We envision a world where hope lives and the cycle of despair ends.

Since its founding in 2014, Project Kinship has experienced significant growth as an organization and is now providing support for re-entry to schools and the workforce.


The mission of Project Kinship is to provide support and training to lives impacted by incarceration, gangs, and violence through hope, healing, and transformation.

Steven Kim

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Steven Kim is the Co-Founder of Project Kinship where he serves individuals impacted by gangs and incarceration, with the aim to successfully re-integrate them back into the workforce, schools, and community. His dedication to breaking cycles of incarceration, gang membership, and community violence stems from over 15 years working with traumatized and abandoned youth throughout Orange County.

Steven is highly regarded for his human rights work in the field of Forensic Social Work where he led multi-disciplinary teams to identify early childhood traumas on high-profile death penalty cases. He is sought out for his expertise on understanding root causes of violence and has facilitated trainings on the state and federal levels of the criminal justice system. He is currently an adjunct professor with the University of Southern California at the School of Social Work. Steven holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from USC.

Steven’s combination of life experience and unending heart for the abandoned, disenfranchised continues to be the driving force behind standing together in the margins of inequality among gang and formerly incarcerated populations to create a hope for the future.

Mary Vu

Associate Executive Director & Co-Founder

Born to Vietnamese refugee parents, Mary is a proud Orange County native. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Mary is the first woman in her family to graduate with not only a degree, but also complete post-graduate studies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law & Society from the University of Southern California. She is dedicated to multilevel development and planning for the overall equity and sustainability of communities.

She is no stranger to serving Orange County’s most marginalized communities; in particular, by helping those heal with issues of domestic violence, child abuse, trauma, and addiction.

As Co-Founder of Project Kinship and an advocate for reform, Mary believes in systemically improving the opportunities of individuals reentering communities by fostering individual transformation, hope, and resilience.