Meet Local Hero Nominees: Mary Vu Iammarino and Steve Kim

Mary Vu Iammarino and Steve Kim co-founded Project Kinship (PK) in 2014, an Orange County-based nonprofit that works to reintegrate former gang members and the incarcerated into the community.

Title: Co-Founders

Organization/Business: Project Kinship 

Website: https://www.projectkinship.org/

“Project Kinship is the vision of Mary and Steve, and also a product of their love for our forgotten neighbors. It is a social justice organization that has transformed the strategy employed by county agencies, nonprofit partners, law enforcement, as well as community and elected leaders in their approach to a marginalized population. Mary and Steve are responsible for transformation and resilience across the system. As the concept of restorative justice takes greater hold, these two individuals are restoring hope for these individuals, their families, and the entire community.”  Jason Lacsamana, Nominator

About the nominees:

Mary Vu Iammarino and Steve Kim co-founded Project Kinship (PK) in 2014, an Orange County-based nonprofit that works to reintegrate former gang members and the incarcerated into the community. They both hold multiple degrees and are graduates of the Master of Social Work program at USC. Their individual experiences working with traumatized and abandoned youth throughout Orange County, as well as their passion to help heal those impacted by violence and abuse, inspired them to found Project Kinship. Through PK’s staff and programs they strive to provide participants with an all-encompassing support network to help them develop the coping skills that lead to meaningful and productive lives as well as safer communities for everyone. They envision a world where hope lives and the cycle of despair ends.

More on Mary Vu Iammarino and Steve Kim:

Alumnus spreads kinship among former gang members