The California Wellness Foundation is proud to present its 2009 California Peace Prize honorees. Each receives a cash award of $25,000 as an acknowledgment of their commitment to prevent violence and promote peace in their communities.
As co-founder and chief executive officer of Fresno Street Saints, Brian King has come a long way from his days as a gang member and drug dealer in Chicago. Fresno Street Saints, a faith-based organization that seeks to restore southwest Fresno as a safe and healthy community, provides support to at-risk youth and their families with gang prevention and intervention programs that offer educational enrichment, youth employment training, grief counseling and family leadership development.
Escaping genocide, disease and starvation in Cambodia and Thailand, Phalen Lim started her new life in Santa Ana, California. Lim and her family sought help from The Cambodian Family (TCF), an agency that provides health, employment and youth services to the refugee and immigrant community of Orange County. Originally a client, she then became a volunteer and is now a youth program director for TCF, working primarily with Cambodian and Latino youth.
Olis Simmons has devoted her career to developing systems and programs that foster community wellness. Drawing on 20 years of policy, program and research experience, Simmons helped found Youth UpRising (YU) and serves as its executive director. YU is a youth leadership development center that serves young people (ages 13 to 24) from Alameda County’s lowest-income communities.