The Teen Project Fashion Show Benefit – THE TEEN PROJECT IS A 501C3 NOT FOR PROFIT CORPORATION EIN: 30-0421837- Newport Beach CA


We are so grateful to Mark Wahlberg for supporting The Teen Project’s Freehab educational program over the next three years! Mark is dedicated to helping inner city youth reach their full potential in life. Despite overall progress, when it comes to improving teen graduation rates in the United States, the sobering fact remains that 3 out of every 10 students in U.S. public schools still fail to finish high school with a diploma according to a 2009 EPE Research Center Study.

Mark’s foundation aspires to reach kids whose dreams and passions are limited due to financial circumstances and provide them with opportunities that allow them to see the value in their education and help plan for their future. Our mission together is to help foster kids get an equal chance at life!


Community Restoration


Love & Hope 
A Dream Come True






Dreams Realized!
Thanks to the Gesualdo family, we can now take 15 of our young residents to their doctor’s appointments and community events together! For the past few months, we have been coordinating caravans to appointments in hopes that someone would donate an old van to help us. We never imagined the generosity of a foundation that would donate a brand new van with a warranty! This donation is so needed and appreciated! BIG thanks to the Gesauldo family!!!


Since May of 2014, we have provided 156 young women with mental health services, housing, counseling and current day career & technical skills! The Girls Geek Squad is underway while we build support for the BYTE SHOP! The Byte Shop is our on-site state-of-the-art technology training center opening in 2015!

Julie Leffler
Big Hype Marketing

Fashion Show Event Featuring South Coast Plaza Boutiques With Keynote Speaker Quinton Aaron Benefitting Older Foster Youth Transition From Foster Care To Successful, Independent Adults

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (March 7, 2016) – Southern California non-profit The Teen Project today announced its third annual fashion show and benefit to raise funds and provide resources for local teens aging out of the foster care system. The fashion show event will be held at The Westin South Coast Plaza on Saturday, May 7, 2016. The event will feature key-note speaker Quinton Aaron who played Michael Oher alongside Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw in the Blind Side, a fashion show sponsored by South Coast Plaza featuring the committee teens and apparel from Saks Fifth Avenue, DKNY, Intermix, Joe’s Jeans, AG Adriano Goldschmied, Ted Baker, Nike, Scotch & Soda; a sit-down dinner, opportunity drawing and more. All funds raised at the event will go directly towards housing these underprivileged teens and providing programs and resources for them to have a successful future.

Each year, young people between the ages of 18 to 21 legally “age out” of the foster care system and are required to legally leave the program without emotional or financial support. Most young adults aging out of foster care, do so without a life plan or preparation, putting them at great risk for homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse, criminal involvement, prostitution and mental health issues.

The Teen Project is the vision of one woman, Lauri Burns, who dedicates her life to helping homeless teens across the country. Her passion comes from her own painful experience of transitioning out of foster care at the age of 18 and being faced with the challenges of providing for herself without a path, money, support of a family, or a place to sleep. Just like most teens who “age out” of foster care, Lauri became homeless, pregnant and turned to drugs and prostitution to make ends meet. After finding peace and sobriety in a recovery home at the age of 23, she has raised 32 teenage foster children in her personal home, launched The Teen Project in 2007 and now provides shelter and support for hundreds of children aging out of the foster care system who are in need.

The Teen Project does not receive federal or state funding. The organization has only one full-time employee and over 400 volunteers. The donations towards this non-profit go directly towards living expenses and services for the teens living in the homes and utilizing the programs. The more money received, the more children who are helped.

“Teen Project Founder Lauri Burns is the most amazing ‘mother’ to many teens who don’t have a family support system, and we’re looking forward to honoring all of the work that she and the organization has done for our community,” said event co-chair Deborah Keillor.

The Teen Project Benefit has generated over $180,000 in fundraising revenue over the last two years through its fashion show event and donations; all of which went directly to the organization’s Orange County home to provide housing, food, clothing, education and transportation to local teens who aged out of the foster care system.

“It has been such a blessing that this committee has raised enough money to support the entire Orange County operation for a full year – an unprecedented fundraising achievement for The Teen Project,” said The Teen Project founder Lauri Burns. “This year, we hope to reach that goal again and also raise additional funds to provide Orange County teens with free drug treatment at our FREEHAB facility.”

The Teen Project Benefit Fashion Show will feature more than 40 teen models, all members of non-profit’s Orange County committee. The teens will walk the runway donning the latest fashions from premier South Coast Plaza retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, DKNY, AG Adriano Goldschmied, Joe’s Jeans, Intermix, NIKE, Scotch & Soda and Ted Baker.

To donate or purchase tickets, visit To learn more about The Teen Project, visit

About The Teen Project

THE TEEN PROJECT is the vision of one woman, Lauri Burns, who dedicates her life to helping homeless teens across the country. Many teens aging out of foster care, find themselves homeless within weeks of being emancipated from the system. Without a path, money, support of a family, or a place to sleep, unfortunately, many of these teens inevitably end up turning to drugs and prostitution. For these kids the future is bleak. THE TEEN PROJECT provides these at-risk teens the resources and support of a family unit, by providing safe housing, financial support towards a higher education, counseling, and mentoring on how to lead a productive, happy and healthy life.

The Teen Project provides services to help get these forgotten kids back on track such as FREEHAB, Sober College Housing, The PAD Database, Teen Project Shelter Collaboration, The Meeting Places Program, The TEXT Shelter service and the National Mentoring Program. THE TEEN PROJECT protocol seeks to address the issue on all levels. There are 25,000 teens exiting the system each year to homelessness. THE TEEN PROJECT is a parent to the parentless, bringing them home, adding value to their lives and goals to strive for. THE TEEN PROJECT receives no federal or state funding. They have only one full time employee and over 400 volunteers. The belief is that donations for a non-profit should go to direct services for the people you serve and administration costs should be at a bare minimum.