Steven Kim has put traumatized and abandoned youth at the center of his work for more than a decade, but now it’s his turn to take a center seat for his efforts.
Kim, a program specialist in the Safe Schools and Support Services unit at OCDE, is this year’s Orange County Human Relations Diverse Community Leader Award honoree. The award honors individuals and groups who have made extraordinary contributions to Orange County in human or civil rights.
“It is an honor to share this gracious award from the OC Human Relations with all of the committed colleagues at OCDE and community partners I have the privilege to work with on a daily basis,” Kim tells Newsroom.
At the forefront of Kim’s work is an organization he co-founded called Project Kinship, which helps reintegrate former gang members and incarcerated individuals back into society. The organization works with its members to develop coping skills in order to lead meaningful and productive lives.
“Many of our students carry the weight of the world on their shoulders,” said Kim. “They remind us that there is always hope and to never give up.”
To date, Project Kinship has served 541 people locally and many have become part-time or voluntary street outreach workers.