Horizons is not an Agency… it is a Family! We are reunited by a common passion and drive to serve our community and inspired by our youth whose strength and resilience serve as a model for our own growth. Collaboration and partnership form the crux of the services we offer, with each staff bringing a unique and crucial experience to the table. Our Staff Family is our everyday heroes and soldiers; fighting on the frontlines against an ongoing battle to bring about positive change in the lives of the youth and families we serve.
We are a Family of dedicated, resourceful, and unwavering professionals; humbled and honored by the sacred privilege to serve our community. And like a Family, we support each other in our challenges and successes, we break bread together, laugh together, and cry together in depths and the beauty of the work to which we have given our lives. We are family!
Meet Our Family
Celina is living testimony to the power and impact that Horizons has on the youth and community it serves. Like many other Mission District youth, Celina joined the Horizons Familia over 25 years ago as a youth worker, and has since held several other leadership positions before being duly appointed Executive Director in 2015.
The youngest of 9 children, Celina brings with her an unmatched drive to excel, be of service, and create teachable moments. Graduating with honors from UC Berkeley in Sociology was much more than receiving a degree; it represented the opportunity to bring that degree back to her family and neighborhood, and excite others to pursue what they thought was impossible.
Her most prized possession (next to her son) is her innate ability to develop and maintain lasting relationships. When asked, her biggest achievement isn’t the countless awards and recognitions she has received, it is the family she has made along the way. “Being in the position that I am… to truly bless others… is really a double blessing. Not only am I able to bless those around me, but in reality, receive the ultimate satisfaction and blessing through giving.”
Watching growth happen every day, in every innocent and humble moment of service and learning.
Shirley Maciel is a proud Mexican/Puerto Rican female. She loves walking on the beach, listening to oldies and salsa music and spending time with her grandkids. She is in recovery and that is how she found her passion in substance abuse counseling. She has been in this field for the past 11 years.
She is very compassionate, empathetic, caring, has a good sense of humor and a big heart. She prides herself in the work that she does to help guide her clients along their journey to change their lives and believe in themselves.
She joined Horizons in 2011, coming in as a Substance Abuse Counselor. She was then promoted to Program Manager and is now the Program Director of Treatment and Gender Specific Programs. She attended College of San Mateo and has her CATC II, RAS II, CSC certifications and credentials. She is passionate about helping the young men and women of our future, and will advocate for them in all areas to ensure that all of their needs are being met. It gives her pleasure and honor to see the youth turn their lives around and become successful, productive members of society.
The interaction I have with the youth we work with on a daily basis. My co-workers are my extended familia.
Lynn Akiona comes from a big Hawaiian family (Ohana). When she and her parents moved from the Mainland, their first home was in the Mission District. She enjoys music, laughter, and her children.
She has overcome many obstacles in her life, which brought her back to the Mission District. She is committed to giving back to the youth through a lot of love, strength, hope and a better future. She recently achieved her CATC I certification and credentials while studying at San Mateo College in the Drug and Alcohol field. She is blessed to be a Senior Substance Abuse Counselor here at Horizons.
I love working with the youth, and my team is one of the best.
Nancy Abdul Shakur
Nancy was born and raised in San Francisco's Mission District. A self proclaimed non-profit baby, she comes to Horizons with over 20 years in combined experience in youth development and empowerment work, environmental justice youth organizing, and environmental service learning education. Nancy joined the Horizons family in 2010 as the MYEEP Program Coordinator focusing on finding Mission and Potrero Hill youth employment opportunities. She is currently managing the LifeWorks Employment Program (LWP) that offers wraparound job readiness training, case management, and academic support to system involved youth. Through cultural and youth relevant programing, Nancy hopes to help youth become confident, self-sufficient contributing members of society. In addition to LWP, Nancy also manages the summer Student Work Experience Program (SWEP), co-facilitates Horizons' Strengthening Families Program, and facilitates the Horizons Community Advisory Board. Nancy's life mission is to give back to a community that once gave so much to her. Nancy is a fluent Spanish speaker, merengue and cumbia dancer. She loves to travel and spend time with her husband reading revolutionary books to her son Zaire.
Having the opportunity to come to work and feel like she is just coming to spend time with her extended family. Nancy believes that a strong sense of family is what helps her work have meaning in her life. She believes family is essential to ones mental, emotional, and physical health in life!
Treatment · Substance Abuse Counselor · Gender Specific · Program Coordinator JEEP
Jorge Morales is a proud Puerto Rican from Guayama, Puerto Rico. He loves to play baseball, watch boxing and football, listen to Oldies, Reggaeton and Salsa music, and also spend time with his grandchildren. He is in recovery and that is how he found his passion in Substance Abuse counseling. He has been in this field for the past 9 years. He is very caring, compassionate, understanding, has a good sense of humor, and also a big heart. He is very proud of himself for the work he does to help guide his clients along their journey to change their lives and believe in themselves for a better future.
He joined the family of Horizons in 2009, coming in as a Consultant for Substance Abuse Treatment. From there, he was promoted to Senior Substance Abuse counselor and Coordinator for Jovenes Education Empowerment Program (JEEP). He attended San Francisco City College and he has his CATC I certification. He is very passionate about helping the young men and women of our future turn their lives around and become successful, productive members of society.
My favorite part of working at Horizons is the interaction with all the youth who come the Jovenes Education & Empowerment Program, Outpatient and throughout the Agency on a daily basis. My supervisor and co-workers are my extended family that I love dearly.
Donna Saffioti Johnson began working at Horizons in March of 1988 in the HIV Prevention and Early Intervention Program. She provided comprehensive HIV education to Middle and High School students as well as for non-traditional sites such as Larkin Street, Hospitality House and YGC. Horizons' HIV program was expanded to target two other groups that often fell through the cracks including injection drug using youth, which led to long-term collaboration with needle exchange programs and her founding of a youth specific site. Her work with street affiliated youth led to a decades long partnership with CALLES/CRN and the establishment of Late Night programming for this marginalized population. She returned to school and received her CATC certification to provide Substance Abuse counseling to youth dealing with substance use and related issues. Currently she is a youth trainer for the SFP program, the EP program, a Joven Noble trainer and provides a 4-part educational series to meet school requests.
AWARDS: Mujeres Adelante | Heroes of the AIDS Epidemic | The Samuel Puckett Memorial Award | The Wedge Program's Distinction Award | Concordia Award for Community Work | Cheyenne Bell Award | Mission Peacekeeper
Rebeca was born and raised in San Francisco. She attended San Francisco State University and received a Bachelor's degree in Social Work. She then attended San Jose State University and obtained a Masters in Social Work. Rebeca obtained a License in Clinical Social Work in 2014 and joined the Horizons team on November 17, 2015. Rebeca is passionate about working with children, youth and families and she enjoys working out, backpacking and spending time with family and friends.
The family atmosphere. I was welcomed by Horizons staff and treated like family from the beginning; sharing meals and being included in activities.
Gabriela was born and raised in the Bay Area, attended College of San Mateo where she obtained her AA in Social Sciences, and then moved on to SFSU where she graduated with a BA in Psychology. After graduation, she moved onto a research project that was designed to prevent the onset of cognitive decline in individuals who are cognitively healthy as well as slow down the progression of dementia in its beginning stages. While she thoroughly enjoyed working on that project, her ultimate goal was to provide Case Management service. She recently started here at Horizons in February 2016. Even though she has not been here very long, she sincerely says that she is loving every minute of it! When she is not at work, she spend time with family and friends.
Hector Ramos joined the Horizons' family in 2001. He started working in the Outpatient Program and later moved to Prevention Education when offered a Coordinator position. Currently, he is the Principal Program Coordinator for EPSF (Environmental Prevention San Francisco) and SFP (Strengthening Families Program). Hector is also the lead instructor for Facilitators for the SFP program in San Francisco and is the CPR / First Aid Instructor for Horizons. Hector is originally from Argentina, speaks both English and Spanish, and has worked with youth in San Francisco since 1995. His education includes a Bachelors and MBA from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA.
Teamwork and Community
Carlos Aguilar (DJ Quest)
DJ Quest – Turntablist Mastermind, Co-Creator of The First Battle Record "Hamster Breaks" and one of the founding members of Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters/Space Travelerz), a pioneer group in the art of scratch music. He is the Originator of the widely adopted Hamster Style Technique and Architect of Jazz/Hip Hop Trio LiveHuman, renown for its improvisational use of the turntable as an instrument. Quest moved to San Francisco in the early 80's where he was introduced to the sounds of Hip Hop and Electro-Funk and developed a life long musical obsession and exceptional interest in scratch music.
DJ Quest joined The DJ Project for one of the first collaborations and workshops around 2001 and became the full time DJ instructor a few years later. Passionate about the future and working with youth, he continues to practice and teach his craft – advancing its evolution by passing down the skills to the next generation.
Phyllis has a B.A. from CSUH and has been working in the corporate accounting field for more than 30 years. She transitioned to the nonprofit financial area and began working with Horizons in 2012. She currently shares her time with The Latino Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services and is happy to use her skills and time to support the Horizons' Familia and its mission.
Vilma Herrera works in the Administrative Office as an assistant to Executive Director, Celina Lucero, and Accountant, Phyllis Lozano. She mainly handles the employee files and keeping them up to date, Credit Card Transactions, Check Requests, and organizing all paperwork. Apart from her office duties, she has recently taken babysitting for the Strengthening Families Program to a whole new level by incorporating a curriculum filled with engaging, hands-on activities for all ages. Vilma started at Horizons 3 years ago as a babysitter for the Strengthening Families Program and has since then worked her way up to her current position. She is passionate about helping families and children, and connecting them to helpful resources.
All co-workers are like family. It feels warm and comfortable to be here.
Meet Our Board of Directors
Bianca Faddis, a San Francisco native, spent most of her adolescence in the Mission community. At the age of 14 years old, Ms. Faddis joined the Horizons Unlimited program as a youth participant. Her involvement in the Horizons workforce program inspired her career in community work, specifically serving young people facing obstacles to success. Ms. Faddis is the first former program participant to fill a seat on Horizons' Board. She is very proud to be a voice that represents the numerous young people who, like she, experienced numerous struggles but persevered. She not only speaks for herself but she speaks for many youth in the community who have relied on the vital services like those offered at Horizons. Ms. Faddis is currently working as the Senior Administrative Assistant at Bay Area Community Resources, a local multi-service agency. Ms. Faddis received certification as a Medical Assistant at Bryman College. She is pursuing a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Human Resource and Management.
After five years as an employee of Horizons Unlimited, serving as a Program Coordinator for The DJ Project, Environmental Prevention, and Strengthening Families programs, Matthew Moretti is thrilled to continue to contribute to the Horizons community as a member of the Board of Directors. Matthew earned his undergraduate degree at UCLA, where he studied World Arts and Cultures and was involved in on-campus concert production through the University's Cultural Affairs Commission. Upon graduating in 2009, he began his employment at Horizons, and spent his time outside of work promoting Bay Area hip-hop music as a Project Manager and Freelance Writer at Thizzler.Com. In 2014, Matthew enrolled in the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he is currently pursuing his Juris Doctorate with a concentration in Intellectual Property Law. Matthew is an Editor on the Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, and a member of the Association of Communications, Sports and Entertainment Law. He expects to earn his degree in the Spring of 2017.
Donna Amador is…
Native San Franciscan, Fillmore-born, Mission-bred
Mother of 3, Grandmother of 8
Master of Education in so many different realms
Nature lover, Ocean worshiper
Voracious Reader, Thinker, Truth seeker
Activist, San Francisco State strike 1968
Fighter for Ethnic Studies – even still necessary in 2016
Los Siete de la Raza 1969
Mission Childcare Consortium Board 1974-1986
Horizons Unlimited – Gracias for children, grandchildren
Time for her to return the favor!
Cristina Corona joined the Horizon Unlimited Board in the summer of 2015. She enjoys being part of the Horizon Board which allow her to stay connected with the community and passionate about youth development. Cristina believe in Horizon mission to engage, educate, and inspire our youth to be GREAT!
She is currently a member of other non-profit boards in the bay area and is a certified talent advisor within the Corporate Leadership Council. She has held multiply positions in within her ten years of experience in Human Resources/Talent Acquisition within the corporate sector. Cristina enjoys planning events, interior decorating, volunteering, and spending time with her family.