Description & History

In 2004, Chicago Lights was founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community outreach organization that reflects and expands Fourth Presbyterian Church’s historic commitment to serve the city and its urban neighbors. It is the successor to the first nonprofit organization of Fourth Church, which was Partners in Education, founded in 1991. Chicago Lights’ commitment to education is part of our heritage, dating to the establishment of the Tutoring program in 1964. Steeped in a deep commitment to education and social justice, which is inherent in the Presbyterian denomination’s legacy of establishing colleges and universities and standing with people often disinherited by society, a small group of Fourth Presbyterian Church members headed to Cabrini-Green to offer tutoring to children in the newly established “projects.” Today, the commitment to education and literacy lives on, and is greatly expanded. Since the inception of Tutoring in 1964, we have served more than 50,000 people. Today, we annually serve more than 4,000 individuals of all races, ethnic backgrounds, and religious traditions. Our core service areas include one-to-one tutoring and mentoring, arts education, social services, and urban farming.

About the organization

Chicago Lights

Kris Adamik
Communications Manager
Fernie Tiflis
Program Manager, Tutoring and Summer Day
Stephanie Budd
Associate Director, Urban Farm
Jill Keiser
Volunteer Program Manager, Elam Davies Social Service Center
Organization’s website: