Our Team


Giovanni Acevedo

Program Director

Gio serves as point person for the day to day operations of the Summer and High School Program. Gio is responsible for building strong relationships with Horizons students, families, staff, and volunteers, as well as partners in Boston and Dedham Public Schools.

Prior to Horizons, Gio worked in Newton Public Schools, providing social, academic, and behavioral support to students. He has extensive experience working at youth arts organizations in Boston building strong networks and creating positive change through the arts and youth empowerment.


Morgan Byrnes

Director of Operations

Morgan oversees day-to-day operations at the Horizons office. She works closely with the Program Director to ensure high quality programming for all Horizons students. This year, Morgan will continue to support Horizons as Site Director of the Mattahunt program.

Before coming to Horizons, Morgan spent two years teaching English as a Second Language in Seoul, South Korea. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs, and a B.A. in History from Suffolk University.


Alexis Jais

AmeriCorps VISTA

Alexis is joining Horizons at DCD as the second AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America). Her daily focuses are split between development and community engagement. Alexis graduated Providence College in 2018 with a B.A. in Sociology and Global Studies.

Before Horizons, Alexis spent time as an education fellow in China, and later worked as a development intern at a non-profit called NEAVS.


Meredith Laban

Executive Director

Meredith Laban has returned to Horizons in the role of Executive Director. Meredith was the first ED of Horizons at DCD. Her strong leadership skills, extensive experience, tremendous effort, and guiding hand through the six years she was with us from 2008-2014 resulted in Horizons at DCD being considered one of the exemplary Affiliates within the Horizons network. For two and a half years following 2014, Meredith worked with Horizons National as the Senior Director of Affiliate relations.

Meredith now oversees all program management and administrative operations for Horizons, as well as our fundraising efforts. Prior to working with Horizons, Meredith worked in educational program management for ten years. Meredith has a B.A. from Colgate University and an M.A. in education from the University of Michigan.


Maureen Simonson

Academic Coordinator

As the Academic Coordinator, Maureen works to support our teachers during Summer Programming. She is a point person for curriculum support and for connecting students to our team of reading specialists. Maureen currently works at Dedham Country Day School as a Kindergarten Reading Specialist. Prior to that, Maureen was a Reading Specialist at the Riverdale School, a public school in Dedham for 12 years, and previously taught fourth grade at Riverdale for 28 years.

She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston College where she earned her BA. She holds an MA in Special Education from Regis College and an MEd in Literacy and Language from Framingham State College. Horizons National awarded Maureen the National Teacher Excellence Award.