Farewell to Program Director Ruth Castillo

When I joined Horizons Colorado in January of 2021, I couldn’t imagine what was in store for my time as Program Director. My incoming priority was to support and enrich the high-quality summer programming that Horizons Colorado had been building. 

Over the past few years, there have been a number of highlights: We launched a year-round in-person tutoring program that continues to grow. We brought back electives for all of the middle school classes. We hired a robust staff of mental health counselors who have made a huge difference with our students. We have strengthened our partnership with DPS and other surrounding school districts that educate our Horizons students during the academic school year. All of these accomplishments and more have been greatly fulfilling. 

Starting in January, I will no longer be the Program Director because I am starting my doctoral degree in international and multicultural education at the University of San Francisco. I will, however, be continuing as a high school mentor in our mentorship program. 

I would like to highlight the high school mentorship program, as it has grown immensely over the past few years, and I have had the privilege of working with these students as their teacher in the one-week intensive program in the summer. One of my favorite memories of the one-week intensive program was when I had the junior and senior students work on a “vision board.” The purpose of this activity was to open up creativity and allow students to visualize everything they wanted to be, do, and have in the future. I was in awe and inspired by what I saw and the explanations behind their creations. 

I leave Horizons in the absolute best of hands. Jessica Nuñez will be our new Program Director. Jessica has been an integral part of Horizons from the time she participated in the program as a child. She will be moving into the position as of January 1, 2023.

I am very grateful for the time that I have spent at Horizons. The past couple of years during my time here have been nothing short of fulfilling—getting to be a part of the lives of our families, students, and teachers has been a privilege. I hope nothing but the best for the continued success of the program. 

With gratitude,