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Who We Are


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 reconciliation.

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

Today Little Lights continues to holistically serves roughly 250 students and 250 adults each year who live in DC's public housing communities. By being part of our community for 29 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


All for the children and families of D.C.


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


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


We provide our students with intensive year-round support from ages 4 through young adulthood. Many of our students connect with Little Lights 5-7 days a week. We also serve 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.


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


A community that is tightly knit, supportive, and resilient in the face of 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 $17,000 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

Derek Sykes - Board Chairman

Vice President of Finance and Operations, Community of Hope

Steve Park - Board President

Executive Director at Little Lights Urban Ministries

Andrew Ho - Vice Chair

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

Muteba Mukendi - Treasurer

Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP

LaToya Archibald - Secretary

Director of Operations, Leadership and Governance, International Association for the Study of Pain

Matt Luecke - Member

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

Kay Kim - Member

Chief Practice Innovation Officer, Paul Hastings

Cherie Bellamy - Member

President, LaVie Medical

Alex Knight - Member

Vice President of Business Development, Cooley LLP

Michael Oh - Member

Director, FINRA, Office of Financial Innovation

Phillip Lee - Member

Associate, DLA Piper LLP

Audrey Donnell - Member

Founder, Audrey Donnell Coaching & Consulting

Tina Yoon - Member

Director of Philanthropy Consulting, The Nature Conservancy

Candace Essel - Member

Pharmacy Manager of Regional Outpatient Centers - Maryland, Children's National Hospital

Olutosin Oguntunde - Member

Managing Director, Accenture Security LLP

TL Rogers - Member

Pastor Emeritus, Triumphant Church & Founder, Triumphant Relations Ministry

Amy Sareeram - Member

CEO & Leadership Coach, Ignite Coaching & Consulting