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Little Lights provides long-term, year-round support and services for three public housing communities in Washington, DC. Since 1995, Little Lights has built trusted relationships to provide a wide array of effective programs for children, youth, and adults that includes academic and youth development, family and economic empowerment, and anti-racism training.


Equipping young people to excel in school and in their lives through tutoring, mentoring, and college and career readiness.


Creating financial mobility by hiring from within our focus communities, so that both children and families can thrive.


Educating people on our country’s history of systemic racial injustice through our annual Race Literacy 101 course.

Our Impact


Of students who regularly attend Little Lights see improved reading and math scores


Nutritional meals served to students each year


Graduates of our anti-racism
training since 2020

Our Stories


Little Lights Alum

Dwaine remembers when he met Steve. He was a scrawny 9 year old outside of Watkins Elementary School, signing up for Camp Heaven the summer of 1997. Dwaine and Steve connected quickly and Steve decided to personally mentor Dwaine. “Learning about God and learning how to be a young man, I learned that from Steve,” Dwaine recalls. “I learned the most from watching him. I observed humility in Steve. Always saw him putting other people before himself.”

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Little Lights Parent

“I see the difference the programs have made in Jaylyn and Jerry’s lives. Jaylyn has been on the honor roll every quarter since going to Little Lights,” Camille shares. “And if it wasn’t for Little Lights my son wouldn’t be on track to get his GED.” 

Camille needed a job. After two years living in DC General homeless shelter with her two children, Jaylyn and Jerry, she had finally received a rental voucher and had moved into an apartment in Potomac Gardens public housing. She was starting to get her feet under her, and the next step was to find employment.

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Little Lights Alum

Every day when school ends, Darriyah meets up with Little Lights staff member, Mr. Bernard, and together they walk the few blocks to the Hopkins Center. As soon as she walks through the door, Darriyah says she feels “ready to work” — because she knows people at Little Lights care about her and will help her do her best. Now 9 years old and in 4th grade, Darriyah has been at Little Lights since she was three years old. And her mother, Crystal, attended Little Lights before her.

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