“If you can’t find a job, it’s your fault.”

It’s a sentiment widely accepted – hard work and determination are the only keys to success, regardless of circumstance. But what if that is not always the case?

Our recent Little Lights Breakfast, held on April 26th, provided a space for our supporters and partners to have a genuine conversation about the employment barriers facing under-resourced neighborhoods with real-life examples of the obstacles individual’s face during their job search.

Many can agree that if you don’t have the necessary tools, the work will be left undone. Unfortunately, urban public housing communities often lack key resources (e.g., transportation, internet access, poor housing). Little Lights is determined to bridge that gap for the children and families we serve by creating innovative jobs solutions and assistance for the residents of Potomac Gardens and Hopkins.

Six panelists, including our Executive Director, Steve Park and moderator, Beth Harlan of Georgetown University painted a compelling picture of how important the Family Center and Little Lights’ workforce programs, like the Clean Green Team, are to our community.

Clean Green Team Manager, Antonio, discussed with the audience how his position has allowed him to grow mentally and spiritually and has taught him how to take on responsibility and leadership roles. Shantelle shared her experience using the Family Center and the struggle she faces as a triage nurse to find work in the field. While Cierra, a Little Lights alumna and college graduate, spoke on the impact Little Lights had on her life while growing up in Potomac Gardens. She now has the opportunity to encourage the students in our programs to go to college and reach their goals.

We closed our morning by inviting our community of supporters to join us in strengthening our work, which they did by giving more than $16,000! That funding will help us continue employing adults and equipping them for a successful future.

Thank you to everyone who played a part in making this Little Lights Breakfast a memorable success.

And a big thank you goes out to our corporate sponsor: City First Bank.