Robert David, youth and gang violence prevention coordinator for the City of Danville, has been named as a winner of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award by the National Gang Crime Research Center.

The award recognizes David’s accomplishments in gang prevention and intervention.

“I am honored to be recognized for the work we do here in the city,” David said. “I would like to thank City officials and community members for supporting the fight against gang violence. This award is a testament to the mission of Danville and its focus on creating partnerships for a better city.”

David will receive the award at the 23rd International Gang Specialist Training Conference to be held on Aug. 3-5 in Chicago.

In June of 2018, David joined the City of Danville as the youth and gang violence prevention coordinator. Four months later, he created and spearheaded the Project Imagine workforce readiness program for gangs and at-risk youth.

In addition to a paid work experience that the youths receive and can place on their resume, Project Imagine provides them with mentoring while on the job, instruction on life skills, and available resources that will assist them upon completion of the program. The nine-week program works in partnership with multiple agencies and organizations, including the Virginia Workforce Center and the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Last October, the Virginia Municipal League named Project Imagine as the winner of its President’s Award, which is the top award for innovative solutions by a local government.

David has more than 25 years of experience working with gang populations. During that time, he has worked as a juvenile/adult probation officer and mental health provider.  He has a master’s degree in professional and addiction counseling and holds a North Carolina license as an addiction counselor.

He was the founder of the Richmond County, N.C., Gang Task Force, and he is a certified gang specialist, a national gang presenter, and a community advocate for at-risk youth.