We Are Light Inc (WAL) is a nonprofit organization that was birthed out of a need to establish intention, grow ability and cultivate expectation in the darkest areas (on the Westside) of Chicago.
Living in impoverished, densely populated communities often meant receiving little to no support and communal structure. This reality tends to leave youth, its most vulnerable residents, feeling uninspired, betrayed, heartbroken, and lost, without hope in the world.
Youth Leadership Training
(Youth efficacy system)
Opportunity Youth ages 13 – 19 who live in high poverty areas are at risk of narcissism and societal disconnect which leaves youth hopeless and engaged in selfish, risky behavior. This initiative combats social isolation & increases positive youth models by establishing a membership-based community for youth that provides training and workshops in the areas of leadership, business, and entrepreneurship, life skills, family and community engagement along with the necessary social services that promote self & community empowerment.
What we do
The Youth Efficacy System’s primary goal is to prepare youth for leadership in whatever field of work they choose. Youth affected by poverty must develop a high level of civic literacy and critical thinking skills to lead responsibly. Youth must be able to live and work in interdependent and ever-changing environments. They must be able to make intellectual and moral decisions and take action for the common good.
Leadership of this type requires development of traditional management skills such as planning, coordinating, and directing; it also requires an additional set of skills that include collaborative decision making, deal brokering, and resource bridging. This boundary-spanning leadership requires youth agents to learn and hold a standard of ethics and integrity (expounded in its core values: C.L.A.P.), and work within defined structures alongside groups of diverse participants. WAL’s seasoned mentoring team and facilitators will serve as towers of strength to support youth in maintaining alignment as they assimilate to a new value system.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that"
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Participants will be provided the opportunity to learn the importance of behaviors and skills necessary to engage in a healthy lifestyle. Activities will include: nutrition workshops, fitness workshops, mindfulness workshops and the like.
Health education programs help empower individuals and communities to live healthier lives by improving their physical, mental, emotional and social health by increasing their knowledge and influencing their attitudes about caring for their well-being.
Participants will learn the importance of the family structure and its significant impact on the welfare of society. Activities will include (but are not limited to) family counseling, conflict resolution workshops, participating in intergenerational dialogues with parents as well as the elderly in their communities, and setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for family reconciliation and reconnection.