History & Background

Founded in 1964 and expanding nationally since 1995, Horizons is a network of high-quality, tuition-free, immersive, academic and enrichment programs for children in underserved communities, providing out-of-school-time supports for the duration of a child’s K-12th grade experience. With 51 Horizons programs across 17 states, and growing by 5-7 new sites each year, Horizons is unique among summer programs because: (1) we make a long-term investment in our students; (2) we partner with students’ families; and (3) we support both academic achievement and healthy youth development. Over the past few decades, we’ve seen that Horizons’ repeated positive interventions and affirming reinforcements over multiple years are highly effective in closing the well-documented gaps in opportunity and achievement between underserved children and their more affluent peers.

In 2013, Horizons National made a strategic decision to invest in metro Atlanta. Our vision was to use two existing Horizons sites as a platform to grow into a Horizons region that served more students, increased efficiencies, accessed a broader range of funding sources, and fostered a more direct and comprehensive partnership with area districts. This effort was successful by every measure. Just three years later, Horizons Atlanta launched its eighth program, the 51st in Horizons’ national affiliate network. Organized as its own 501(c)(3), Horizons Atlanta is an affiliate of Horizons National but has its own leadership, including a highly influential board of directors, a dedicated and experienced professional staff, a consortium of eight (soon to be ten) well-respected host institutions, and a community of engaged philanthropic partners.

While Horizons National has made a significant investment in launching our regional Horizons Atlanta office, our operations are now self-funded outside of pass-through grants. Our Horizons Atlanta regional team is fully responsible for program delivery and raises the majority of our operating funds locally. Horizons National continues to provide implementation guidance for new programs, a centralized student and staff database, affiliate assessment and certification, and ongoing guidance and professional development opportunities.