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  • Writer's pictureSteve Pemberton

The Human Lighthouse Report Volume 8

Many of us have at least one individual that completely changed the course of our lives through acts of kindness. Heroism exists beyond the wealthy and well-known. It is found in the ordinary people who live alongside us – those who are willing to be lighthouses in a stormy and often unsettled world. These are people like Monica and Rajeev, who decided they would honor their daughter’s life and remember her spirit by improving the lives of others. They remind us that when we honor a life, we are remembering what they meant to us and we are always keeping a part of their light with us. They are true examples of the lighthouse effect.

You’re probably wondering, who are these human lighthouses? What do they do that makes them so impactful? On a weekly basis we cover some of these stories of real people making a big impact on their communities-and in doing so they help us find our more common story. Sarah LaFave

As a sophomore at University of Delaware, Sarah LaFave founded Lori’s Hands, a club which supports those struggling with chronic illnesses. After her mom passed away from breast cancer, she wanted to honor her by creating a community of people who can help them have a higher quality of life. There are now communities of student volunteers in Newark, Detroit, and Baltimore who spend an hour a week visiting with individuals with chronic illness.

Creating community is one of the best ways to spread love and hope for both volunteers and those who are struggling.

Reshma Saujani

At the start of her career, Reshma was an attorney and activist. In 2010, she became the first Indian-American woman to run for U.S. Congress, launching her political career.

While she was campaigning, Reshma visited local schools and identified the gender gap in computer classes. It was shocking, and she decided that something needed to be done. This is what led Reshma to start Girls Who Code, a nonprofit which seeks to encourage girls to get into tech–regardless of typical stereotypes. Reshma said, “Girls Who Code is more than an international non-profit. We are a movement.” Her leadership is demonstrated in the fact that she stepped back from her own initiative to solve a problem for others.

Kelly Marsoli & Juliet Meskers

After losing a friend to suicide, Kelly and Juliet decided to start a club called Friends for Friends. Their goal was to remove the stigma surrounding mental health by encouraging conversation around the topic. After graduating college, they worked at a mental health training company where they were educated on how they could help and assist people. While they were there, however, they saw that the systems put in place were outdated and ineffective for many people. That’s when they decided to start the Mental Health Global Network. Kelly and Juliet have left a lasting impression on many individuals and employees and are currently developing click-through training sessions.

Do you have a Lighthouse you want to thank?

Human Lighthouses are often humble, steady, and seek no reward. That is why they should be honored that much more. If you have a Lighthouse in your life that you want to thank, go to and fill in their information. A thank you certificate with a special message of recognition will be sent to them that includes their name, your name, and is signed by The Lighthouse Effect author Steve Pemberton.

Lighthouse Effect Thought of The Week

True leaders take action without checking to see if anyone is looking; for there is no better reward than making a fundamental difference in someone’s life.

The Lighthouse Effect is the idea that any of us - immersed in the hustle and bustle of our lives, wrestling with our own ambitions and imperfections - can pause, and change the arc of a life now and for generations to come.

See a video about The Lighthouse Effect

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