Jennifer Friend

OC Visionaries 2022

Chief Executive Officer
Project Hope Alliance

Jennifer Friend’s personal experience as a homeless child in Orange County fuels her leadership at Project Hope Alliance to ensure that no child in the county is limited by their parent’s economic circumstances. Data shows that a student without a high school diploma is almost 400% more likely to be homeless as an adult. Having seen firsthand how education transformed her life’s trajectory and knowing that one can never be evicted from their education, Friend decided to leave her lucrative career as a litigation partner in an Orange County firm in 2013 and become the CEO of Project Hope Alliance, using her past to change the future for the kids. Today, she leads an organization that is bringing its students to high school graduation at a rate of 94% on time and 100% overall - well above the 64% state graduation rate for students experiencing homelessness.