12 Stories of Homecoming: Christen Aldridge

12 Stories of Homecoming - Aldridge

Editor’s Note: This year, Lighthouse will move into our exciting new home. The 12 Stories of Homecoming is a series of stories written about creatives from all walks of Lighthouse that have made us who we are today. We are endlessly grateful for the support from our community and eager to welcome you home so we can open the doors even further, together. 

Christen Aldridge knew from a young age that she was interested in creative writing but wasn’t sure where to start. Fortunately for her, after a doctor’s appointment in 2005 at Children’s Hospital, she wandered into an old Victorian home on Downing Street with a “Lighthouse” sign on the door. Once inside, Aldridge ran directly into Mike Henry, co-founder of Lighthouse, who told her about their youth creative writing program. She began taking classes when she was twelve and continued through her senior year of high school. Aldridge was even part of the first Young Authors Collective (then called the Teen Council). 

Almost 20 years later, Lighthouse is fortunate to still have Aldridge as part of our community. She became reacquainted with Lighthouse through our Writing in Color program. Her writing moves across genres and often contains retellings of stories from Black culture. Since 2019, Aldridge has also taught workshops in our Young Writers Program on subjects like Social Justice Writing, Screenwriting, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, and more. 

Aldridge shared, “I always wanted to be a teacher at Lighthouse so that I could represent people of color and so kids at Lighthouse could see themselves represented in the instructors.” Through her workshops, Aldridge teaches kids how to rebuild what story means and how we can use our voices in powerful ways. She carves out space for kids from historically marginalized groups and encourages them to speak up on what they’re passionate about. She shared, “At the end of each workshop, I want kids to feel like their words are valid, that their stories are valid, and that their view as a storyteller is valid.” Together, they find connection and belonging through their writing. 

Aldridge is also a resident of the Clayton Neighborhood—where Lighthouse’s new home is located. “I’m excited about this new location because it will continue to break down barriers for kids to come to Lighthouse,” she said. “With nearby schools like Bruce Randolph, Harrington, Manual High School, and more, we have a real opportunity to tell the story of this neighborhood in a meaningful way and to be a safe space for these kids that need a creative writing outlet.”  

“Lighthouse has made me the writer and teacher I am today,” Aldridge said. “I’m excited to provide the tools for future kids to tell their stories too.” 

Colorado native Christen Aldridge is a “Creative Genius” with a background in video production, podcast editing, and photography. She also works as a freelance journalist and educator. Her work has been published in TEDxMileHigh.com, Five Point Atlas, The G.E.S Gazette, Colorado Public Radio, and Denverite. She has created videos for small businesses and organizations like the NAACP of Denver, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and TEDxMileHigh. Christen Aldridge is a mom of four and loves to spend time with friends and family, write and travel.