive therapeutic environment where these ladies can experience, for maybe the first time, authentic relationships that foster trust, acceptance, and respect. These ladies will be guided through a curriculum that empowers them to make healthier choices. And, again utilizing highly professional women in our community that provide a variety of internships fostering skills they can use in life and propel them into the future.

Special Needs:

The Willow Project has 4 Volunteer opportunities available: 

  • Transportation - transporting HS students from school to the program facility in Palm City on Mon's OR transporting the students from school to their internships on Tues.
  • Meals - we are accepting homemade meals that are freezable for up to 10 kids daily Mon- Thurs.
  • Testimonies - Once a month, women professionals give their testimony to the girls on how they got to where they are in the workforce.
  • Mentors - Women-owned or managed businesses that are willing to take on an Intern once a week for 2-3 hrs. These students are paid for their time with these mentors by Project LIFT. Our hope is that the internship will soon turn into a PT or FT job. 

Upcoming Events


The 8th Annual MSM tournament will be held on September 23-24, 2016. The tournament will be hosted by River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp in Jensen Beach, Florida. Activities will commence with a Captain’s Reception on the evening of September 23, 2016, and will conclude with an Awards Ceremony and BBQ on September 24th. Anglers will fish for Snook, Tarpon, Redfish and Trout, and will be awarded points based on the length of each qualifying fish.

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