New Horizons' Volunteer Leaves Job Well Done
Written by Veronica Calabrese
Posted on 7/31/13
Eighteen-year-old Jazmen Thomas, who was a leader on her
high school robotics team, is one of our many fantastic volunteers. Jazmen
graduated from Granada Hills High School this year; but before receiving her
diploma and while looking for a place to serve, she discovered New Horizons. It stood out to her because she had a desire
to give back, especially to a community with special needs. Jazmen wants to
help individuals with developmental disabilities strive to fulfill their
dreams. In an effort to do so her first day of volunteering at the agency was
in June of this year during the 5K Run/Walk on the Horizon event. She helped
with registration, and in 90 degree plus weather passed out ice cream. She
enjoyed passing out the cool treat because “everyone got so excited,” says Jazmen.
Since then, Jazmen has been helping in a number of different departments at New
Horizons from Accounting to Development, sorting paper work, organizing files
and carrying out various other tasks.
This fall Jazmen plans to attend University of the Pacific in Stockton
California. She wants to study Bio-Engineering, specifically Bio-Medical.
Jazmen loves spending time volunteering at New Horizons, and will continue to
volunteer at the agency until she is off to school. She says working at New
Horizons is eye opening. Jazmen loves talking to the employees and clients.
Jazmen plans to return to volunteering next summer when she
returns from school… she might even visit during the holidays. With her leader mentality, charisma, and right
attitude, it’s our dream that Jazmen will return to New Horizons! But for now we wish her all the luck for her
first year of college and for a bright future that lies ahead!
Larry Diamond: After 39 Years New Horizons’ Longest
Serving Board Member
Posted on 6/28/13
Larry and Barbara Diamond came to New Horizons like most parents do who have children with special needs – they came searching for a place where their three-year-old daughter could flourish and grow to her fullest potential. Forty years ago until today, New Horizons is that place.
Sheryl started attending preschool at New Horizons in 1973. for the little girl
with the big brown eyes it was a perfect fit. The second perfect fit was Larry
Diamond himself. For shortly after Sheryl's enrollment New Horizons discovered
that Larry was a Certified Public Accountant, a senior partner at Kenneth
Leventhal and Company which would eventually merge with Ernst and
On July 1, 1974 Larry was asked to
join the Board, and the rest is 39 years of history making for both New Horizons
and its clients. During his tenure as the agency’s longest standing board
member along with his term as President of the Board (1993-1995), New Horizons
transitioned from providing children’s educational services to providing job
training and residential services for adults with special needs. Under his
shared guidance and leadership New Horizons’ 20,000 square foot workshop was
built; the agency opened its first group home, paving the way for sister
organizations such as Valley Village; Supported Employment began; Sam’s Café
opened; New Horizons’ planned giving program, Perpetual Horizons was
incorporated; the 18,000 square foot Workshop Annex and parking lot was built; 2
acres of property on Haskell Avenue was purchased, and Larry was instrumental in
getting the Alzheimer/Dementia group home project started -- the next phase of
Larry Diamond’s contributions to
New Horizons are indeed numerous. They started with a young father determined
to participate in his daughter’s life. It wasn’t an easy task with a profession
in finance that kept him busy with work and travel so many hours of the week.
But his goal was to ensure that Sheryl would have a bright future. It became
his passion, as did New Horizons. By working for the agency he not only gave
to Sheryl, he also gave to the special needs community at large, becoming an
invaluable source on all things financial.
“Not many people know this, but in
1977 Larry pooled his money together with other parent board members to purchase
our first group home. He was also instrumental in the purchase of our first
computer. With 12 homes housing up to 72 clients, and our day to day tasks
totally dependent on computers, just look at where we are now, in part thanks to
him,” says New Horizons CEO Cynthia Sewell.
On Wednesday, at New Horizons’
June 26th Board meeting, Larry Diamond
stepped down from his position on the board after 39 incredible years. A lot
has changed at New Horizons and the world since he was first sworn into
service. What will never change, however, is New Horizons overwhelming
gratitude to one so dedicated – in all things – as Larry
*As the newest member of New
Horizons’ Emeritus Council, Larry Diamond will continue working on New Horizons’
Finance Committee as well as other special projects. Sheryl Diamond happily
works every day in The Workshop at New Horizons.
New Horizons Receives Highest CARF Honors
Posted on 8/29/12
New Horizons received a 3 year accreditation (the highest level) by the Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Surveyors visited New Horizons for 3 days in late Spring and reviewed our client services, programs and agency practices. We received an exemplary commendation for our Governance practices, with a note that the Handbook developed by our Governance Committee was one of the finest ever seen by the surveyor.