Fly By Light

Fly By Light

Fly By Light (FBL) employs a holistic, transformative approach to youth education, supporting youth to reach their academic and professional goals while developing healthy means to cope with trauma, violence, and discrimination.


Award-Winning Youth Development Programming

Our award-winning program model combines social-emotional learning, leadership development, mindfulness, restorative justice, and non-violence practices through the gripping medium of art and music. Youth emerge from Fly By Light as more active and engaged community members, empowered to create a positive impact in their own lives and communities.

Fly By Light offers the following services to students, parents, and faculty:


“This retreat has really expanded my enlightenment journey and I am so much more serene and calm being around nothing but nature and listening to the wind and trees and beautiful birds and feeling the grass on my bare feet and hugging trees all week.”

—Fly By Light High School Retreat Participant

FBL Film Trailer

Fly By Light Core Pillars

Five Pillars of Fly By Light

Fly By Light centers upon five core pillars designed to help students find their inner light and use that light to fly. We believe that these pillars extend beyond the Fly By Light Program and are traits that we can all connect to. The Fly By Light core pillars are

  • Artistic Expression
  • Social Emotional Literacy
  • Health and Wellness
  • Environmental Leadership
  • and Social Justice.

Stories of Impact

STORY #20 – The Melody Lingers On

November 4, 2021

In early 2015, a colleague invited me to see “Fly By Light,” a new film premiering at a local community spot in Washington, DC. Once I saw the movie trailer, I jumped at the opportunity to see it.

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STORY #19: OCU’s Intention Room®

September 12, 2021

Our students are returning to school after an extremely challenging year, one in which many have grappled with extreme stress and trauma. More than ever, we need to support youth, not punish them, when they are faced with difficulty.

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STORY #18: OCU’s “DC-Deep” Model

July 29, 2021

“It is so thrilling to start with a small idea or concept, then to come together and combine our strengths and resources to create something bigger and more beautiful than we could have imagined.”~ Michele, OCU School-Based Mental Health Clinician One Common Unity (OCU) and DCPS’ Perry Street Preparatory (PSP) Public Charter School began a…

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STORY #17: The Power of Retreat

July 1, 2021

What’s so special about retreats? One Common Unity’s retreats are where some of the most transformative magic happens. It’s a significant component of our curriculum and something that makes our program stand apart. Students can really immerse themselves, allowing the values and tools we teach to become lifelong allies. We can plan for months to…

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STORY #15: Environmental Leadership Pillar

April 20, 2021

“Our young people are not just the leaders of the future, they are the leaders of today. We hope that through this pillar they build personal relationships with the planet and an understanding of the interdependence between the health of the planet and the health of our communities.” -Madison OCU’s fifth pillar is Environmental Leadership.…

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STORY #13: Social Justice Pillar

March 1, 2021

“Social justice is the idea that human beings, institutions, and systems can be reborn and reshaped to make marginalized groups better off without making others worse off.”  – Johneé Johneé Wilson is a program facilitator and National Training Organizer at One Common Unity. She creates interactive and dynamic learning experiences for middle and high school…

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Meet Our Facilitators

Jake Frelick

Senior Director of Programs

Shaden Dowiatt

Director of Out-of-School Time and Engagement

Johneé Wilson

Director of Training

Madison Mccoy

Program Manager

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