One of the main goals of Horizons at Colorado Academy is to provide a range of opportunities for our students that they might not otherwise have. Study after study has shown that the opportunity gap between those with access to resources and those without as much access to resources greatly impacts the types of jobs and career paths that a child will have as an adult. Horizons opens the door to a world of possibilities and provides the foundation for our students to be able to pursue their goals and dreams.
For our 24th summer program, we welcomed over 200 students—a record! Even though we were still grappling with the impacts of COVID-19, precautions weren’t as restrictive as the prior two years. As a result, we were fortunate to be able to offer a well-rounded enrichment program that included strong academic instruction, an ample amount of one-on-one instruction, mental health support, reading specialist support, art and music classes, health and wellness activities, social-emotional skill-building, experiential field trips, swimming, and, for the first time since 2020, exciting overnight trips for our middle and high school students.
One of the most rewarding parts of the summer for me was to see how well our new students integrated into the program and created lifelong friendships with their peers and their teachers. There is nothing better than seeing a student who was initially reserved blossom over the course of our six-week program. We had many, many students for whom that was the case, and it validates all of the hard work that the staff put into making the program so special.
Over the course of the six weeks, we had many donors visit to see Horizons in action. During one of our tours, the program officer of a foundation and I were speaking about how difficult these past few years have been and how there are so many seemingly insurmountable problems we are facing as a society. To that I responded, “Yes, and Horizons is an oasis of hope.” This program lifts up our students, their families, and our community (both Horizons and Colorado Academy), and its impact reverberates throughout. We are excited for our new school year and thankful to every single person who is involved in creating our oasis of hope.