As we wrap up renovations at the new 1430 Center, Little Lights is also rolling out a brand new program.

Developing Students for Service is a new leadership program designed for our middle school students at Potomac Gardens and Hopkins.

The program was created to expose students to basic work and life skills as they explore opportunities to serve others. In addition, we hope students will gain a sense of responsibility and a positive view of themselves as they cultivate an attitude of service, and grow into capable members and leaders among their peers and in their community.

Abby and Karmen, Program Managers at Potomac Gardens Center and Hopkins Center, worked together to establish the program at their sites.

Abby shared what ignited the idea for the program.

“We wanted to encourage our students to have more responsibility at Homework Club by giving them tasks where they can follow through. We see their potential to do more and want to provide an opportunity for them to learn skills and become more responsible and ready as they enter high school.”

In March, students interested in the program were interviewed and then selected to join. Starting this month, each student is assigned a day or week to be the leader – helping with tasks like front desk check in, dinner time prep and clean up, and assisting with Chill Station.

The seven students currently involved are held to high standards. Following rules, attendance, and behavior are all taken into account as part of their leadership role. At the end of the semester students will be rewarded with a fun outing, like laser tag or going to a movie.

Abby and Karmen hope to see even more students join as the program gains momentum.

“This is is a pilot program for the spring – we hope to have more kids join in the fall. We want to see the kids make the space their own by contributing to how it runs.”