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Project Horizons

Project Horizons is a college-track mentoring program for at-risk middle and high school students in Accomack and Northampton Counties. The program provides an extra academic, social, and cultural boost for economically disadvantaged students, and exposes them to the post-secondary education environment. We are funded through generous donations to the Eastern Shore Community College Foundation, and operate in partnership with ESAAA/CAA and Project Discovery of Virginia.

How Students are Chosen

The program does not pursue students based on academic achievement, but instead focuses on promising students who are nominated by teachers and guidance counselors, community members, or other students. The nominations are based on academic potential as well as economic, social, and academic needs.  Final selections are made by the Project Horizons/Discovery coordinator, advised by school guidance counselors and/or teachers.

Who Are Our Students

  • 7-12 grade students at Accomack and Northampton Counties
  • Many are first generation college students
  • Many students are from families who are under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Some may have difficult family lives or have experienced barriers to success in school.
  • Some have experienced homelessness or have an incarcerated family member.

Students Served

  • 60-80 students are in the program at any one time
  • Currently there are approximately 10 Project Horizons graduates enrolled at ESCC.
  • 10% of current Project Horizons students are enrolled in a dual enrollment classes (As of 01/2023)


Benefits to Students

Project Horizons students in grades 7 through 12 receive:

  • RECOGNITION:  Students are given a special opportunity and encouragement to succeed.
  • ATTENTION:  Regular access to caring and supportive adults.
  • REWARDS: Cash incentives for C or higher in core subjects.
  • Cultural, Social, and Educational Opportunities: Activities and field trips to museums, historical sites, art centers, career exploration, and college visits.
  • EXTRA HELP: Support, guidance, and tutoring as needed.
  • FREE TUITION:  Upon graduation from high school and completion of financial aid application Project Horizons students are guaranteed two free years of tuition and fees at ESCC, plus a textbook stipend.

Recent Trips and Activities

In the 2022-2023 Program Year, Project Horizons/Discovery Students had the opportunity to:

  • Tour Old Dominion University, Eastern Shore Community College, and attend the annual College Fair
  • Attend a new student orientation night and an admissions presentation
  • Participate in monthly in-school activity meetings on topics like: Budgeting, Financial Aid, Career Exploration, and Learning Styles.
  • Play Bowling, Laser Tag, and Arcade games at Apex Entertainment
  • Spend the day exploring the multitude of career opportunities with NASA and the Navy, while touring the NASA Wallops base and participating in a space themed Escape room.
  • Interact with college staff, advisors, career counselors, and others to help guide them in their futures
  • Additional trips and activities are planned for the year.

Program Requirements

Students must:

  • Re-Enroll in the Project Horizons/Discovery program each year.
  • Stay active in the program by attending monthly meetings or making alternative arrangements.
  • Finish the program each year by completing 12 touchpoints and visiting 3 colleges.
  • Study, keep grades up, improve problem areas, inform coordinator if tutor is needed.
  • Fill out Academic Incentive forms after each grading period to receive their cash rewards.
  • Maintain good behavior at home and school.
  • Complete College Access Plan (Seniors only)

Pictured Left to right: Project Horizons Alumni, Kentrelle Walker with Project Horizons Graduate, Logan Woermer, and Project Horizons/Discovery Coordinator, Miriam Cornwell

The Project Horizons/Discovery Coordinator

Regular Duties:

  • Coordinates monthly in-school meetings with students with school staff
  • Arranges field trips, college visits, activities, and/or opportunities for Project Horizons/Discovery Students
  • Communicates with students and provides supports to students as needed
  • Enrolls/re-enrolls students by completing necessary paperwork and orientation required by Project Discovery
  • Communicates between ESCC, ESAAA/CAA, and Project Discovery of Virginia to ensure compliance with Project Discovery requirements, including regular attendance at meetings and completing necessary reports and paperwork.

For more information please contact:

Miriam Cornwell, Project Horizons/Discovery Coordinator

757-789-1752 or email

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