As the year 2000 passed us by, I envisioned making a difference. I sat down with a past employee from my years in broadcast management and good friend and we asked ourselves where can we make a difference. Both of us had faced some serious challenges as teenagers and had some significant support systems that helped us through those years. After some serious discussions and doing our research, Interviewing community leaders--Horizons4Girls was born.
Resources such as United Way of Sheboygan County, Search Institute, Mentoring.org, Lakeland College (now University), Health and Human Services, and area school districts helped H4G create policies and procedures, a program to train and certify mentors that would serve at risk middle and high school female students and done 100% by volunteers.
A mission was created stating that Horizons4Girls ignites that internal spark that empowers students to accomplish their academic and personal goals. Since those early days even students have had input into shaping this program that is proud to brag 100% of students that stay engaged in the program graduate high school, many going on to secondary education options. Mentoring is done teaching study skills, help regarding communication skills, education regarding drugs and alcohol, conflict resolution, experience in life skills, community service and leadership skills.
As ongoing training of mentors has continued including SBIRT, TIC, Resilience, Mental Health First Aid, an age-old concern that would surface is Bullying and its impact. 4 years ago students created a project to bring awareness to, and raise funds - a 5K. This year that event will be virtual giving participants the opportunity to be engaged in a variety of ways helping to continue to stop bullying, which includes their programming to their student as well as offer mini-grants to other organizations. That information can be found on their web site.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 Horizons4Girls has made adjustments to their programming. They have been training and certifying additional mentors and tutors. All programming will be offered 3 times a week virtually on their own ZOOM platform. Certified mentors and tutors will also use the ZOOM platform to work with students on a one on one basis. Virtual activities, presentations, field trips and more will be offered.
Result of this very structured, but fun delivery of their programming, is Horizons4Girls is able to boast 100% graduation of OVER 50 students that stayed engaged in the programming. Graduates of the programming have gone on to secondary education and several have come back to share their experiences and have begun peer to peer mentoring.
Many endorsements are posted on the web site from business leaders, educators, law enforcement officers and others. As a nonprofit they are able to offer their programming at a free, or reduced price. Requests for more information can be done on their web site, www.horizons4girls.com, by phone 920-254-1584, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.