The Horizon Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of two staff members: Akbar Tolbert, communications assistant, and Rashel Taylor, community engagement associate.
Akbar brings a passion for social and systemic change, equality, and diversity to the Foundation as communications assistant. He will use strategic communications to drive social change through social media management, writing, event marketing, website management and other tasks. Most recently, Akbar worked as editor-in-chief of the Howard Community College Times where he led a publication team and oversaw the production of the biweekly student newspaper. Akbar has served as the president of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Howard Community College for more than two years and has been an active advocate for the local LGBTQIA+ community and community college students. He currently lives in Columbia.
Rashel brings more than five years of experience in community engagement, education and advocacy to the Foundation as its new community engagement associate. Previously, she served as the Black Student Achievement Program Liaison at Howard High School where she was in charge of advocating for the well-being of African American students through social, emotional and academic support. Through her experience with the Howard County Public School System, Rashel has facilitated close relationships with students, families, school leaders and community organizations to support students. At the Foundation, Rashel will be focusing on engaging the community on mental health and wellness for youth and Speak(easy) Howard, the Foundation’s communitywide campaign to make it easier for everyone in Howard County to begin the advance care planning process. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is currently completing a master’s degree in human and social services through Walden University. Rashel is a Howard County native and currently lives in Columbia.
“The passion that Akbar and Rashel bring to our team will be invaluable to helping the Horizon Foundation carry out its mission to improve health and wellness for everyone in Howard County,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO of the Horizon Foundation.