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Our Story

Our Purpose


We help children and families create a future where they are prepared to achieve and ready to pursue an elevated life.


We provide the support, guidance, and exposure to life experiences that will allow children and their families to envision a path for their own vision of a brighter tomorrow.

How do we achieve our mission, vision, and purpose?

By ensuring that children/families join our community and stay in programs that deliver a long continuum of comprehensive support, which compound the investment of impact over many years through a focus on:

GROW: Healthy Bodies

DISCOVER: Strong Minds

SUCCEED: Bright Futures

Beacon Place is committed to believing that these limits and lack of opportunities should not become permanent obstacles. We have a bold vision to provide the guidance, support, and exposure to life experiences that will allow these children and their families to dream and achieve more, preparing them for life-long opportunities. 


We are here to change the trajectory of this community. We believe that success is not only possible but imperative for the children and families in our neighborhood. We don’t just want children to dare to dream of being more; we expect it. Since our beginning in 2012, Beacon Place has brought a vision of hope to nearly 5,000 children and families, changing lives, building futures, and lifting a community.

Bridging Education and Community Needs

Working together for brighter tomorrows

The Big Blue House giving hope to dreams

It’s not what we say, it’s what we inspire

Hoping and healing together

Big Impact, Bright Futures

Big Impact, Bright Futures

Our History

2013: Building a Foundation and a Team Official 501c3 status obtained in early 2013 – all-volunteer staff and operating board. Acquisition of abandoned "Big Blue House".

2014: Expanding Programs and Fundraising Community partnerships grew; the focus on providing food, education, and family support solidified.

2015: New Space, New Opportunities The renovated "new" blue house reopens in spring and becomes a focal point, symbolizing hope and opportunity in the community.

2016: Steps Toward Sustainability Beacon Place takes steps towards sustainability, recruiting paid staff and formalizing roles.

2017:  Beacon Place further strengthens its programming, education, and community connections. A new state-of-the-art facility, the "Annex," is envisioned. The old garage is knocked down and construction commences.

2018: Construction of the new annex is complete by June with significant community support, more than 2/3 is donated labor and materials from the building and trades community.

2019:  Non-founder ED, and local Waukegan resident Germain Castellano’s is hired in Feb and serves until September.

2020: Leading through a crisis Second Founder is asked to step in in January to serve as ED and DD until new ED is hired search planned to commence in March.

2021: Moving Beyond a Crisis and the Challenge of Recovery The second BP nominee is accepted as a POSSE Scholar for a full, 4-year university scholarship.

2022: The Beginning of Rebuilding The third BP nominee is accepted as a POSSE Scholar for a full, 4-year university scholarship; all high school seniors accepted into college – 2/3 at 4-year universities with nearly full scholarships

2008-2012: Planting Seeds for Beacon Place Group of friends and volunteers at Holy Family Food Pantry in Waukegan and witness the needs of families and children beyond a bag of food and communities' desire to chart a different path forward, leading to the idea of Beacon Place.

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