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Three Community Leaders to Receive Foundation's 2008 California Peace Prize
Date:11/12/2008

$25,000 Cash Awards Honor Unsung Heroes of Violence Prevention

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Kismet Evans' personal history with drug abuse, incarceration, and homelessness inspires her to provide support and guidance to youth and their families. Orlando Ramos brings the power of education and his personal experience to inspire hope among at-risk students. Billie Weiss conducts pioneering public-health research that helps community- based organizations become more effective in preventing violence.

The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) will honor these three individuals with its 16th annual California Peace Prize at a ceremony in Los Angeles on November 19, 2008. In recognition of their efforts to prevent violence and promote peace, each honoree will receive a cash award of $25,000. [Visit http://www.tcwf.org for biographies, photographs and video profiles.]

"This year's honorees have helped youth and families touched by violence, and supported organizations that work to make our communities safer," said Gary L. Yates, president and CEO of TCWF. "They represent thousands of unsung heroes dedicated to improving the health and well-being of California's youth."

Kismet Evans

Kismet Evans has worked over the past decade to provide drug, alcohol, and violence-intervention counseling for youth and to increase public awareness of the trauma that incarceration has on families and communities. Most recently, she was a program manager at Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy, where she worked to prevent violence and teen pregnancy through academics and job development among gang-affiliated and other youth at risk.

In the 1990s, Evans was incarcerated for drug-related offenses and experienced periods of homelessness. After a year of outpatient drug treatment, she realized that she wanted to help others. She first worked at MFI Recovery Center, a co-ed residentia
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SOURCE The California Wellness Foundation
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