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They’re always there

CAMILLE (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. 

Less than a month after moving to the neighborhood, Camille found the Little Lights Family Center, an onsite resource center for adults offering a computer lab and job search assistance. When she entered the Family Center she was warmly greeted by Ms. Linda who pointed her in the direction of the computer lab. Ms. Linda mentioned Camille’s ongoing job search to Mary, Little Lights’ Deputy Director. Mary interviewed Camille and brought her on to work as a part-time employee at Little Lights. “To this day,” Camille shares, “I know that I can always call on Ms. Linda and Mary.”

After coming on staff, Camille learned about the holistic scope of programs Little Lights offered and quickly enrolled Jaylyn and Jerry into Homework Club and Reading and Math Heroes. 

Not too long after enrolling her children in Little Lights afterschool programs, Camille put each of them on the waiting list to be matched with a mentor in Little Lights Christian Mentoring Program.

Jerry was matched with his mentor, Kyle, in 2014. Their personal talks about faith, family, and education have spurred Jerry on, encouraging him to prioritize the most important things in his life, like graduating from high school.  At Jerry’s graduation this past year, Kyle stood next to Camille, cheering Jerry on. “That meant a lot to Jerry,” Camille reminisced, “because several of his family members were unable to make it.”  

Jaylyn was matched with her Little Lights mentor, Jennifer, last year, and have since  grown very close. “Jennifer always checks in on Jaylyn,” Camille shared. “My children can talk to their mentors about anything and they know they’ll be heard and listened to. My children’s mentors are both loving and respectful and we are so thankful to have them in our lives.”

“Little Lights is a support system for me and my family. When my mother was in the hospital they prayed with me and encouraged my faith. When my son needed a coat during the winter and my daughter needed uniforms for school, Little Lights was there for us.”

“Little Lights cares about meeting the needs of families, whether it’s needing clothing or diapers. That’s why they’ve been around for 25 years — because they care.”

Through youth development, economic empowerment and relational support, Little Lights helps underserved youth and families flourish. Learn more about our work and how you can help make our communities more equitable for all.