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Ability Awareness Project

 668 N Coast Hwy, Suite 144
 Laguna Beach, CA 92651
[P] (949) 415-4096
[F] --
[email protected]
Shadi Pourkashef
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Ability Awareness Project
Former Names Learn To Stop Bullying (2017)
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 95-2021700 00019


Mission StatementMORE »

Our mission is to build a united interconnected world, free of bullying. Our Vision is to ensure that everyone is respectful and kind to one another and that no one suffers from social isolation and bullying.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to build a united interconnected world, free of bullying. Our Vision is to ensure that everyone is respectful and kind to one another and that no one suffers from social isolation and bullying.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2018
Projected Expenses $92,000.00
Projected Revenue $45,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Community Outreach
  • Ability Awareness Docudrama Movie

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to build a united interconnected world, free of bullying. Our Vision is to ensure that everyone is respectful and kind to one another and that no one suffers from social isolation and bullying.

Background Statement

Bullying related suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among children and teens. 90% of 4th-8th graders experience some form of bullying or rejection and more than 60% of them are children with special needs. In 2014, 83% of girls and 79% of boys report being bullied in school or online. 160,000 teens skip school everyday because of bullying. One out of 6 children go to school with a weapon everyday. Bullies need as much help as the ones being bullied, and so do the bystanders who can determine how it all turns out... and unfortunately they all suffer the negative consequences of bullying. 75% of school shootings are directly linked to harassment and bullying against the shooter. Bullies tend to continue the trend of abuse and violence way into adulthood and by the age of 30, 40% of the boys who bullied at school had been arrested 3 or more times. For as long as bullying continues, no one is safe. And today you can do something about it. 
Our organization started by focusing on special need children and the social isolation they endure everyday. That is why we are called Ability Awareness Project; encouraging all to be the best they can be, honoring and embracing their own uniqueness while respecting and understanding everyone else's individuality, challenges and differences. Soon we became aware that this epidemic is affecting all children and not just the children with special needs. Studies show that also 9 out of 10 LGBT students reported being harassed and bullied; that along with the rise of racism and hatred, we have now included sections to address those issues as well. To lead our next generation towards an interconnected humanistic path, we want to make sure we provide guidance in all the issues related to bullying as the problem is progressing.

Impact Statement


2018 was the year we grew the most. We won 1st place Novelty Community Service at the Laguna Beach’s Patriot’s Day Parade. We became founding members of World Kindness USA and Goodwill Ambassador of World Kindness for the City of Laguna Beach. As a result the City of Laguna Beach signed the resolution to join World Kindness USA on 9/11; we held the Declaration Signing Ceremony on World Kindness Day and moderated a panel in a Conversation is Kindness right afterwards. In collaboration with the city, we are leading the Laguna Beach Kindness Movement. Our co-branded Kindness Cards are circulating around town and beyond as we acknowledge and write the stories of kindness we observed or experience and blast it on social media. We have added a new group on Facebook as well called Laguna Beach Kindness Movement where these stories and more inspirational stories of kindness is published everyday to keep our focus on how we can keep our thoughts and actions on kindness to benefit all. We'd more than doubled our impact from 2017 and held 27 presentations, reaching out to Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo and Newport Beach. We became the Champions of Change Makers with OneOC, a partner with Charter for Compassion and a Collaborator with the Kindness Evolution as one of the 30 kindness leaders of our country. We are also a Raktivist with Random Acts of Kindness which help us with our Kindness Programs at schools. We were voted the best Education Center and the Best Activist of Laguna Beach in 2018. Our impact continues to grow rapidly in 2019 and we're planning a few very exciting public events this year as well.

Needs Statement

We always need dedicated, talented, passionate, and professionals to add to our team and will welcome any volunteer who is passionate about our cause. Our immediate need is financial as the PTAs and schools no longer have budgets to dedicate to anti-bullying programs and over 90% of our resources are dedicated to our community outreach programs and directly helping kids. We offer incredible sponsorship benefits for any company who's passionate about our cause and wants to align themselves with our message of Kindness. We need volunteers to find companies that are aligned with our mission and interested to either donate or sponsor and schedule us to give a presentation to the decision makers. 

We need volunteers who can reach out to their local schools in need to schedule our school presentations. We want to expand our programs to other regions and states as well so we also need volunteers outside of our immediate neighborhood who are passionate about teaching and our mission and willing to get trained. 
We can always use in-kind donations for studio, camera, editors, music and other film crew members. We are asking for grants, sponsors and donations to support Program Development for our edutainment productions as well.

CEO Statement

The problem of bullying today is a very deep and complicated one. We believe to tackle this issue correctly we need to start at an early age educating our children as well as parents, educators, and our community so everyone understands their responsibilities according to the latest research. In children responsibilities vary whether they are being bullied, the observers, or have tendencies to bully others as well as the right course of action that needs to be followed by their parents and educators.   
There are so many websites dedicated to bullying these days that spread awareness. The news are all over and people are talking about it. This is all very good but awareness alone does not fix the problem! What we do differently is that we go to schools and talk about all the ins and outs of bullying and provide practical solutions because we understand it takes the whole community to make a lasting change.  Furthermore, we provide kindness programs for those schools who would like to implement and get the kids involved in kindness through Kind and Safe School Clubs. To provide a global solution, at our online educational platform, we produce kid friendly short videos and talk to professionals to address specific bullying issues head on and offer solutions.  We teach each group (the Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander) separately as we identify and discuss the unique challenges they each face. Using fun and engaging short videos to teach is the sure way of reaching our youth in this day and age and we make sure that parents and educators get all the knowledge they need as well to stand up and do the right thing. Together, we can put an end to bullying once and for all!

Board Chair Statement

This project had been so close to my heart and a subject that I’ve been dealing with for so many years but it wasn’t until 2014 that I realized that the teacher I’m looking for is me!!! 
My now 17yr. old son, is a genius, kind, super talented smart boy who lives with autism. Despite all his efforts to overcome his autism related challenges every minute of his waking hour, he gets bullied at school all the time. This has been going on since 3rd grade and is what got me started on my 5 year journey into research, becoming the Special Education Rep of PTA, joining the CAC committee (Community Advisory Committee in Capistrano Unified School District), and then after a year becoming a board member of the CAC and setting up anti-bullying programs at schools. Through all my efforts to understand the depth of bullying and how I can help my boy and our community, he started talking about killing himself. Thank god by then I knew what to do but my heart goes out to all the parents who have lost their child due to bullying. The pain is tremendous for our children when they get bullied and sometimes for parents it’s hard to understand or know what to do about it.
My love for children, my own experiences as a mother of a boy living with autism, as a teacher, my extensive knowledge on the subject of bullying, and most importantly my passion to help build a better future for our children that is based on kindness and compassion has made me a spirited engaging speaker and an insightful producer of our edutainment productions to provide a series of fun and educational videos that are so needed and not available anywhere!  
On our newsletters, we always say: "Please Watch our Videos, Be the Change, and Teach others." Why? I myself had to learn how to be the parent my child needs me to be and change my ways and I believe once parents and educators see the urgency of this issue and understand that no one is safe for as long as bullying continues, they too will want to learn, be the change, and teach others. This is a huge problem and it deserves our immediate attention. Now more than ever, I believe that we have to come together and lead our next generation towards a united, interconnected and humanistic path. 

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

You may also make a donation on our websites or OneOC's website or send a check to either one of us. We are always in need of volunteers as well in administrative, film production, marketing, and your local school sites. Please email: [email protected]

Geographic Area Served

North Orange County
Central Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
Ability Awareness Project serves mostly the South Orange County area in California and we also travel outside the county when needed. Our online community platform is available nationally and internationally. 

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Educational Services
  2. Human Services - Victims' Services
  3. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs



Community Outreach

Our School Presentations provide bullying prevention education that focus on:
  • Teaching non-judgement, empathy, kindness, friendship, while emphasizing compassion, tolerance, understanding, inclusion and acceptance towards all abilities, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities and religions.
  • Encouraging all to be the best that they can be, honoring and embracing their own uniqueness while respecting and understanding everyone else’s individuality, challenges and differences.
  • Practical and proven solutions are provided for the bullies, those being bullied and bystanders to not only identify and put a stop to all six types of bullying but also move towards becoming our next generation of leaders and peacemakers.
  • Slideshow furthermore encourages and inspires all to accept diversity, come together as one, forgive easily, deal with anger appropriately, workout differences peacefully & choose to be a friend. Age appropriate “Pledge to be a Friend” cards, bracelets/stickers are provided for each student.
Our assembly presentations are designed for k-3rd grades, 4th & 5th grades, Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Parents, Educators and Senior Centers. Upon request we send parents and educators an updated email with the latest research and information available on prevention, effective intervention techniques, legal responsibilities, procedures to follow during and after a bullying incident and practical guides to provide a bully-free and safe environment for all at our schools and at home.
Budget  $72,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) Victims Minorities
Program Short-Term Success  The schools we visit are educated on the values of kindness, friendship, compassion, tolerance, empathy, understanding and acceptance and will know exactly what to do when bullying occurs. They know how to protect themselves in campus and online and be a friend. No more bullying related suicide will happen as our community will be strong, united and educated on how to include and support each other.  
Program Long-Term Success  Long-Term we will be able to reach all schools in our nation and beyond to teach children how to resolve conflicts in peace, treat each other with kindness and create a safe, united and bully free world.
Program Success Monitored By 

So far we have held 48 school presentations for thousands of children and we have 6 more coming up in the next two weeks. The reactions are as diverse as the kids themselves... some enjoy our informative and powerful slides and videos and some cry on our shoulder after presentations and say "I wish you were here 2 years ago, last month, last year...". At "Walk in my shoes"event with OC Human Relations, they provided us with a report of what children had filled out after our presentation in excel format which is our proof in hard copy of how much children need this education and how we are making a big impact.  Also we receive comments from people who hire us. Ms. Jamie Waddle from Truman Benedict Elementary from San Clemente noted: "Thank you so much for such an amazing day. You are a gift from God... You made such an impact on our school". We sent mass emails to the parents and staff of every school we've visited to educate them on proper response and necessary course of action to take and be the leaders our children so desperately need.

Examples of Program Success  Before our own anti-bullying presentation we had been placing Ability Awareness Programs that mostly focus on building compassion, tolerance and acceptance towards children with special needs at our schools. Through out the years, we see those kids who have gone through our programs are the ones who step up and step in to prevent bullying at our schools.  We see them on the playground as they stand up for their special needs peers and defend them from bullies. We see bullies, choosing to be a friends and we see those who get bullied, taking correct precautions to protect themselves and tell someone. We see the community getting stronger as everyone watches out for one another to create a peaceful safe environment for all. is our online educational platform. We have a dedicated page for The Bully, The Bystander, The Bullied, Parents and Educators. We produce short original videos and address the bullying issues facing children today and promote videos done by others who share our mission.
Budget  $20,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Cultural & Ethnic Awareness
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) US& International Minorities
Program Short-Term Success  KindAndSafeSchools not only provides the most affective education for the specific need of each child, it will be the perfect solution for the unsuccessful ways schools have been dealing with bullying. Most schools wait for bullying to happen and then they bring the kids to the office and talk to them about it. Unfortunately research shows that not only this method is not affective in reducing bullying but also it promotes more bullying. The only way to reduce bullying is to educate all to help identify what bullying looks like and show the proper ways to respond. (*Research from
Program Long-Term Success  As we continue to produce more original videos, will be the one website that children who are affected by bullying can find clear and practical solutions. It also provides schools with a clear education they can provide for any bullying that occurs at schools. For example, those who bully can watch all the videos on The Bully page and those who are getting bullied can watch The Bullied page and so forth to learn to transform their friendships towards a positive united path. 
Program Success Monitored By is the place where students, parents and educators find information and can reach out to us. We utilize the website also to have volunteers sign up for our events and for donors to use the PayPal button to donate. We are now completing the post-production process for a series of new videos. 
Examples of Program Success  As we develop, when a child is searching on the web for an answer that addresses specific bullying issues, for example: "Is it ever ok to fight back physically?", our video is the first video that shows up. We are pleased to report that we have hundreds of people visit our site every month.

Ability Awareness Docudrama Movie

As a part of our global solution, we have created this educational docudrama based on our successful Ability Awareness school programs that teach compassion, tolerance, acceptance and understanding that are number one indicators in bullying prevention. This is a transformational story of a boy that by going through his school programs at the end chooses a kinder option to become friends with the boy he's always bullied. This will be translated into 3 languages, Spanish, French, and Mandarine and available for free to all schools worldwide. This will allow all schools around the world to be able to provide this education for their students.
Budget  $146,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Humanities Programs
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) Minorities International
Program Short-Term Success  This project will bring together all of our future generations as they learn peaceful ways of resolving conflicts and they'll be united on understanding the basic human values of respect, tolerance, compassion and kindness. 
Program Long-Term Success  This will be translated into 3 languages, Spanish, French, and Mandarine and available for free to all schools worldwide. This will allow all national and international schools to be able to provide this education for their students.
Program Success Monitored By  The success will be measured years after our next generation become our next leaders and peacemakers. 
Examples of Program Success  Imagine a world where the language of respect and kindness become second nature... our diverse yet interconnected world will be able to accomplish so much more as every individual's uniqueness, talents and contribution is celebrated and utilized. 


CEO/Executive Director Shadi Pourkashef
CEO Term Start Dec 2012
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

In 2011, Shadi Pourkashef, a mother, composer/conductor and a teacher, felt the direct consequences of bullying as her then 8 year old son was subjected to what she can only describe as “horrendous ongoing peer bullying.”
Recognized for her fierce advocacy to find a solution, she was chosen by the Woodcanyon Elementary school principal to become the CAC (Community Advisory Committee) Representative for the Capistrano Unified School District. For Shadi the urgency to address her son’s situation quickly turned into an urgency to address this epidemic within her community.
In 2012, Shadi was asked to become a board member of the CAC, serving on the Ability Awareness Programs Committee, even though she had moved to the city of Laguna Beach. While this committee had developed wonderful teaching programs on tolerance, acceptance and understanding towards children with special needs, it became apparent that the area of bullying wasn’t being directly addressed.
Later that year, during a CAC meeting, Shadi Pourkashef and another member serving on the same committee, Kelly McKinnon Birmingham, MA, BCBA, (now the Director of Behavior Intervention at the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Santa Ana) saw the opportunity to fill in where their proposed programs had limited reach. Shortly after, Shadi founded Ability Awareness Project and Kelly joined as an advisory member.
AAP has developed a total of 12 presentations for parents, educators and students and seniors providing Bullying Prevention Education and Kindness Programs that address three distinct groups: for the bullies to choose a kinder option, those being bullied to build resilience and feel empowered & bystanders to safely and effectively intervene; not only to identify and put a stop to all six types of bullying but also move towards becoming our next generation of leaders and peacemakers. Thus far, AAP school presentations have reached thousands of children in Orange County and thousands more online.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Best Activist-- Gold winner Laguna Beach Vibe 2019
Best Education Center Best of Laguna Beach 2018
Champions of Change Makers OneOC 2018
Goodwill Ambassador for the City of Laguna Beach World Kindness USA 2018


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


We collaborate with the City of Laguna Beach, leading the Laguna Beach Kindness Movement. We have signed up the city with World Kindness USA and are working on having Laguna Beach become the first Kindness City in the US. We also have purchased co-branded World Kindness Cards where we acknowledge the acts of kindness we see in town and beyond. Every story is posted on 'Laguna Beach Kindness Movement" Facebook page. We also collaborate with Western Youth Services and did the F.A.C.T Conference taking over the anti-bullying section of the conference 2018. We collaborate with Orange County Human Relations and have been doing the anti-bullying presentation part at their annual "Walk In My Shoes" conference at UCI for the past two years (2017 and 2018). We have also done events with OC Suicide Prevention, City of Mission Viejo, CAC of Capistrano Unified School District for the last 8 years and the OC Family Violence Council conference Nov. 2017.

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 8
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % --
Staff Professional Development --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: --
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: --
Male: --
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? --
Organization has Strategic Plan? --
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy --
Whistle Blower Policy --
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? --
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --

Government Licenses


CEO Comments

2019 is the year that we are expanding and could use passionate professionals to join our team and help us make a bigger impact in our community and beyond.

Foundation Comments



Board Chair Shadi Pourkashef
Board Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Chair Term Jan 2014 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Corrine Capiaux Board Member Voting
Cece Card Board Voting
Mayor pro tem Steve Dicterow Laguna Beach City Council Voting
Gail Duncan Board Voting
Jason Feddy -- Voting
Bill Levin Levin and Dicterow Law Firm Voting
Kelly McKinnon Bermingham Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental center in Santa Ana Voting
Justin Phan Board member Voting
Sande St. John Community Volunteer Voting
Sandra Thornton Community Volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 10
Caucasian: 20
Hispanic/Latino: 10
Native American/American Indian: 60
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 60
Male: 40
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 4
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria --
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy --
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 50%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 50%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments

We operate under the Fiscal Sponsorship of OneOC:
For a complete list of our team members please visit:

Foundation Comments


Standing Committees



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Revenue $45,000.00
Projected Expenses $92,000.00
Form 990s

2017 OneOC 990

2016 OneOC 990

2015 OneOC 990

2014 OneOC 990

Audit Documents

2016 OneOC Financial Statement

2015 OneOC Financial Statement

2014 OneOC Financial Statement

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $8,566 $13,010 $3,486
Total Expenses $7,680 $12,982 $4,957

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$7,616 $13,010 $3,486
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $950 -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $4,955 $5,351 $2,880
Administration Expense $1,656 $3,102 $1,435
Fundraising Expense $1,069 $4,529 $498
Payments to Affiliates -- -- $144
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.12 1.00 0.70
Program Expense/Total Expenses 65% 41% 58%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 14% 35% 14%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets -- -- --
Current Assets -- -- --
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities -- -- --
Total Net Assets -- -- --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities nan nan nan

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets nan% nan% nan%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Capital Campaign Purpose To secure compensation to hire more staff. Location offering counseling & holding 2 after school programs for kids getting bullied & those bullying.
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates Apr 2019 -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

CEO Comments

The main purpose of our Capital Campaign is to secure compensation to hire more speakers, marketing professionals and staff to support our kindness programs and public events. Also, we are looking for a location as a sanctuary for children who get bullied and hire counselors to help and guide our youth towards healing. We are also looking to offer two after school programs for kids who get bullied to learn to rise up to bullying and build resilience and another for those who bully to learn peaceful negotiation techniques and why and how to choose a kinder option.

Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990 EZ and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions. They began operations in 2012 and have financial history for 2012 and 2013.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.