Project LIFT Celebrates Women in Construction With Chair Building Competition

Nicole Rojas and Niki Norton of Team n2 architecture + design, are pictured here with one of their team members from the Project LIFT Girls Program and Autumn Thomas, Project LIFT Girls Program Coordinator. Select local business women will design and build oversized Adirondack chairs with the help of teens in the Project LIFT Girls Program, and the team who raises the most money for their chair will be named the winner.

In celebration of Women in Construction Week, Project LIFT has selected four exceptional local business leaders as “Chairwomen” who will compete to raise funds for the non-profit’s Girls Program. The women will each design and build a chair with the assistance of a team of girls in the Project LIFT program. The competitor who raises the most funds for her team’s chair will be named the official Project LIFT 2021 “Chairwoman”.

Project LIFT staff members sit in an oversized Adirondack chair constructed and painted by teens in the program. Back Row-  Licensed Psychotherapist Amanda Bramlett, LMFT, Pathway Academy Teacher Alies Kelly, and Girls Program Coordinator Autumn Thomas, BSW.  Front Row- Therapist Rain Coira

If you’ve visited Project LIFT headquarters in Palm City, you’ve likely seen the oversized Adirondack chairs that the teens build as part of the vocational training component of the program. In addition to carpentry and construction, at risk teens learn welding, auto repair, HVAC, screen printing and graphic design, all while receiving evidence based mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment at no cost. The organization refers to this innovative treatment model as “Therapy Under the Hood of a Car.”

Young women at Project LIFT learn construction and carpentry skills as part of an innovative program combining skilled trades with mental health and substance abuse treatment.

This innovation and disruption are key to the program’s phenomenal outcomes, recognizing that therapy doesn’t have to happen in the confines of a traditional counseling office. Combining skilled trades with mental health and substance abuse treatment is the secret to the success of the non-profit, allowing teens to replace negative behaviors with marketable job skills and hope for the future. The program has locations in both Martin and Palm Beach Counties.

The women selected to compete in the inaugural event are: Tami Karol of Tami Karol Insurance, Evie Klaassen of Colorado Pawn & Jewelry, Candace Lopes of Skin Serenity Spa, and Niki Norton of n2 architecture + design. The winning chair will be auctioned off at the Project LIFT Clambake on April 3rd.

To learn more, or to donate to Project LIFT in support of one of the “Chairwomen”, visit or call 772-221-2244

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