Who We Are

OUR STORY

It Began With
A Friendship

In 1995, while helping run a DC day camp for under-resourced students, our founder Steve Park met an 8th grader named Darrell. That encounter changed the course of Steve's life. When Steve realized Darrell could not read a simple Dr. Seuss book, he was heartbroken and felt a call to spend his life working to help students like Darrell.

Since the beginning, Little Lights has provided sanctuaries of encouragement, hope, and practical assistance to underserved children, youth, and families in Washington, DC with a heart for racial and class reonciliation.

We envision families being strengthened, children and youth becoming healthier and safer, and loving relationships flourishing.

Today Little Lights continues to holistically serve roughly 200 students and 300 adults each year who live in DC's public housing communities. By being part of our community for 25 years now, we’ve been able to witness, first hand, the progress and joy of our work carried through generations of families.

Over the years our mission has expanded to focus not only on children but also on their families and neighborhoods. Little Lights works to empower and uplift families academically, economically, spiritually, and emotionally.

We urge anyone interested to join us in our goal of empowering kids and families throughout D.C.

Volunteer Today

OUR IMPACT AND MISSION

All for the children and families of D.C.

MISSION

To empower underserved youth, families, and communities in Washington DC by sharing the hope of Christ through compassionate action, caring relationships, and racial reconciliation.

VISION

To help rebuild communities through prayer, racial and class reconciliation, and tangible resources that promote academic and personal success.

IMPACT

We provide our students with intensive year-round support from ages 3 through 18. Many of our students connect with Little Lights 5-7 days a week. We also serve more than hundreds of adults in the community through our adult programs and are the leading job provider at Potomac Gardens and Hopkins. We are committed to our public housing communities for the long haul with multi-generational, holistic programs. Little Lights also typically recruits more than 700 volunteers annually.

OUR CORE VALUES

At Little Lights, lives are transformed daily by prayer, compassionate action, and hope.

OUR COMMUNITIES

A community that is tightly knit, supportive, and resilient.

The public housing communities we serve are tightly knit, supportive, and resilient in the face of so many challenges.

As the result of decades of federally-sanctioned discriminatory housing practices, the city of DC remains largely segregated and the most concentrated areas of poverty are DC’s public housing communities. These public housing neighborhoods are predominantly African-American and families often struggle to exist on just 17% of the median DC income – roughly $14,000 per year. 

Of our students, 85% are reading below grade level. The public schools in our neighborhoods show student proficiency in reading and math only in the single digits. Tragically, these shortcomings in academics are also accompanied by food insecurity, poor medical care, community violence, over-policing, and dire job prospects.

At Little Lights, we believe that these challenges are best met with a two-pronged approach: We work to combat the systemic structures that create inequity and we also work to equip children and families with the resources and relationships they need to overcome the barriers in their way.

What We Do

Meet Our Team

Our Board of Directors

Ted Kim - Board Chairman

Deputy Associate Director, Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations, USCIS

Steve Park - Board President

Executive Director at Little Lights Urban Ministries

LaToya Archibald - Secretary

Doula & Birth Justice Advocate

Derek Sykes - Treasurer

Vice President of Finance and Operations at Community of Hope

Matt Luecke - Member

Deputy Associate Director at Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Andrew Biggers - Member

Partner/Realtor at The Gaskins Team / Keller Williams Realty

Jake Thomsen - Member

Principal at Sovereign’s Capital Management

Anthony Minter - Member

Pastor of First Rock Baptist Church

Kay Kim - Member

Director of Practice Innovation, Simpson Thacher LLP

David King - Member

President & Founder, Neuma Consulting, LLC

Jared Noetzel - Member

Director of Strategic Partnerships, Stand Together

Cherie Bellamy - Member

President, LaVie Medical

Alex Knight - Member

Vice President of Business Development, Cooley LLP

Andrew Ho - Member

Director of Development, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Michael Oh - Member

Director, FINRA, Office of Financial Innovation

Phillip Lee

Associate, DLA Piper LLP

Audrey Donnell

Founder, Audrey Donnell Coaching & Consulting