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Our Story

In partnership with the community since 2016

In 2015 Armoni Easley and Ishmael Pruitt met through their work in counseling and mentoring foster youth at the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento. They connected through their personal and professional values, and realized they shared the same vision; to empower historically under-served communities. The organization is the direct response to the life experiences of each founder Both are California natives and during their own childhood they witnessed multiple individuals within their community and family fall to oppressive systematic forces. Despite their exposure, both kept in mind that there was more to life than their current options.

In 2016 the founders met for an hour in a Starbuck with a piece of paper. That paper has manifested to be what we call “Project Optimism, Inc.” While founded in Sacramento in 2016, the organization has since expanded to Los Angeles County. The founders see the community as a giant project. To finish this project, the community needs the skills and expertise of its members. As a result of mentorship, empowerment, and uniting community members, we may spark  OPTIMISM amongst the beneficiaries.  With this mindset, anything is possible!  

Words From the Community


"I valued the support and resources that Project Optimism always had available for me. As a student and aspiring entrepreneur, this program showed me the value of making real connections and having mentors with the same goals and passions as you do."

Ukamaka Ezimora, Student

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