CHICAGO LIGHTS

Building Brighter Futures

Chicago, IL   |  www.chicagolights.org

Mission

Chicago Lights builds brighter futures for Chicago’s youth and adults through supportive relationships and life-changing programs. We provide creative youth development and adult social services that help people build the skills they need to transcend systemic barriers and lead fulfilling lives. We partner with Chicago’s youth and adults in mentoring, supportive services, academic enrichment, career development, and arts education.

Ruling year info

1991

Executive Director

Ms. Stacy Jackson

Main address

126 E Chestnut St

Chicago, IL 60611 USA

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Formerly known as

Partners in Education

EIN

36-3786331

NTEE code info

Adult, Child Matching Programs (O30)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Chicago Lights believes every person deserves access to the resources they need to overcome systemic barriers and achieve their ambitions. With nearly 77,000 people experiencing homelessness, 1 in 7 people experiencing food insecurity, and an increase in educational disparities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chicago Lights’ programs are vital now more than ever to make our community more equitable for all.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Chicago Lights Tutoring

Chicago Lights Tutoring provides weekly tutoring sessions for 440 children in grades one through twelve, mainly from the Near North, Near West, and South Side neighborhoods. Students come to our site at Fourth Presbyterian Church one night a week from October to May and are individually matched with a one-to-one volunteer tutor/mentor. Healthy meals, creative enrichment, Peace Club, computer lab access, job training opportunities, internships, scholarships, and literacy activities are key components of the program, which operates four evenings a week during the
school year.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Chicago Lights Social Service Center helps 1,300 adults achieve individual goals through case management and enrichment groups, plus appointments for food, clothing, housing case management, and other resources.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Chicago Lights Dance Academy supports learning and creative self-expression through dance instruction for 1,500 students attending Chicago schools.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Chicago Lights Urban Farm cultivates an engaged community through educational and employment opportunities and access to fresh, local, and sustainably grown produce.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Adults

Chicago Lights Summer Day is a six-week program that provides a safe place and reduces summer learning loss for 125 first through ninth graders to learn and engage in academic, arts, and enrichment classes each summer. At the end of the session, students present a dynamic, multicultural arts performance for the community.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Chicago Lights aims to build brighter futures for Chicago’s youth and adults through supportive relationships and life-changing programs. We foster students’ academic and socio-emotional growth as they graduate from high school and pursue meaningful careers. We also partner with adults on their journey toward greater stability.

Chicago Lights provides creative youth development and adult social services that help people build the skills they need to transcend systemic barriers and lead fulfilling lives. We partner with Chicago’s youth and adults in mentoring, supportive services, academic enrichment, career development, and arts education.

Our youth development programming includes Tutoring, Summer Day, the Urban Farm, and the Dance Academy. Through one-to-one mentoring, academic and arts classes, career development and on-the-job training, these programs promote both educational and enrichment skills and encourage students to graduate from high school and pursue meaningful careers.

We also assist adults experiencing homelessness or the challenges of poverty to achieve individual goals through case management and enrichment groups, plus appointments for food, clothing, housing case management, and other resources.

Being based in downtown Chicago allows us to be a central meeting place for people from different neighborhoods and to provide adults and students with a wide variety of services. We also have a long history and reputation in the community as the nonprofit at Fourth Presbyterian Church and the launch of our flagship program, Tutoring, in 1964. None of this work would be possible without the dedication and generosity of over 1,000 volunteers and over 1,600 individual donors, foundations, and corporate partners.

Chicago Lights continues to support both youth and adults in their efforts to build brighter futures for themselves. In 2020, our Tutoring program saw a 100% high school graduation rate. Through the Social Service Center, 646 case management appointments were held over the phone to assist guests with goals related to housing, health, employment, and more. Our family-oriented, individualized approach deepens our impact as youth and adults gain the resources they need to lead fulfilling lives.

Since the inception of Tutoring in 1964, Chicago Lights has partnered with more than 50,000 people. Today, we annually partner with more than 4,000 individuals through mentoring, supportive services, academic enrichment, career development, and arts education. Moving forward, we are expanding case management and mental health services to youth and their families, piloting the Housing Opportunities Program (HOP), which provides housing subsidies and support to adults; and working to become an antiracist organization.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Chicago Lights participants are youth and adults primarily from the Near North, Near West, and South Side neighborhoods.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

CHICAGO LIGHTS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CHICAGO LIGHTS

Board of directors
as of 9/17/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Nicholas VanDerSchie

Morningstar Investment Management, LLC

Term: 2021 - 2023

Amanda Felt

University of Chicago Booth School of Business / The Center for Advanced Emotional Intelligence

Cindy Hull

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Naresh Koka

Valorem Reply

Joseph Tyler III

Bank of America N.A.

John Marr

The Higher Learning Commission

Andrew McGaan

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Beth Truett

Aging with Grace, Inc.

Georgia Tsagalis

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Kathryn Bates

Bates Development Services

Cassandra Book

Michigan State University (Retired)

Justin Epps

Shannon Kershner

Fourth Presbyterian Church

David Kimbell

Ulta Beauty

Marcus Mason-Vivit

RE/MAX Cornerstone

Glenn Richter

TIAA (Retired)

Peter Shannon

Eagle Seven Trading

Martina Smith

Gretchen Van Natta

Roosevelt University (Retired)

Nicholas VanDerSchie

Morningstar Investment Management, LLC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/16/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/16/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.