SONY DSCDestiny is often the first child visitors meet at the Bossier LightHouse.

With a huge smile and energy bouncing in as many directions as her pigtails, she knows everyone and wants to be involved in everything.

Sometimes that energy hasn’t helped her in the classroom. But at the LightHouse, she has found an outlet and some help.

Destiny has been attending the after-school program since Kindergarten, and up until recently she struggled in school making C’s and D’s. But this year, she said she has worked harder and it shows in the A’s and B’s on her report card.

“I come to the LightHouse and do my homework and they help me and then I understand,” she said.

Academics are top priority for the LightHouse program. The afternoons usually start with a snack and then homework. Then staff usually have other enrichment activities planned for those who finish, before they move on to games and free time.

Character Development and service are woven into the program, especially for the older children. The goal for each child is to break the cycle of poverty prevalent in their neighborhoods.

Destiny has grown up in the Bossier Housing Authority apartments surrounding the LightHouse, where a high school diploma is rare.

“My neighborhood is drama,” Destiny said. “That’s why we don’t go outside.”

But she knows the LightHouse could help her move to something better.

“If you get an education, you can be whatever you want.”

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