OUR STAFF FAMILY
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.”
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 naturally transitioned into managing the LifeWorks Employment Program (LWP) which offers wraparound job readiness training, case management, and academic support to system involved youth. In 2018, she transitioned into the role of Program Director supporting the Employment and Prevention team. Along with her Directorship responsibilities, Nancy also co-facilitates Horizons’ Strengthening Families Program, and supports the Horizons Community Advisory Board. With the lived and worked experience she brings, Nancy hopes to help move Horizons into a new phase, that incorporates, deep rooted cultural humility, innovative programing, and youth centric leadership advancement work.
Nancy’s life mission has been to give back to the community that once gave so much to her and her family. She is a fluent Spanish speaker, merengue and cumbia dancer, who dabbles in art, and self-healing writing. She loves to travel and spend time with her husband Amir and reading revolutionary books to her son Zaire.
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 Use 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
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.
I have been working in the corporate accounting field for more than 30 years and transitioned to the nonprofit financial area in 2012.
I love reading, cleaning and gardening.
Currently responsible for the daily finance, accounting and HR matters for Horizons.
Chris Cuadrado is a writer, artist, poet, producer, and cultural organizer, originally from Inglewood, CA, currently based in the Bay Area. Chris uses words, sights, and sounds as a means of empowerment, with the hope of offering tools of healing and liberation through creativity.
Chris has been using the arts to work with system impacted youth of color, from media programs, to cultural programming in juvenile halls, to the environmental prevention and event coordination programming with Horizons Unlimited. Chris is committed to using the arts to further strengthen the rich cultural foundation of the Mission District.
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.
Meet Our Board of Directors
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.
Virginia L. Tapia is a highly versatile, results-oriented active California CPA with over 25 years of combined Pharmaceutical, Biotech, Telecommunications and Insurance industry experience and diverse background in areas of Accounting, Finance and Controllership. She currently works at FibroGen, Inc. as the Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting. Recent projects involve the implementation of ASC 606 – New Revenue Recognition standard and ASC 842 – New Lease Accounting standard.
Virginia received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from San Francisco State University and her MBA – Finance from Notre Dame De Namur University.
Virginia is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and The California Society of Certified Public Accountants.
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 multiple 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.
Name: Zachary Johnson
Location: Oakland, CA
· Over seven years of experience in big data, healthcare fraud and forensics and project management specializing in high level, data driven projects based on criminal organizations.
· Over seven years of team building and team management.
· CEO and Co-founder of TicketDM, a safe, mobile ticket exchange application focused on the music festival community. Worked with my co founders Christian Ceaser, Stedmon Bates and Louis Ceaser IV for over two years.
· Recipient of the Stanford Alumni Association Class of 2010 Award of Excellence
· Recipient of Sigma Nu Fraternity Stu Campbell Award for Extraordinary Service
· Board Member, Horizons SF – We provide substance abuse, mental health, gender specific and employment services to Latino and other youth of color and their families in San Francisco.
Distance Traveled: I am a first-generation college graduate and first-generation entrepreneur. I was raised by an amazing single mother who worked tirelessly to provide a stable upbringing as I moved nearly every year and attended four middle school and three high schools before high school graduation. I attribute my entrepreneurship journey to my family, my church, and the life changing support systems I gained at Stanford University. Upon graduation, I spent 7 years working as a project manager/ team leader for Healthcare Fraud and Forensics / Big Data based projects. I also worked as a growth marketer for campaigns amassing over $8 million revenue for my clients. Over the last 12 years, I have been a leader and community builder both professionally and socially and I sought to create my own company that solved a complex problem based in community building. After attending numerous music festivals, I launched TicketDM for the music festival community with my co founders with whom I have worked for the last two years. We bootstrapped, launched and developed the TicketDM app in September 2018.
Differences as Strengths: I have spent most of my career using agile methodology, big data based decision making and strategic relationships to tackle complex problems. My biggest challenges today are finding key mentorship creating the necessary relationships in the tech community and music festival community make TicketDM the first tech savvy, mobile, millennial focused C2C exchange tool.
The most important thing I learned in my experiences thus far is how to use big data, human behavior and technology to create tools and platforms that are current and efficient. I learned how to make evidence based workflows and data driven assumptions to accomplish goals. With the data intact, I could extend that knowledge and build on everything I helped create with confidence. I learned how to disrupt traditional industries with limited resources and limited supervision.
Jillian joins the Horizons Unlimited board with over 25 years of experience in advocacy-based organizations. Her work with educational policy reform as a student, social justice and awareness as a photojournalist, and her current career track in human resources has given her a life-long passion for community engagement. Jillian is a Senior Human Resources Manager for a small oncology biotech in San Francisco. She is a Virginia-native and moved to the Bay Area 4 years ago having lived in Boston, Massachusetts and Wellington, New Zealand previously.
Jillian received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Radford University where she concentrated in Photojournalism specifically documenting the homeless. Years later she got her corporate start with Dunkin’ Donuts as a Recruiter and Trainer. After many years in recruitment and consulting, Jillian now focuses her career in the oncology space as a Human Resources professional.
Meet Our Community Ambassador