CEO's Corner

A Horizons for Youth Leadership Update

Dear Friends,
In October 1999, I began a journey with Horizons for Youth that turned out to be so much more than I ever could have imagined. I chose Horizons because I was so impressed by the strong foundation that had been built by an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers, and it has been my pleasure and my honor to build on that foundation. I continue to be impressed by the members of our Horizons community – our dedicated parents with huge aspirations and dreams for their children, the hard-working students with tremendous potential, a staff committed to mission and service, and hundreds of volunteers and donors who give of their time, talent and treasure to support this very special place. It has literally been my home away from home, an extension of my family – made even more clear to me as my girls have literally grown up alongside my tenure with this beautiful mission.
As some of you know, I reached a big milestone with Horizons this past fall – my 20-year anniversary. My feelings about this milestone somewhat echo my feelings of watching my own kids become the women they are today. On the one hand, I can’t believe how quickly time has passed, and on the other, I feel tremendously proud and just flat out lucky to have helped shape the amazing people – and in the case of Horizons, the amazing mission – they are today.This milestone has also made me think of the chapters in our lives, and whether this moment was the right one for me to transition this mission to a new leader who can help guide the next leg of its journey. As I was muscling through this question, the Board of Directors and I engaged in conversation to think through such a transition and plan an impending search for a new leader.
Then COVID happened.
The reality is there is no good time to leave a place you love. The Board and I decided, however, that we would continue to follow the path we initially set. This virus has disrupted all of our lives to its very core, but our work, our mission, and our community still move on. As a result, we decided that if we build a thoughtful plan for transition – one that ensures our families and our kids always know Horizons is a place where they can find safety, curiosity, and hope in the face of any storm – then we would be ok.
So here’s what we plan. I will remain in my role as CEO and assist in the search and transition of the organization’s new leader in every way that I can. I will block and tackle COVID with our team to ensure the mission and the organization remain on solid footing both through the crisis and beyond. And the Board will be a strategic leader in the search process, ensuring we have the runway to recruit thoughtfully, to engage our community, and to onboard my successor when the time is right.
I am incredibly proud of all that we have accomplished together, and I could never thank this community enough for the ways in which you have filled my heart and my soul. As sad as I will be to leave this amazing place, I am also excited to see what new opportunities lie ahead for me. As always, I have deep faith that the Horizons for Youth community will come together to ensure the continued strength of the organization and seamless support of our students and families.
I want to thank each and every one of you who have played a role in building this organization into what it is today. It has been the pleasure of a lifetime to work beside you for the betterment of our students and our city.
With incredible gratitude,

Audrey
Chief Executive Officer

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