Kenitha Grooms-Williams, LMSW, A native New Orleanian, began volunteering with Lantern Light in 2009 after meeting Sr. Enid Storey at St. Peter Claver Church. She volunteered with Lantern Light while working on her Master’s Degree in Social Work after leaving a ten year career in Advertising and Public Relations. Several years later, she increased her volunteer time with the organization and was asked to join the staff as a Social Worker in 2013. Kenitha’s responsibilities have included obtaining ID’s and birth certificates, assisting with the food bank program and coordinating the notary services. She also resumed the food stamp application service after Second Harvest discontinued the program at the Rebuild Center, added services to apply for Medicaid, Child Care and Permanent Residency Cards, as well as expanding the employment assistance program. Kenitha is truly grateful for the opportunity to continue what she believes is a remarkable ministry for the homeless and less fortunate of New Orleans and knows that her work with Lantern Light has enabled her to fulfill her true calling, which is to serve.

Monique Ceasar, CSW, a native New Orleanian, began at Lantern Light in 2019. She received a Bachelor’s Degree of Social Work from Southern University at New Orleans in 2018 and   Although it’s been a little over a year, Monique has truly found a level of comfort in working at Lantern Light. As a social worker who has only been in the industry for a few years, Monique’s knowledge in the field of social work, coupled with a passion for helping others, has been a true asset to our agency and the people we serve. When asked why she chose to be a social worker, Monique responded “I didn’t choose Social Work, Social Work chose me.” Whether it was helping family, friends, strangers with their challenges with mental illness, some sort of addiction, and/or life crises, she was the go to person.  Reared in a family of service and love for mankind, Monique grew fond of working with those challenged with mental illness and/or addiction within the homeless population. After working in the hospitality industry for almost 15 years, Monique realized that she hated serving people and was much better at helping people!  Helping people has been something Monique has always done and excelled in. Though working within the social work field is quite challenging and requires hard work at times, it doesn’t feel like much work because Monique loves what she does.

Syretta Atkins, a native New Orleanian, has been our Mail Services Coordinator since June 2019.  Although most of her training was on the job, she quickly adapted to the array of new registrants and the hundreds of pieces of mail received weekly.  Syretta is a graduate of Northwestern State University of Louisiana where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies with a concentration in social sciences. This fall, Syretta Atkins will be serving an additional role at Lantern Light, as she will be completing an internship as a graduate student from Southern University at New Orleans where she’s pursing a master’s degree in Social Work.

Beth Monahan, a native of the state of New York, spent 30 exciting and rewarding years at Corning, Inc. where she worked in research and development. In 2014, she needed to escape the upstate New York winter and decided to come to New Orleans for 3 months. After spending the first weeks doing essentially noting but eating, it became obvious to her that she needed to do something more productive. As luck would have it, an acquaintance in the city knew one of Lantern Light’s volunteers and the rest is history. She met David Hardin and Sisters Vera and Enid, and was immediately sold on the Lantern Light Ministry. Beth currently serves as the Kitchen Coordinator and states that, “after working here for only a few months I can’t praise the volunteers and staff of Lantern Light enough. Their hard work, commitment, and friendliness are amazing and so much appreciated.




Stephen Braud – Chairman
Regina Molony – Vice Chairman
Eleanora Brooks – Secretary
Steve Orkus – Treasurer
Kenitha Grooms-Williams – Ex Officio/Executive Director
Elaine Bergeron – Member
David Hardin – Member
Hunter Harris – Member
Steve Sabrier – Member
Mary Lou Specha – Member
Ed Campell Wallace – Member