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OC Opportunity Initiative

OC Opportunity Initiative

Ensuring a Vibrant Orange County

Generations of immigrants have shaped Orange County from our earliest beginnings to our present standing as an international hub of entrepreneurship and innovation. In fact, approximately 913,000 immigrants live in Orange County, making up nearly one-third of our county’s population.

Spearheaded by OCCF in 2016, the OC Opportunity Initiative is a collaborative dedicated to ensuring that Orange County embraces the promise and potential of our immigrant communities to create a stronger future for our region. To date, the initiative has granted $2.0 million to 23 nonprofit partners to provide outreach, education, and legal services. The OC Opportunity Initiative is helping immigrants realize their potential within our community by providing funding for nonprofits that provide legal services, outreach, and education in order to:

  1. Reduce barriers to immigrant services in Orange County
  2. Connect permanent legal residents to citizenship support
  3. Increase awareness of DACA-related services
  4. Enhance the capacity of existing service providers to increase the number of eligible immigrants applying for deferred action

The ability for immigrants to successfully integrate into the economic and civic life of our community is essential to the prosperity of our county. By removing the greatest obstacles that immigrants face, we’re putting everyone closer to achieving the American Dream.
Orange County Immigration Profile

See the Orange County Immigration Profile for insight into the demographic, economic, and social make-up of Orange County’s immigrant populations. This report also includes the stories of immigrant youth, community leaders, and business owners, offering their personal stories to illuminate the data presented.

Executive Committee

The OC Opportunity Initiative is now enhancing the regional capacity of immigrant-serving organizations by developing leadership and a shared governance model that builds on existing collaborative efforts to guide the vision and strategy for Orange County. OCCF is transitioning a funder-driven initiative to a shared governance model supported by an Administrative Director with the knowledge and expertise to build trust and collaborative capacity alongside an 11 member Executive Committee funders and nonprofit providers.

  • Developing a shared vision and regional approach to immigrant integration in OC
  • Ensuring the implementation of the OCOI Strategic Plan
  • Soliciting and recommending projects for small grant funding opportunities
  • Advising and guiding the work of expert consultants on:
    • Research and evaluation
    • Communications and messaging
    • Engaging business leaders
  • Managing and monitoring the budget and grant obligations of the regional initiative

Members of the Executive Committee will be responsible for:

Member Organization Focus Area
Hairo Cortes, Executive Director Chispa Education Fund Small/Emerging Nonprofit
Jorge Alvarado, Director of Litigation, Training and Advocacy Public Law Center Legal Services
Jose Serrano, Associate Director Immigration and Outreach World Relief Corp Legal Services
Georgina Maldonado, Executive Director Community Health Initiative of Orange County Outreach and Education
Vattana Peong, Executive Director The Cambodian Family Outreach and Education
Carlos Perea, Director of Policy and Programs Resilience Orange County Advocacy and


Peg Corley, Executive Director LGBT Center Orange County Advocacy and


Jennifer L. Koh, Professor of Law and Director Western State College of Law Immigration Clinic Law School
Keith Swayne, Founder and Director The Keith and Judy Swayne Family Foundation Funder
Katie S. Ellis, Executive Director Opus Community Foundation Funder
Jason Lacsamana, Senior Program Officer St. Joseph Health Community Partnership Fund Funder

2018 Funder Collaborative

The OC Opportunity Initiative is spearheaded by a regional collaborative of grantmakers dedicated to improving the lives of immigrants in Orange County. The group originated as a coalition of funders with a range of grant-making priorities who initially wanted to be educated about, work together on, and ultimately improve outcomes for immigrants in Orange County. Members of the OC Opportunity Initiative believe that philanthropy can and should play a defining role in shaping a successful immigrant integration strategy in Orange County. The group is committing to helping to foster an even bolder, more cohesive and stronger future for our community.


Funder Collaborative

Representing local private, corporate, and family foundations, and regional funders, the founding members of the collaborative include:




Individual Donors

The OC Opportunity Initiative also includes several individual donors, including

  • Donnie Crevier
  • Rick Godber
  • Dr. Alberto Manetta


Individual Donors

In partnership with Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, the OC Opportunity Initiative capitalized on a national matching fund opportunity made available by Open Society Foundations.

2018 Grantees

Following is a summary of grants awarded to provide legal services, outreach and education. To enhance grantee capacity, funding was also awarded to provide training and technical assistance, as well as evaluation support.


Legal Services

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA $45,000
Building Skills Partnership $5,000
Catholic Charities of Orange County $45,000
Council on American-Islamic Relations – Los Angeles (CAIR-LA) $45,000
Freedom for Immigrants (CIVIC) $20,000
Korean Resource Center $30,000
Legal Aid Society of Orange County $30,000
Public Law Center $45,000
Solidarity $40,000
World Relief $30,000


Outreach and Education

Access California Services $20,000
Community Health Initiative of Orange County (CHI OC) $20,000
Friends of Orange County Detainees $5,000
Latino Health Access $20,000
LGBT Center OC $30,000
Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) $40,000
Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD) $20,000
Orange County Congregation Community Organization (OCCCO) $20,000
Orange County Rapid Response Network $30,000
Resilience OC $40,000
The Cambodian Family Community Center (TCF) $20,000

The mission of the OC Opportunity Initiative is to direct resources to improve the lives of local immigrants and help them access all available legal opportunities to normalize their status.