The Orange County Bar Foundation in Santa Ana got $15.3 million from the Jeffrey M. Carlton Foundation, the largest gift it has received in its 45-year history.

The Bar Foundation is expected to use the money to support its youth-oriented education and mentoring programs, including Project SELF, which is designed to help local high school students get internships at law firms.

The Carlton Foundation is set to make annual distributions of 5% of the fund balance starting this year.

“While many of Orange County Bar Foundation’s government grants are ending soon, the Jeffrey M. Carlton Foundation gift ensures that our top-notch programs continue long into the future,” Executive Director Karen said in a statement.

The Carlton Foundation was named after its late benefactor Jeffrey Carlton who made his fortune through his Press Forge Co., a Paramount-based metal forging shop, which is known as the largest metal alloy forge company in the country. Carlton died in 2012 at 61.

The foundation last year made a $53 million donation to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, the largest gift in the health system’s history.