Project Hope Alliance CEO Jennifer Friend Named 2016 UCI Distinguished Alumna

We are excited to announce that Project Hope Alliance CEO Jennifer Friend has earned the 2016 University of California, Irvine (UCI), School of Social Ecology's Lauds & Laurels Distinguished Alumna Award!

Friend, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law and Society, from UCI, was honored at the 46th Annual UCI Alumni Association Lauds & Laurels Ceremony on Thursday, May 12. Her nomination was supported by UCI School of Social Ecology Interim Dean Carroll Seron, UCI Center for Psychology and Law Professor Beth Cauffman, and UCI School of Social Ecology Field Study Program Director Ashley Vikander.

To be nominated and selected as a Distinguished Alumna by my alma mater is an incredible honor. My life-changing work at Project Hope Alliance serves as a direct reflection of UCI’s unwavering commitment to the community, inspiration to its students, and mission to mold future social entrepreneurs.
— Jennifer Friend, Project Hope Alliance CEO

Serving as a bridge to the community, UCI encourages students to transform society by cultivating relationships with stakeholders and policymakers, and developing innovative solutions to challenges such as homelessness and hunger. In this same capacity, Project Hope Alliance works to end the cycle of homelessness in Orange County, one child at a time, through ground-breaking rapid rehousing and education programs.

I am thankful to have the opportunity to recognize Jennifer, an extraordinary alumna who has made a difference in the lives of UCI students and homeless children and their families in our community. She truly reflects the spirit of Social Ecology.
— Carroll Seron, Interim Dean of the School of Social Ecology

Friend has remained intimately involved with UCI as a member of both its Alumni Board of Directors and School of Ecology Field Study Advisory Board. In July 2017, she will further her commitment as UCI Alumni Association Board President.

Jennifer is the model UCI alumna who has actively sought ways to engage UCI, its students, faculty, and researchers with Project Hope Alliance. She is a tireless volunteer, advocate, and friend of UCI’s, and I am thrilled she is a recipient for this year’s Lauds and Laurels honor.
— Barney Ellis-Perry, CEO of the UCI Alumni Association

Since 1971, the UCI Alumni Association and its board of directors has presented Lauds & Laurels, the association's highest honor, at a formal ceremony each spring. Lauds & Laurels is the university's oldest awards ceremony, and more than 750 members of the UCI community have been honored for their service to the university, the community, or their profession.