I'm serving youth and families in need.

At Ascending Lights we believe that every church should have the leaders it needs to break the cycle of poverty and violence. Through mentoring and community college scholarships, we’re empowering the next generation of Christian leaders to transform Los Angeles.

Meet Cynthia Sanchez (Saint Marcelinus Catholic Church)Since entering our program last fall, she’s completed 38 units across 11 courses at East Los Angeles College (ELAC). Three times in four semesters, she’s earned a 4.0 GPA. She’s been admitted to the Honors Program. And, with the support of her mentor, Cynthia is discerning a major and future career to compliment her gifts!

With our support, Cynthia is receiving the mentoring, tutoring, and academic and spiritual nurture necessary to succeed while serving a deserving community at Saint Mercelinus Church.

At Saint Mercelinus Church, Cynthia serves youth and families in need. From organizing weekend retreats to staffing charity yard sales, her outreach work is making a important difference for families impacted by poverty, drug abuse, or addiction.

About 10 years ago, Saint Mercelinus church in decline, Cynthia says. However new vision and leadership inspired service from parishioners like herself. “I’ve gone to this church since I was child. I’ve witnessed it’s growth and my family has been a big part of it,” Cynthia says. 

Today, with the support of Ascending Lights, Cynthia is more involved than ever in church-based leadership.

On Saturdays, she serves as a volunteer coordinator in the church rectory, answering questions, taking calls, and helping match students with service opportunities at the church. Thanks to Cynthia, more than 20 students and their families are currently being served. “The Confirmation program is important to area kids because it opens their eyes to how they can help others in need,” Cynthia says. “Not just at their own church but in the wider community.”         

 Cynthia Sanchez (Saint Marcelinus Catholic Church) on the campus of East Los Angeles College, 2016.

Cynthia Sanchez (Saint Marcelinus Catholic Church) on the campus of East Los Angeles College, 2016.

“When things feel impossible, Ascending Lights reminds me to work hard, keep pushing forward, and trust God that, little by little, I’ll accomplish my goals!”

We’re thrilled to partner with donors and Saint Marcelinus Catholic Church to support Cynthia.

“Starting college, I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know how to get there,” she says, discussing her academic interests. “Because my parents haven’t gone to college, they can offer support, but they can’t organize an educational plan to show me the way.” With Ascending Lights, Cynthia is receiving the mentoring, tutoring, and academic and spiritual nurture necessary to succeed while serving a deserving community around Saint Mercelinus Church.

“Thank you,” Cynthia says. “When things feel impossible, Ascending Lights reminds me to work hard, keep pushing forward, and trust God that, little by little, I’ll accomplish my goals!”

Cynthia Sanchez serves Saint Marcelinus Catholic Church in Commerce. She's studying Chemistry and Biology at East Los Angeles College. In the future, she hopes to have a career in Medicine, and possibly become a doctor. She maintains a 3.9 GPA.