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Horizons Alumni Return as Summer Teachers

As students in the Horizons Atlanta program at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, Yvette Reeves and Yvonne Reeves made memories that are ingrained in them today. From playing Uno with friends to exploring Zoo Atlanta, their Horizons experiences made for fabulous summers for them from Kindergarten through eighth grade. 

Both women returned to Horizons as volunteers during their high school years at Riverwood and now are spending their second summer as full-time teachers in the program, an extension of their professional careers. Yvette, a graduate of Georgia Southern University, teaches fifth grade in Fulton County schools. Yvonne recently earned her Master’s degree in education from Georgia State University and has taught in Cobb County schools. She will start a one-year internship program at Walt Disney World this fall, making up for the abrupt end of her time in the Disney College Program in 2020 due to Covid. 

But this summer has proven to be a wonderful time for the 25-year-old twins to work together as they help young students discover all that they love about Horizons. “You have a special bond that only you and these other students appreciate,” Yvette said. “It’s funny because some things are exactly the same as when we were students.” 

“We can relate to them after being in the program as students, as volunteers and now as teachers,” Yvette said. “It’s a full-circle moment. We’re finding the balance of having fun and also getting the work done.” 

Horizons was the place where they first learned how to do papier-mâché and there was always a craft or other activity with a World Cup soccer theme. “The Hunger Games” book series was a hot commodity one summer and all the students were reading them and talking about them during morning gatherings. Their summer birthday always turned into a big day of celebration. 

“Yvette and Yvonne Reeves have been wonderful additions to our Horizons summer staff,” Kate Kratovil, site director for Horizons Atlanta at HIES, said. “It is always special when alumni return to teach where they once were students but having Yvette and Yvonne at our program sets a powerful example for our students regarding their college and career aspirations. Education is at the center of Horizons and we hope our program inspires some of our students to become educators like them one day.” 

—    Christina Mimms