Chris Johnson is the executive director of the Horizons Leadership Project (Horizons).
Chris founded the organization in 1992 after returning home to Brooklyn from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The original program, which ran from 1992 until 1998, was an all-volunteer project that provided free programs in thee arts, athletics and academics. In it’s last couple of years that program served over four hundred participants per year.
After leaving Horizons Chris went to work as a Program Coordinator at the New York State chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Over the next decade Chris also worked on health care issues as the Outreach Coordinator for the Brooklyn Alliance to Strengthen the Safety Net, the Program Coordinator of the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, and as a Community Organizer focused on environmental justice issues at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.
In 2010 Chris reestablished Horizons together with some of the program’s original co-founders and program alumni.
Damon Porter – Co-Founder
Damon Porter was born and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. He is a recently retired New York City police officer. Throughout his professional and personal life Damon has demonstrated a strong commitment to both social justice and supporting young people. As a co-founder of the original Horizons Youth Program, Damon was an integral part of the programs success as one of the lead staff members, and he continues that tradition as a volunteer support staff member when he is available.
Throughout the years, Damon has also supported many other youth focused efforts. He is a former high school star athlete who remains very active as both a player and coach. He is also an active volunteer who supports many humanitarian and social justice efforts. Damon’s life experiences leave him in a uniquely qualified position to provide both the oversight and guidance that is necessary to help the organization fulfill its mission. He is also an avid traveler who looks forward to seeing more of the world and expanding his role in Horizons now that he has retired from the NYPD.
Greg Loftis – Academic Director, Spring Boys Basket ball Academy
Greg was part of the team that founded Horizons Youth Program in the early nineties as well as the more recent Horizons Leadership Project. Between the two program Greg was active in several literacy projects with children at the public library and seniors at retirement homes. In 2007 Gregory received a Bachelor of Arts From the City College of New York. Greg is a Brooklyn native, a lifelong resident and newly minted Nets fan!
Johara Sealy – Academic Director (Summer 2011)
Johara joined Brooklyn Horizons Leadership Project as an academic director during the summer of 2011. She is an aspiring educator and education advocate, whose passionate pursuit is to work towards equity for all students. Johara is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and New York University. Besides her work with Horizons Johara has worked as a learning facilitator at a charter school in NYC, and is currently working as thee assistant to the lower school at the Nightingale School.
Anne Schelle-Herring – Basketball Coach
A native of Germany, Anne joined the Horizons Leadership Programs coaching staff this spring. Fluent in German and French, Anne played basketball in Germany before earning her B.S. in Education as well as her M.A. in Music Composition from New York University. She has published several of her compositions on Jazz recordings, and has been working in Education for over 15 years. Anne has two children and loves hoopin’ it up with her family on the playgrounds of Brooklyn. She has coached J.V. and Varsity Basketball and greatly enjoys sharing the court with all fellow basketball enthusiasts.
William Watkins – Basketball Coach/Coordinator
William “Will” Watkins: Was the head coach and basketball coordinator of Horizons Basketball Academy during the summer of 2010. Will is also a member of both the Track/Cross Country and Basketball coaching staffs at Brooklyn Friends High School (BFS). A 2005 graduate of BFS, Watkins played 2 years of varsity basketball and was captain of the team his senior year. He also played soccer during high school. Will, graduated from Salisbury University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. While at Salisbury, Watkins played Division III basketball for two seasons. Watkins currently resides in Brooklyn, New York and continues to play in recreational basketball leagues around the city.
O Zhang – Visual Arts Director
O Zhang is an artist working in photography and mix media. She had a MFA from the Royal College of Art in London and moved to New York in 2004. Zhang was the recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Artist Fellowship (NY). She was a visiting tutor at Oxford University, New York University, University of California, etc. Her work has been included in more than a hundred exhibitions throughout the world including a solo show at the Queens Museum of Art (New York) as well as in the collections of Guggenheim Museum (New York). O Zhang has been an art teacher at the Brooklyn College Community Partnership since spring 2011 and has been teaching at Walt Whitman Middle School since fall 2011. She joined Horizon Leadership Project in the summer of 2011.