who we are
Through repeated failures in school and a constant stream of changes both in and outside of the classroom, foster youth lose sight of their potential and give up faith in the opportunities that await them,
We find this heartbreaking and unacceptable and we are doing something about it. We have the passion and expertise to effect immediate and lasting change through our innovative programming.
We have been incredibly fortunate. Thank you to all of our supporters & partners.
President Lauren founded The Academy Project as a result of her passion for and career working with foster youth. She attended New York University where she graduated cum laude with a degree in Theater and Psychology. She has been a lifelong advocate for foster youth and continues to work to strengthen the relationships between the systems and organizations that support foster youth.
Board Member Amy Christine is Los Angeles’s only Master of Wine, and one of only 12 female MWs in North America. She and her husband, Peter Hunken, own Holus Bolus winery in Lompoc, and she also works in sales for Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. In addition, Amy is a partner at Wine Ring Inc, a wine centric technology company. Amy and her husband are parents to a 23 year old daughter adopted from the LA Foster Care System 2009, and are staunch advocates for children in foster care.
Board Member Originally from Los Angeles County, Cheyenne has done extensive work in her community. She volunteers with her former group home, St Annes, talking to the residents and staff about what made her journey unique. She is also a YTP facilitator for the Y.O.U.T.H. Training project, an organization that speaks to social workers and public welfare workers on the challenges that foster youth face today. Her most important job is being a mom to her 5 year old daughter, Layla.
Board Memeber Michele is the Founder of The Forward Project, a Los Angeles-based consultancy that designs and develops powerful mindset, emotional intelligence, and behavior-based leadership training programs to help organizations discover new ways to grow revenues, strengthen their culture, and accelerate their impact. She is an angel investor, a Certified Sommelier, and a lover of travel, food, languages, and making a positive difference in the lives of foster youth.
Clare is an experienced business leader with over 15 years of experience in developing high performing organizations. Clare first became involved with The Academy Project via a volunteer assignment on strategic planning. She quickly saw the need for a different approach to educating foster youth in LA, and continues to provide her expertise,
Board Member Mary has had a long and established career as a critical care and research RN. Wanting to have a more active role in changing and shaping current situations and events Mary left the nursing role and went on to become an entrepreneur who has been a significant part of starting several successful businesses in the pharmaceutical and retail arenas. During all of her jobs and endeavors she has maintained being an advocate for people’s rights.