Consistent with one of our core values, continuous learning, we commissioned an independent research study to assess the impact of the LIGHT Awards program. Links to the report are below.

2023 Impact report cover

Positive Impact on Teachers’ Professional Growth & Development

After 10 years of supporting the professional learning of nearly 450 Bay Area teachers, the evidence collected suggests that the LIGHT Awards program has been successful in fostering teachers’ growth and development, as observed through four primary indicators: 

  1. enhancing instructional practices;
  2. strengthening positive identity markers;
  3. boosting resilience and motivation to improve their craft; and
  4. building leadership capacity

The report identifies 10 key findings through the analysis of the research data. One of our favorite findings is this one:

“The LIGHT Awards experience had a significant positive impact on teachers’ professional identities, with many reporting increased happiness, joy, and satisfaction in their work as a result of their involvement.”

Numerous teachers cited their participation in the LIGHT Awards program as a highlight of their careers, and as an experience that helps to sustain them during challenging times in their profession and lives.

Educators who participated in the research credit the experience with providing them a renewed sense of purpose and direction in their teaching, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues, and pursue projects that aligned with their passions and interests.

Study results included the following:

  • agreed it was important to design their learning 100% 100%
  • made pedagogical changes in their teaching practice 98% 98%
  • created a resource still in use 91% 91%
  • increased their leadership skills 75% 75%
  • increased their connection with colleagues 97% 97%
  • reported a sense of accomplishment 81% 81%

Teacher Reflections on the LIGHT Awards Experience


Overall what I’ve gained is an incredible appreciation for team work and collaboration and also an appreciation for being able to be creative and take risks, which I think is one of the best parts of the LIGHT Awards. You can design your own learning with few strings attached.

It allows teachers to tap into the creative part which ultimately fuels their passion for the profession.

I can wholeheartedly say that the year after the LIGHT Awards and what [students] could do… was night and day. My sense of pride too, the validation for the hard work we were putting in.

Students were benefiting from it. That’s what I needed to see… I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of the award. [Student] output was so much better.


(The) LIGHT Awards became a vehicle for me to grow my passion and stay on my path and journey to becoming an anti-racist educator and leader.

I am indebted to LIGHT Awards for this unique opportunity, especially because I have grown a greater sense of confidence and resilience to do the work.


The LIGHT Awards allowed us to keep growing and developing as educators.

We ask kids to always be open to growth and this helps keep us accountable for the same mindset.

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