PALM CITY, Fla. — At Project Lift in Palm City, students are learning vocational trades and receiving education and therapy to help overcome barriers to a better life.
"I kind of used to dread coming here. Now it doesn't bother me anymore. Now it's pretty fun," said student Cade Niedigh. "It's very fortunate that if I need somebody to talk to that I can go talk to somebody that's not going to tell my parents what I'm talking about unless it's about me hurting someone or hurting myself."
"Our partnership with the school district really strengthened during this time because of, kind of, a drop off what we saw with the school district itself," said Bob Zaccheo, CEO and psychotherapist at Project Lift.
Twenty percent of all Martin County students still remain at home taking classes online away from their classmates.
Zaccheo said the lack of social interaction could be the reason why many students are struggling.
"Especially considering what's going on with COVID over the past nine months, where we've seen actually a 41% increase in the amount of kids that we work with," said Zaccheo.
To help alleviate stress among parents and students, the Martin County School District will host an online workshop centered around student services Thursday.
"We're here to help them and we're here to put them with the right folks, if it's not us," said Theresa Iuliucci, director of student services at the district.
"We saw a lot of changes in the way that we do school, changes in the way that we do after-school activities and changes in the way that we communicate with each other," said Zachheo. "There was a lot of social isolation."
Families can sign up here.