Project 396

What is Project 396?vfymca-vcs-partnerships-6

Project 396 is a group mentoring program for high school teens in Volusia County who need or desire additional adult support.  The ultimate goals of Project 396 include supporting the participants throughout their high school years to help them have a positive high school experience, gain the skills necessary to graduate and ultimately become productive citizens.

What we do:

Project 396 includes weekly meetings to connect with the students and determine needs, offer support and other opportunities for the participants to be in a “stress free zone”. The program provides unique opportunities for the participants as well. Opportunities such as an overnight trip to our resident camp where the teens and mentors get to know each other, work on understanding their strengths and weaknesses and build confidence in a supported environment (ropes course). The group also sets their monthly meeting calendar, which will include a topic a month. These topics are identified by the teens, and will vary by group. Our existing groups have identified the following at a minimum:

  • Living Healthy (Mentally and Physically)
  • Financial Responsibility
  • Job Application Process Etiquette
  • Stress and Anger Management
  • Improving Study Habits
  • Self-Awareness/Self Responsibility

Quarterly, the entire County wide group gathers for “events“ (including mentors), whether they be music based, art driven, recreational or the like to reward those students that are coming to school, attending class and either maintaining good grades or improving grades.

Project 396 is an on-going program intended to engage participant year after year until they graduate. Without Project 396 our teens would find their way, but many of them might not find the way they are capable of achieving. Project 396 steps in where needed, removes barriers and allows the participants to be the kids they truly are if even for just a few hours every week and a few weekends every year.

Current Volusia County School locations:

  • Seabreeze High School
  • Pace Center for Girls
  • Spruce Creek High School
  • University High School

For more information or to register for Project 396 please contact Heath Barrow at hbarrow@vfymca.org

Project 396 Testimonials

“Project 396 was important to me in high school because it made me feel like I could truly be myself without being judged by my peers. We were all basically like a little family and became good friends because of the club. I learned so much from Project 396 over the 4 years of me being in the club that are valuable life lessons that I still apply to my daily life. I will never forget all the amazing memories I made in Project 396 because they were some of the best times I remember from high school.”

Cesar Escobar, former Project 396 member, University High School, class of 2015


“To me, 396 is a chance to be a part of something; I get to meet new people and make friends. When I first moved here, 396 was the first place I felt welcome. I now have a connection to my school and my community. I feel like I’m not doing this all by myself and I have a support group. I know I can go to 396 and ask any question, I won’t be judged, and that I will get lots of advice as well as different points of view. Now I have something to look forward to every week.”

Krysta Rhoades, University High School Graduate Class of 2018

Mission Statement: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

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