WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) - Every afternoon youngsters flock to the Beacon House. After signing in, they take part in a myriad of educational activities, including a nutritional meal, music and art. Sixteen-year-old Angel Gray has been coming here for seven years. She found, "It's a place for me to do my homework, to get tutoring, to go to football games". Now she is a youth mentor and tutor.
The program is the dream of Reverend Donald Robinson. Twenty years ago when he started the Beacon House, crime was high in the neighborhood, drugs were rampant and youngsters were on the wrong path. Robinson says, "After seeing the conditions and the things that these children live in I just decided that I would try to find a program that I could be apart of or either start one of my own, to try and help these children and lift them out of the situation they were in."
Robinson's dream worked. Educational programs improved reading and math skills, athletic programs taught discipline and leadership principles, and the youngsters came because Beacon House was fun. Through the years the hard work has paid off, and more than sixty three young people have left the program to go to college.
For over 21 years Beacon House has been nurturing young people and changing lives. And although most of the youth reside in and around Edgewood Terrace neighborhood-- no one is turned away. It has been named one of the best small charities in the Washington D.C. area.