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about us

Our Mission: To light a spark that ignites and inspires the internal promise of each student as they fulfill their academic and personal goals.



Over 50 years ago, the forecast might have seemed gloomy for a teenage Char Specht Pachniak. Luckily, supportive family and a variety of community members saw promise within her and stepped up. Char went on to become a teen mom who didn't take no as the final answer. She explored a variety of careers, and after working as a market manager of three commercial radio stations for 22 years, she retired from the for-profit world. Char then stepped into the non-profit world, working in museums, educational agencies, and environmental agencies.

Char's passion for making a difference led her to studying and researching the needs of today's teenage girls, and Horizons4Girls (H4G) was born. Through H4G, Char came alive. Making an impact in the lives of students and volunteers helped her find great fulfillment.

Why do we tell you this story? Because the impossible is possible! That teenage mom graduated, raised a son, and found her dream job where she can help others follow their dreams.

Char works with dozens of volunteers. Many of them are trained, certified mentors, and others volunteer by delivering school supplies and food, tutoring students, helping with various fundraisers, or chaperoning field trips. Our volunteers and mentors come from a variety of backgrounds and are college students, recent grads, working professionals, retired workers, and stay-at-home moms. One thing they all have in common is that they all say how good they feel when a student says, "Thank you for helping me get here," whether that be for a field trip or a graduation.

Whether you have an hour or two a month, an afternoon every other week, or need an internship to finish that degree, have coffee with Char and let her share a story or two. H4G would be happy to have you join our team!

"Join us!" says Faith (pictured below)!




  • Char Pachniak, Founder, CEO

  • Cathy Berger, Co-Founder

Community Advisors

  • Angela Sutkiewicz, Circuit Court Judge

  • Carla Vorpahl, SASD Social Worker

  • Jackie Joseph-Silverstein, Retired UW-Sheboygan Dean

  • Dawn Seifert, community collaborator, Mentor, volunteer

  • Dr. Joe Sheehan, Sheboygan Area School District (retired)

Board of Directors

  • Deb Trcka, SASD teacher, Mentor/volunteer

  • Char Pachniak, Founder, CEO

  • Alex Klitzka, Personal Risk Manager

  • Lisa Anne Areneson, Simplify

  • Dawn Thaves, Johnsonville

Certified Mentors

  • Kara Pankratz

  • Nichelle Keil

  • Lauren Cram

  • Polly Abts

  • Stcey Schimberg

  • Alissa Preuss

  • Samantha Chapa

  • Christine Block

  • Dawn Seifert

  • Sara Walsh

  • Emily Lucht

  • Lucille Coughlin

  • Liz Adelman

  • Erika Block

...and dozens of volunteers, tutors, & interns!

Staff & volunteers receive on-going training in PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Systems), 40 Developmental Assets & various seminars through OJJDP (Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention) and MENTOR Great Milwaukee (training & resources).


It happens at Horizons4Girls: improved school attendance, enhanced communication & social skills, enjoyment doing community service & so much more.

We Provide A Supportive Structured Setting

In both group and individual settings, young women are offered mentoring and study skills/techniques. As family life, peer pressure, and educational expectations become more of a challenge for young women, they may be looking for personalized assistance with their studies and life decisions. The opportunity to explore ever-changing career options is part of what Horizons4Girls works to do. Giving the young women a variety of speakers, presenters & potential role models helps them to develop their own personal goals.



Life Skills

Creating a household budget, helping in community gardens, unleashing creativity in the kitchen, learning about various cultures, as well as job shadowing are some of the learning opportunities we provide.

Creativity In So Many Ways

Whether art, music, or writing, there are many opportunities for expression. Very often this is a venue to express feelings and views in a safe and non-threatening way. This gives the young women an opportunity to discover themselves and their interests.



Community Service

Providing community service far and wide is a very rewarding, educational experience. Every month the young women are out as a group, discovering ways they can give back to their neighborhoods. Whether delivering cookies to residents of nursing homes or helping trim the hooves of animals at a local hobby farm, they learn more about their communities and themselves.

We help with:

  •  Study skills

  •  Goal setting and problem solving

  •  Anger management

  •  Alcohol and drug awareness

  •  Life and job skills

  •  Effective, safe communication skills

  •  Grief issues

  •  Community service

  •  Neglect and abuse issues

  •  Physical fitness

  •  Family issues

Each student is "at promise", not at risk... and we inspire their internal promise to fulfill their academic and personal goals.


Click on a logo to learn more!

Horizons for Girls Logo
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