by LAUREN REEVES
In Lee and Collier Counties, over 50,000 children live in poverty; many do not
speak English at home. These children need more help than their parents can
provide and New Horizons of Southwest Florida is tossing them a lifeline.
Since 2002, New Horizons, a nonprofit organization, has empowered at-risk
students in grades K-12 by offering after-school tutoring, mentoring and faith
building at no cost to the students or their families. The programs are funded
through donations, fundraisers and grants.
New Horizons’ vision is for its students to graduate from high school with a plan
for their lives. Students receive tutoring at one of 13 locations, typically churches
that allow the use of their facilities. New Horizons also provides transportation
to and from the site.
Through the Super Kids (K-5th) and Super Teens (6-12th) Clubs, students receive tutoring and mentoring from 800-plus community volunteers and staff.
Supplemental programs for 4th-5th graders help students explore topics such as self-esteem, team building, and community service, while the College Bound program prepares high school students for college and life after high school
New Horizons serves as a lifeline for over 700 at-risk schoolchildren. Its students
have a 93% graduation rate from high school over the past ten years – almost
double the graduation rate of their at-risk peers.