Logo for: Horizons National

Horizons Annual Conference & Awards Season

Posted on

From February 26-29, leaders from across the Horizons Network gathered in Asheville, NC for the 2024 Horizons National Annual Conference! This is the one time each year when our Network of over 70 sites comes together for learning, networking, and celebration.

Sessions included:

  • Philanthropy Now and In the Future with Dr. Una Osili
  • Engaging Middle School Students through Community, College, and Career Connections
  • How Project-Based Learning Supports Transformative Social-Emotional Learning
  • Building Bridges: Partnerships with Independent Schools
  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging with Tracey Greene-Washington

We also took time to celebrate as a Network and reflect on the incredible year it has been. We were lucky to have Horizons at Carolina Day School students join us for an energizing dance and Horizons 'Spirit Check'!

One of the best parts of the Annual Conference is the awards presented by Horizons National each year, including the cherished Lyn McNaught Teacher Awards. We are honored to celebrate our awardees!

Horizons Leadership Awards

Joe Laque, Executive Director of Horizons Delmarva (MD). Joe has been with Horizons Delmarva since 2019. After a year in the role, Joe helped to expand the affiliate’s reach by piloting a site in a new county, and transitioned their name to Horizons Delmarva, allowing room to continue growth throughout the Eastern Shore of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Joe consistently supports peers throughout the Network with resources and advice, and is known for his creative fundraising campaigns, particularly one where he dyed his hair Horizons colors in support!

Fiorella Serrano, Program Director, Horizons Newark (NJ). Fiorella has worked as an educator for 25 years, and is the co-founder of Horizons Newark, which will be celebrating its 15th anniversary this summer. In 2010, Fiorella ran the first Horizons Newark summer program with only 10 students, who remained with the program until they graduated. Since day one, Fiorella has put her heart and soul into making Horizons a success: leading staff in implementing high-quality curriculum and delivering top-notch instruction, making students, parents, and faculty, feel like family, and showing an unwavering commitment to the mission of Horizons.

Andrew Clarkson Award

New Canaan Country School (CT) has been a Horizons partner since 1964 when the first Horizons program began on campus. Horizons at New Canaan Country School continues to be a Network leader in programming and partnership, consistently stepping up to help out other affiliates and supporting over 400 students each year.




Horizons Alumni Award

Jessica Nuñez-Hernandez, alumna of Horizons Colorado (CO). In 2002, Jessica started at Horizons at Colorado Academy as a 3rd grade student. She has been an active participant of Horizons since that time, dedicating every summer to the program for 21 years. In 9th grade, after having gone through the Horizons at Colorado Academy program as a student, Jessica moved up from volunteer, to intern, to assistant teacher, to lead pre-k teacher and volunteer coordinator, to community liaison, and is now the current Program Director. In 2022, Jessica was awarded the prestigious Horizons Hero of the Year Award by the Horizons Colorado Executive Board of Directors. Additionally, Jessica is a member of the Horizons National Associate Board. Jessica is dedicated to the community she grew up in and has worked closely with different community organizations to provide quality education and opportunities for students and their families. She has also worked directly with schools to encourage family participation and parent involvement in their students' education.

Horizons Spark Award

Since 2014, the Kara Kennedy Fund has generously donated to support swimming programs at Horizons affiliates across the country. Named for the late Kara Kennedy, who swam every day no matter where she was, the Fund is dedicated to honoring Kara's commitment to public service, literacy, children, and of course her passion for swimming. In 10 years of giving, the Kara Kennedy Fund has provided more than $350,000 to Horizons partners at 8 sites in Washington DC, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, helping over 1,000 students become proficient swimmers.

Congratulations to all of our awardees, and thank you for all you do for Horizons!


Back to Blog