Since 2012, the New York Life Foundation has supported Horizons National (HN) through grants totaling over $2 million. Ranging from multi-year grants and general operating support to over $3,000 raised for Horizons by New York Life employees at a Cheers for Charity Event, support from the New York Life Foundation has been essential to growing the Horizons Network. Grants from the New York Life Foundation from 2013 – 2019 directly impacted Horizons’ middle- and high-schoolers, with engagement practices reaching an estimated 2,500 students.
Our dedicated partnership has supported both core infrastructure and strategic innovation. In 2013, a grant to support social-emotional learning (SEL) and the academic achievement of older youth in out-of-school time learning programs opened the door to Horizons’ robust social-emotional learning practices. This grant allowed HN to work with our affiliates to identify best practices for engaging and meeting the needs of middle- and high-school aged students, and to develop guidance documents for use across the Horizons Network.
With the Foundation’s support, Horizons National has also been able to implement a number of knowledge sharing, professional development, and data collection/analysis initiatives. The New York Life Foundation funded Horizons National’s 2018 Retrospective Study, a rigorous evaluation of the Horizons program’s impact for students in elementary through high school. Funding also helped Horizons National adopt the Summer Learning Program Quality Assessment, designed by the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, to improve Horizons’ family, student, and staff surveys and develop internal alumni tracking capacity.
In March of 2020, during the emergence of the COVID pandemic, the New York Life Foundation was the first to proactively contact Horizons National to ask if we wanted to amend what was our current grant to become unrestricted funds, to ensure the sustainability of both HN and the Horizons Network. This quick thinking helped HN maximize our responsiveness to the quickly changing needs of affiliates, a flexibility that was greatly appreciated during a tumultuous time in education.
Support from the New York Life Foundation over the past decade has benefited thousands of Horizons students and families, and our partnership with them continues to push Horizons National to achieve sustainability and excellence across our Network. We are incredibly grateful for their ongoing support.