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2016 Diverse Community Leaders Award Honoree

Steve Kim (Santa Ana, CA)

Steve Kim reintegrates former gang members into their communities.


In 2014, after 15 years working with traumatized and abandoned youth, Steve Kim co-founded Project Kinship to reintegrate former gang members and the incarcerated. Project Kinship helps clients develop the coping skills that lead to meaningful and productive lives. To date, Project Kinship has served a remarkable 541 people locally. Project Kinship also partnered with the USC School of Social Work to launch the Community Intervention Worker program to train, educate, and empower community members with tools to mitigate risk factors that contribute to violence. Thirty-three members completed the first class, and many have become part-time or voluntary street outreach workers. As a result of his work, Steve Kim was named Regional Social Worker of the Year in 2015. Conrad Fuentes of USC describes Project Kinship like this, “What makes Project Kinship special [is] that we bring hope to the hopeless…we focus on healing the wounds that started the problem, and therein lies the hope.”


About the Award

Our annual Diverse Community Leaders Award honors individuals and groups who have made extraordinary contributions to Orange County in human or civil rights.

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3 Comments

  1. Congratulations Steve! We are grateful for the many ways you work each day to make real change in people’s lives. You’re amazing!
    – The OC Human Relations Team

    Reply
  2. Congratulations Steve! II’m honored to have you as a friend and colleague. Every time I visit Project Kinship or go to one of your organization’s events, I see people who are inspired. Inspired to be the best they can be and inspired to give back to their community. Thank you for the work you do for our community.

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