Louisville, Ky--Lighthouse Academy is a family affair for the Kheon and Kamry.

Their older twin brothers who are now 20 years old attended when they were the same age.

"If I didn't come here I wouldn't be active that much. I would just be sitting on coach watching TV  or just be playing my Xbox," Kheon Dixon-Collier said. 

For two decades now Lighthouse has offered hundreds of kids the opportunity to have a free place to come after school in Louisville’s Newburg neighborhood.

"It makes me feel like people care about me," Kamry Dixon-Wade said.

Young people receive some help with their homework along with a healthy snack.

"It's good because at school usually I eat at 12:00 o'clock and I have to come here and I can eat," Dixon-Collier said.

The program gives these students a chance to get to know other kids their age.

They can bond over books or fill their time in the computer lab.

All of it in a caring environment that welcomes students in kindergarten through 8th grade.

"They are not just students to us they are our babies,"  Cynthia Overall said.

Cynthia Overall is the director of operations and student services.

She’s one of the first faces the students see each day.

"If you consider somebody family you want to know what's going on them and that's our thing we want to know exactly what is going on with our students," Overall said. 

Overall says kids come from all different backgrounds.

Some are at risk, while others have parents who simply cannot afford after school care.

Overall makes it her business to understand each situation on an individual basis.

"Once you know the family and know what's going on in the inside you can kind of feel how to deal with each student because each student is not the same you have to deal with them on different levels," Overall said. 

Kamry and Kheon's mom says she was a latchkey child.

And she’s thankful that Lighthouse is providing her boys with a supportive environment.

"My street is ok but it's in a rougher kind of neighborhood, so just the fact they are getting off a bus and they are coming here, they are get a meal, and they get help with their homework.  It's like something I definitely don't take for granted because I know personally that sometimes it wasn't always available. You know before the Lighthouse I was scrapping to make ends meat to pay daycare," Kemae Dixon said. 

Overall knows it takes a village to raise a child.

She says every parent needs people willing to step in when they have pressing responsibilities to simply answer the call.

"I don't have any fancy words or anything to say this is what we do to make this work. We love them and we push them, we hold them accountable," Overall said. 

There may not be a magic secret but for twenty years Lighthouse Academy continues to be a beacon of light in the community.

Learn more about Lighthouse Academy here.