Empowering youth to change the world with simple technology


About Us

Through the exploration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), middle and high school students learn how to build sustainable renewable lighting systems for installation in off-grid communities.


These sustainable, renewable lighting systems then enable students in underserved countries to advance their educations while giving students here the opportunity to experience "service above self."


Emphasizing Science, Sustainability and Service Above Self, Lighting for Literacy's ultimate goal is to empower our next generation of humanitarians to make the world a better place.



Introduction to Lighting for Literacy

Co-founders Jesse Salem and Doug McNeil have worked tirelessly to build global partnerships to inspire our next generation of youth.


Initial collaboration with the Los Gatos Morning Rotary, the Los Gatos United Methodist Church and a cadre of community volunteers helped launch Lighting for Literacy's first deployment to Colonet, MexicoRead more about their inspiring background story.

Co-founders Jesse Salem and Doug McNeil honored as Champions of Change at the White House in 2013.

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Expanded Reach

From humble beginnings Lighting for Literacy now has a growing number of participants, partners and deployments including:

Silicon Valley STEM Project/

Science in Action

Deployment in Ghana

Special thanks from the children of the Tairu Orphanage in Ghana

to the students of Fisher Middle School

and the Los Gatos Morning Rotary.

Lighting for Literacy's presence continues to grow locally, nationally and internationally.

First deployment to Colonet, Mexico

Comments & Questions:

        It creates an opportunity for students to realize at a really young age that they can be humanitarians, or innovators, or entrepreneurs.

                                                                                                                      --Co-founder Doug McNeil