Xavier and Kaylen know the importance of opportunity.

Kaylen grew up in the Cabrini-Green community--and at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm. For seven years, she attended summer programming for students and learned about "the earth and how it works. It takes a lot of work to grow an abundant gardensupport, respect, tending, planning, play, tutoring. It's so important to give all kids opportunities like this to learn."

Xavier moved around a lot as a kid to get away from neighborhood violence. After he started attending Loyola Academy in high school, he "saw the abundance and wealth disparity," he says.

His relationship with Liz, his mentor through Chicago Lights Tutoring, provided a supportive, one-to-one connection and resources to graduate from high school and attend college. "Without her and that program, I would not be set up for success. Chicago Lights is one of the most stable forces in my life," he says.

"I was a kid, just like any other kid, in a world that is not equal. Chicago Lights gave me the opportunities that I needed to develop and continues to be that stable influence that I can count on to help me grow."
"Our stories are just one of many. Be a part of building brighter futures," Xavier says.

You're invited to make a difference today. Please consider making a gift to support the programs that provide enriching opportunities to young people like Kaylen and Xavier as they learn and grow into the adults they are meant to be.
Your support today especially makes an impact as students continue to meet one-to-one with their mentors virtually and end the school year strong. The Urban Farm also prepares to host high school students for job training and educational programming on site this summer--for the first time in over a year.

Thank you for partnering with young people to give opportunity and to make a difference.
With hope,
Stacy Jackson Headshot
Stacy Jackson
Stacy Jackson
Executive Director
Black lives matter to Chicago Lights. We are working to ensure that Chicago Lights is not only not racist, but that we are decidedly anti-racist.

Chicago Lights builds brighter futures for Chicago's youth and adults through supportive relationships and life-changing programs.

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