New Horizons Team
Founder & CEO
of New Horizons
As a child who grew up during the Cuban missile crisis and the height of the cold war, I became curious about Russia. While reading an encyclopedia article about the USSR, I learned about Ukraine. There was a photo of a family having dinner in their tiny kitchen. The walls were blue and white tile. I never forgot that.
Twenty-eight years later, my wife, Michelle, and I loaded our five children onto an airplane and moved to Kyiv, Ukraine. We rented an apartment sight unseen. When we arrived at our new home, I walked into the kitchen and was instantly transported back to my childhood and the photo in the encyclopedia. The walls were blue and white tile. Suddenly I knew I was home. That was 1995, and Ukraine has become home to us.
There have been many important moments in my life: getting married, having children, watching our children get married and have their own children, just to name a few. But probably the most profound moment was moving our family to Ukraine in 1995. That move not only changed my address, it changed my heart and where I call home-and that is true still to this day!
Trauma Care, Writer & Editor
I was twelve when we moved to Ukraine, newly independent from the Soviet Union. I grew into adulthood among Ukrainians who taught me strength amidst hardship and the value of relationships and honesty. My daughter once pointed to the Ukrainian flag and told me it was hers. My boys were born in Ukraine. This country is in our hearts, and we are working alongside our brothers and sisters to keep Ukraine free. This is our home.
Trauma Care & Writer
I moved to Ukraine in December 2014. While living here, I have experienced many difficult seasons; each one changed me. Little did I know, I was being prepared for the most challenging thing my family and I had experienced. The day the full-scale invasion of Ukraine started changed me forever. Watching all the people leaving broke my heart and filled me with compassion and a desire to make a difference in their lives. That day bonded my heart to Ukraine, and its people like nothing else has. Ukraine is my home, and I will play my part in restoring our home and people.
I have been a member and mentor in the Ukrainian scout organization Plast for over ten years. In 2014, when Russia attacked Ukraine, my scout mentor, a tender young girl in her twenties, found an SUV, filled it with humanitarian aid, got behind the wheel for the first time, and went to the war zone to help as a volunteer. She could not stand aside and be indifferent to her country. And I can't either. Her actions and the actions of many Ukrainians, my relatives, and my friends amaze me every day and motivate me to help Ukraine.
Trauma care & Writer
Trauma care & Writer, Editor
Once my friend went on a mission to India, and another friend went to Kenya. They took care of children who needed loving care and personal attention. It touched my heart, and I thought someday I would also help children in need, loving them by playing games and teaching them how to draw. I know their experiences in life gave them much to express through art. I envisioned going on a mission with my kids when they were a little older. When the terrible war came to my country, we were forced to flee our home and go to Lviv. I came to the New Horizons refugee shelter and saw children who needed a way to express the trauma of the war they had escaped. My dream of helping children through art, playing games, and loving them has come true here in my own country.
Restoring homes &
I have been doing photography since I was 19 years old. I began studying to be an engineer, but I left this field for photography and have been working as a photographer for 18 years. I have always enjoyed repairing things, restoring old equipment, and assembling power banks, flashlights, and lighting devices for photography. I have often moved to new homes, each requiring repairs and restoration. I began working as a director of wilderness camps for children five years ago. When the war started, I was invited to serve as the director of a refugee shelter. Today I am the director of ground operations for New Horizons. We restore homes for Ukrainian people that have lost so much in this war. Only now can I see that all my experiences in life have prepared me for what I am doing now.
The event that changed my life was volunteering at our psychiatric hospital in Lviv. My initial experience was frightening because I didn't know how to understand and respond to the patients. I did not understand the right or wrong things to say or do. After half a year, I was responsible for our team of volunteers in our weekly visits to the hospital. I have developed personal friendships with many patients and now better understand what life is like for the often forgotten people here. Of course, there were difficult moments, but these moments strengthened and grew me. I see how these experiences prepared me for my work at the New Horizons refugee shelter and the work I am doing today.
About New Horizons
New Horizons is a charitable organization dedicated to rebuilding Ukraine. Our focus is to repair homes and schools damaged by the war. We provide humanitarian relief to people trapped in the war zone. We provide trauma care resources for children and adult survivors of the war.
New Horizons works in partnership with Humanitarian Social Innovations, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. Our fiscal sponsorship with HSI provides our donor partners the security and safety of a tax-deductible way to rebuild, renew and restore life to our Ukrainian people.