Horizon Scholars

Transforming the Future for Students in Central Florida

The Horizon Scholars Program works with members of the Central Florida community to increase post-secondary education access for high school students in Orange County Public Schools. By providing a unique set of resources including mentors, scholarships, student advocacy, leadership development and opportunities for civic engagement, The Horizon Scholars Program, in partnership with Take Stock in Children, endeavors to break the cycle of poverty for students and their families in Central Florida while giving students the chance to achieve their dreams and impact society in their own positive way.

Program Model

Through an innovative multi-year model the Valencia College Horizon Scholars Program is committed to deliver four pillars of promise which includes:

  • A two-year Florida Prepaid college scholarship
  • Leadership development opportunities
  • A caring mentor and college success coordinator
  • Good citizenship through civic engagement

Volunteer as a Mentor

To volunteer as a mentor or to obtain more information, please contact the Horizon Scholars Program, at 407-582-3008 or email us.

Mentoring sessions take place twice per month and range from 30-45 minutes in length. Sessions occur at a school near your home or workplace during school hours. Virtual mentoring is also available afterschool.

Take Stock in Children


Four Pillars of Promise

Pillar 1

Scholarship

Upon successful completion of the program and high school, students receive a two-year Florida Prepaid college scholarship. Students must stay in school, maintain an acceptable GPA, meet with their mentor and college success coordinator, exhibit good citizenship, and remain drug and crime free,

 

Pillar 2

Mentorship

Each student enrolled in the program is matched with a mentor who is a volunteer community member and provides guidance and academic motivation. Students will also have a College Success Coordinator who will help develop skills, behaviors, and habits that contribute to success in college and life through structured outreach.

 

Pillar 3

Leadership Development

The program hosts workshops on topics including financial literacy, funding opportunities, career planning, community awareness, self-care, and conflict resolution.

 

Pillar 4

Civic Engagement

We endeavor to help our students become active learners and engaged citizens. To this end, we ask our students to commit to completing 100 hours of community service before graduation from high school (recommended at least 25 hours of service per year).

Dr. Kathleen Plinske
"Valencia College's Horizon Scholars program has been described as a 'golden ticket' -- a chance for promising middle-school students to be paired with a caring mentor and learn the values of education, leadership and community service during their high school years. In return, they receive two years of college at no cost. It's a wonderful program and I urge community members to get involved as mentors and help us expand the reach of this program."
– Dr. Kathleen Plinske - President, Valencia College