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New Horizons Learning Center Mentor Program

"Light The World ... Mentor A Child"

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Katy Patronis with her mentee (who graduated high school)


The New Horizons Mentor Program serves middle school and high school special-needs youth.


Our Mission

  • To provide positive role models for special needs and at-risk students, with friendship, guidance, and social/emotional support toward successful preparation for adulthood.


  • To ensure that every at-risk student who requests a mentor receives one, suitably matched to his/her personality and disposition.
  • To improve graduation rate.
  • To seek community support, providing necessary funding for the mentoring program.




Governor Jeb Bush appointed Margaret Tidmore to coordinate The New Horizons Mentor Program in 2006, as part of the Governor's Mentoring Initiative. Ms. Tidmore asked Gov. Bush where she was going to get the money to fund the program. He replied, "From the community. Go out there and get the community organizations and businesses involved in helping their own youth."


He was right. Bay County is rich with compassionate, caring business professionals and adults from every walk of life who reach out to help our special-needs youth.


Despite our growing family of mentors and Business Partners, we still find ourselves facing children who ask, "Have you found a mentor for me yet?" It's heartbreaking to say "No" to a child, or to limit field trips, opportunities and incentive programs for those who need it most.


It doesn't take much at all to make a difference in our students' lives which will literally turn their lives around. Students who would otherwise give up are encouraged to graduate high school. They receive encouragement and support from caring, supportive mentors in the community. Their education is enriched with meaningful field trips that teach values which only real life experiences can impart.


View Our Brochure


Mentors, Partners honored by New Horizons

June 1, 2012


New Horizons honors its community mentors

January 28, 2011


Teacher Appreciation

April 29, 2009


Margaret Tidmore, Mentor Coordinator, Honored as Support Person of the Year


Forty employees were nominated as Bay District Schools’ support employee of the year, and the honor went to Margaret Tidmore on Thursday evening...


(Margaret, the NHLC staff, mentors and students are so proud and thankful for you!)


Gift For Our Mentors


Mentors, click on the image above to print this gentle reminder of the great impact you're having in the life of a child, and on the world!

"I got involved with the mentoring program approx 8 years ago. I’ll never forget the first thing the student said to me when I asked, 'what can I do to help you?' He responded by saying, 'I want you to listen to me when nobody else will.' We worked together and he graduated. Years later, a woman came up to me in a restaurant (she was the waitress) and told me I mentored her son in high school. She called him to the restaurant and he brought his wife and child with him and introduced me to his wife as the 'father he never had' and he said if it hadn’t been for me, he would not have a respectable job today or a family. I was hooked!! Since that time, I’ve met with many students and I’m always surprised at the obstacles they (students) must overcome to even exist. Mentoring a student(s) is to me, one of the most giving things one can do to have a direct impact on one’s life – regardless of your financial condition."

- Bobby Roberts 

Financial Consultant


"I have learned so much from student and from spending time with her. She is so thoughtful and so full of life; she has really grown into a beautiful young woman in the short 5 months I've spent with her. She was forced to grow up at a young age and has done it with such grace. She is the epitome of integrity and strength. I am proud of who she is and I am thankful she has touched my life; I can only hope that I have made even afraction of the impact on her life that she has on mine."

- Jen Reinhardt


"I have had a great experience being a Mentor for the New Horizons program. For a student to know that he/she can talk to me about any troubles or issues they may have is a wonderful feeling. It also provides me an opportunity to impart some of my life experiences and offer guidance for students that need that extra nudge in the right direction."

- Dustin Dallis


"I didn’t really know if I was having much of an impact on my student.I happened to stop at a garage sale one Saturday and noticed a boy about a football field’s distance away running toward me.As he got closer I realized he was my mentee.He walked me all the way back to where he was working with his father, uncle and cousins.They all said they had heard a lot about me from him.I was blessed to see how excited my student was to introduce me to his family."

- Steve Ransom, Business Owner


Miss Tidmore, thank you for being a major inspiration to me. Words can't explain what I've learned ... I have been able to be a part of many things that are much bigger than me and feel like I've given my best efforts at them. I never saw myself as being able to make a huge impact on something like this, but you have made me believe I could. I appreciate you and will always think of you when I'm attempting to help anyone. You are a blessing."

- SSgt. Robert Vazquez