Serving Orange County Youth for Over 50 Years


Keep at-risk youth in school, healthy and drug-free through education, counseling, mentoring, and family strengthening.

Our goal is to reach at-risk youth early and provide long-term solutions to the obstacles they face. This is accomplished by offering specialized services to help youth make positive and healthy life choices. For many of the youth we serve, this involves giving them a second chance to get back on the right path.


Lisa was fifteen when she got caught drinking at school and was referred to the Probation Department. As part of her probation Lisa was required to attend the STOP SHORT of Addiction program. During her intake, it became clear that a deep pain was underlying her actions. At the age of eight, she had been sexually abused. Her mother reported the abuse when it happened and made sure Lisa had counseling. And for many years after that, Lisa managed to get by. But when she started having flashbacks of her abuse, alcohol and marijuana quickly became her way of coping.

For over a year, Lisa kept these secrets from her mother. Thankfully, that changed when she entered STOP SHORT of Addiction. As she opened up to the STOP SHORT of Addiction case manager, the walls she had built to protect herself came down. It was clear that she desperately needed more help. So, the case manager and her probation officer added a referral for specialized sexual abuse treatment to the list of Lisa’s probation requirements. “I know I wasn’t making good decisions and I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. I couldn’t see how I was dealing with my feelings until now. I really felt the case manager was listening to me and really cared for me…I felt I could trust her and share my feelings of sadness, guilt, and anger. I hope that this program and the additional counseling that I will be receiving will help me. I’m confident and ready to do whatever it takes to change.”

-STOP SHORT of Addiction participant (name has been changed)

Project Youth OC is proud to serve over 1,500 Orange County youth each year. Our strategic plan includes positioning Project Youth OC as a one-stop center for integrated prevention and intervention services that offer juvenile crime diversion, educational mentoring, health education, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services.


Project Youth OC’s vision is to empower youth and their families to make positive choices, building the foundation for a lifetime of opportunity and success.


Project Youth OC has been built upon a long legacy, deep within Orange County’s legal and business communities. Initially established as the philanthropic arm of the Orange County Bar Association in 1981, Project Youth OC has become an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency.

Project Youth OC has been working on the front lines with at-risk youth and their families for over 50 years. As a direct service provider, Project Youth OC continues to offer unique effective programming that helps our youth and families better navigate tough situations. Project Youth OC is a one-stop center for integrated prevention and intervention services that address youth crime, gang involvement, behavioral and mental health, and substance abuse. Project Youth OC also provides college readiness and job development programs for youth, as well as family strengthening and health education resources. Second chances and healthy choices are more readily achieved when the whole family is involved and focused on a positive future.

By honoring its legacy and looking ahead towards the future, Project Youth OC reinvests the knowledge and dedication of its legal, corporate, and philanthropic communities to its mission of keeping at-risk youth in school, healthy, and drug-free. Project Youth OC garners the support of partnerships with local school districts, law enforcement, and health care agencies. Through its expertise and engagement, Project Youth OC is able to effectively educate and mentor youth and families on the importance of embracing restorative justice, living healthier lives, and making the most of second chances.

Together we are empowering positive changes in Orange County youth and their families.

Project Youth OC Building

After 50 years, Project Youth OC reached a milestone and turned a vision into reality when we moved to our new home in the spring of 2017. The space fit everything and everyone, with room to grow. Our Higher Education Learning Center is equipped with a laptop station bar for our students, lockers, and educational/inspirational quotes written literally on the walls. From the welcome areas to the open style classrooms, the building is as functional as it is accommodating. This way, we can provide youth and families a comfortable and warm space to learn.