Eleven years ago, a kindergarten student named Rafi Rosario spent his first of many summers at Horizons. Rafi continued at Horizons through eighth grade and returned in 2013 to work as a Horizons Assistant Teacher (HAT) at St. Patrick’s. That wasn’t Rafi’s only important 2013 accomplishment: he graduated from Bell Multicultural High School in June and in September set off to continue his studies at Lincoln University.
“Horizons gave me so much and I felt like it was a must to come back to the program and give back. I am excited to be able to be a positive role model to these kids from the same background as me and show them all they can accomplish.”
His mother, a single parent, raised Rafi. He credits Horizons for “filling in the blanks” that can overwhelm a working parent, such as field trips, art programs, and college tours. Rafi flourished through one-on-one interactions with supportive adults like Miss Kiki and Miss Joan, who lent him continuity and support.
Recognizing that reading, writing, and math were instrumental to his Horizons experience, Rafi particularly enjoyed off-site visits to places like Glen Echo and the University of Maryland. “The college trips were especially helpful. No other program took kids to see colleges in middle school. When I started to visit colleges in high school, I knew what to expect. Through Horizons, I had already seen six area colleges,” explains Rafi.
Rafi credits Horizons for helping him succeed in high school, preparing him to take several AP courses, including English. He also came to value the sense of unity, achievement, and finding the “fun” in education that are touchstones of the Horizons experience.
In high school, Rafi played Junior Varsity and Varsity Baseball and launched his own blog, “Ralph’s Week in Sports.” His career goal is to remain involved in sports, as a professional player or journalist.
Rafi applied to several colleges and was accepted by half of them. Clearly, he’s prepared, “I’m excited about the adventures waiting for me in college. And I’m thankful for the opportunities that Horizons provided along the way. Thank you for this wonderful program.”