The New Horizons program provides a one-on-one advocate to support young people in navigating resources available to support their individual needs, interests, and goals. The purpose of our program is to support every student we work with to get to graduation, acknowledging there may be different paths to get there.
Through working with our New Horizons Student Advocates, students can choose what areas they would like to prioritize, and create a plan that works for them. Our Student Advocates help youth access resources in school to support reaching their academic milestones, and navigate removing barriers outside of school.
What is offered?
- One-on-one support from a Student Advocate
- Academic support – tracking grades, and communicating with school counselors and administrators
- Navigating available resources in the community as needed
- Opportunities to connect with additional programming such as the New Horizons Academy each summer and the Frederick County Youth Action Board
Why should I participate? What are expectations of students?
This program is 100% voluntary, FREE of charge, and it is the student’s decision to participate.
When committing to participate, generally students should anticipate meeting with their student advocate in school twice a month. Meetings could be more frequent depending on specific circumstances. This is a program that runs concurrently with the school calendar.
Do I have to meet with my Student Advocate outside of school?
No, students do not have to meet with student advocates outside of school.
However, if students need additional support outside of the school building, Student Advocates can be available with advance notice.
If I am interested, how do I get involved?
To get involved, talk to your school counselor or your school’s McKinney-Vento Liaison. In your Student Information Center , you will find who that is at each high school that hosts the New Horizons program.
Is this available at every Frederick County High School?
No. The New Horizons program is currently hosted at 6 of 10 Frederick County high schools and available to high school students in SHIP’s THRIVE! Host Home Network.
The high schools currently hosting the New Horizons program are: Brunswick, Catoctin, Frederick, Governor Thomas Johnson (TJ), Tuscarora, and Walkersville.
Does my Student Advocate work for my school?
New Horizons advocates do not work for Frederick County Public Schools. They are Employees of SHIP of Frederick County who work closely with FCPS staff members.
Does New Horizons impact my schoolwork at all?
New Horizons advocates support students in developing skills to meet their academic milestones and support academic needs. This can look differently for each student but can include: organizing backpacks, weekly grade checks, and communicating with school personnel if students need additional academic supports.
I don’t need academic support. What else could New Horizons help me with?
New Horizons Student Advocates can help students plan and prepare for employment, explore interests, navigate health and dental resources, access food, clothing, and more.
Can New Horizons work with my siblings too?
The New Horizons program is for high school students exclusively. If you have siblings at your high school, do let us know.
Does my Student Advocate meet with my teachers or parents?
It depends. Student Advocates work with students to meet their desired goals. If there is a situation that requires communicating with teachers, New Horizons staff will discuss that with the student before meeting with teachers.
A parent or emergency contact information is required. A parent/legal guardian is preferred, however if there is another trusted adult, please communicate this with your Student Advocate. For students under 18, there are situations where New Horizons staff may need to talk to an adult in the household when navigating resources. Students can discuss any concerns about contact with their student advocate.
What happens if I move away from Frederick County?
It depends. If you are moving out of Frederick County, please discuss this with your Student Advocate.
Will I get to meet other students who have similar experiences, and are in the program?
Possibly. The New Horizons program is a one-to-one service between youth and their Student Advocate. However, there are group activities young people can choose to participate in, such as the Frederick County Youth Action Board (YAB), tutoring, game nights and more.
What is the New Horizons Academy?
The New Horizons Academy is a five-week summer program providing high school students with an academic credit, as well as life skills and interest exploration. During the Academy, youth from eligible high schools come together at Frederick High to build community and work towards a common goal.
Classes offered each summer differ based on what classes students need. In the past, life skills exploration has included activities such as: meditation, escape rooms, poetry writing, graffiti art and more!
For young people who wish to work during the summer, New Horizons refers youth onward to Frederick County Workforce Services for job skills training and placement with a local employer.
To apply to participate in the New Horizons Academy, speak with your school counselor.
Does this mean I have to participate in the summer program?
The New Horizons Academy summer program is an extension of the year-round program. The summer program provides a focus on gaining additional academic credit, and opportunities for personal growth and exploring new interests.
Like the year-round program, the Academy is also 100% voluntary. You are not required to participate in both, though it is encouraged to provide youth year-round access to New Horizons supports .
What is the YAB?
The Frederick County Youth Action Board is a group of youth and young adult leaders interested in improving conditions for young people experiencing homelessness in Frederick County. This board consists of youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability, or have in the past. Participating in this board is a paid opportunity to participate in conversations about awareness, advocacy, and systems change work. If you are interested, please make contact with your Student Advocate.