News & Resources

Guest Speaker: Phil Klebine

Independence Means Being in Control of Your Life

Phil Klebine* came by to speak with Horizons students about his experiences living life with a disability, to give students advice and answer their questions. Phil began by talking about his disability. He was paralyzed from the chest down due to a C-5 spinal injury as a result of a car crash when he was 18 years old. Since that time, he has learned how to take control of his life, which is how he defines independence.

“You’re going to have setbacks along the way whether you have a disability or not,” he said. “It’s okay to fail; that’s how you learn about yourself and what you can do.” Phil referenced how he applied and interviewed for numerous jobs before someone gave him a chance.

“Pat yourself on the back occasionally – when you reach a goal or overcome a setback.”

According to Phil, college and post-secondary programs are about “sticking it out.” You have to have the motivation to do something. Finding purpose and meaning in life will give you the motivation you need to overcome obstacles along the way.

A key piece of advice he imparted to our students was in regards to the concept of independence. Some mistakenly believe that it means doing or being able to do everything for yourself. Phil disagrees. Independence is more about being in control of you life. You should know when to ask for help and what resources are available to you.

“Everyone needs help sometimes; never be afraid to ask for help”

*Phil is the Knowledge Translation Director for Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, part of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) School of Medicine. He started off as a client of Disability Rights and Resources and now sits on their Board of Directors.

Giving Back: Children’s Hospital Wagon Wash

Members of The Horizons School’s Hearts of Horizons Civitan Club volunteered their time to wash the wagons that are used to transport patients of Children’s of Alabama.Ā  Watch the video below to learn more about this particular service project, as well as the school’s partnership with Civitan International.

Graduation 2018

Congratulations to our 2018 Core Curriculum and Community Transition Graduates!

group cap& gowncrop

(Core Curriculum Graduates from left: Zach, Richie, Michael, Ashlyn, Peyton, Lauren & Jamison)


(Community Transition Graduates from left: Isaiah, Nick & Klaudia)


Horizons School collects donations & canned goods for The Food Bank

Article by Erica Wright of The Birmingham Times

Students with the Hearts of Horizons Civitan Service Club collected 224 pounds of canned andWaneka and Horizons student Jacob dry foods and $370 for the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama earlier this month.

The club is part of The Horizons School, which prepares young adults with learning difficulties for an independent life. The school partnered with Civitan International, a Birmingham based organization of volunteer service clubs, to establish the Horizons Civitan Service Club earlier this year. There are about 21 student members and five staff members.

To read the complete article, click here.

Career Resource Center

On November 16th faculty, students and board members met to thank the Independent Presbyterian Church for their generous donation allowing us to build our state of the art Career Resource Center. Students utilize this space to practice their job readiness skills, apply for positions in the community and participate in their Business Communications classes. We are so thankful for this community supporter and partner!