By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
VINELAND – Arthur C. Horn, who has been on the Rowan College of South Jersey campus [formerly Cumberland County College] for nearly two decades, said he has found his role as a “connector” highly valuable.
The counselor, adjunct professor and former basketball coach said he found himself creating opportunities as one of a handful of African-American males on campus.
“The thing that has been special for me on campus is that I have been able to act as a ‘connector,'” Horn recently told Front Runner New Jersey. “I brought a network of people and resources when arrived on to the campus. Over the years, I have been able to expand my network of people and resources by connecting the community to the campus and the campus to the community.
“In this time, I have been able to create some great opportunities for the campus community and the community at large. Being one of a few African-American men working on the campus as an adviser and an instructor, I understand the value and the assets that I bring. I also understand the burden that comes with being one of the few,” Horn continued.
Horn will celebrate his 20th year serving as an adjunct professor on campus in September, teaching classes on sociology, anthropology and the school’s freshmen seminar. Since 2007, he has served as an Educational Opportunity Fund counselor, providing academic, career, personal, financial aid and transfer advisement.
CompleteCare and CASA
Horn also serves the community away from campus. Two organizations he is particularly close to are the CompleteCare Inc. and Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.
He serves on the ConpleteCare board, currently at vice chair, where he gets to advocate on local healthcare issues. CompleteCare provides low-income and otherwise health disparate people with high-quality, affordable and accessible health services.
“I have been on CompleteCare board for approximately 17 years,” Horn said. “For about 15 years of my time on the board, I have been pressing for a greater focus on male’s health. My relationship with the organization has allowed me to develop a connection with the Teen Center at Bridgeton High School … For the last several years, I have worked with some of the male students on a weekly meet up known as R.I.C.H. Gents.”
Horn said his work with CASA for the past 13 years has allowed him to help youth at some of their most challenging times.
“CASA is a volunteer driven organization working with children in the foster care system,” Horn said. “Besides being a board member, [significant other] Jennifer and I are foster parents. I am able to live the life and have firsthand experience dealing with the trauma that exist for children and families whom enter into the system.
“Both organizations [CompleteCare and CASA] give me the ability to continuously learn about industries changes. This knowledge allows me to provide updated career development knowledge to the students at RCSJ. My connections also allow me to have the ability to expose students to volunteer or internship experiences as a ‘connector,'” Horn continued.
Leading the Dukes
Horn spent nearly two years as Cumberland County College’s basketball coach. He was a former standout student-athlete at Cumberland Regional High School. He admitted that his time at coach was mixed.
“The experience as head coach was bittersweet,” Horn said. “I was in a doctoral program when the opportunity came up. I decided to stop the program to take on becoming the coach. My first ever regular season game as a head coach was on my birthday. My family turned out in mass to support the team and celebrate my birthday. The men’s basketball team was having difficulty in keeping the student-athletes academically eligibility at that time.
“My initial goals were to build a culture of academic persistence and success. As coach, it was more than basketball for me. A lot of my work was guiding the student-athletes through life situations more than basketball,” he continued.
Horn said he wanted to make sure his players got the most out of the experience on and off the court since playing junior college basketball was hardly a ticket to the NBA or even a Division I scholarship.
“The team did begin the process of developing a culture of academic success,” Horn said. “The bitter part of my coaching journey was the battles I had to wage based on some in the administration who had a different idea of how the team should operate. Beyond being a coach, I had to be a protector of African-American student first. This became an issue for me as the coach.”
Breaking the Bondage
For more than a decade, Horn has been his consultant business 2BU Breaking the Bondage LLC, which provides various financial and career development services.
“The company has been providing tax services for 13 years,” Horn said. “The company is constructed to assist clients in creating ‘Legacy Plans’ that act as guides towards achieving educational, career and financial goals.
After all of his success on and off campus, the Bridgeton native said he never saw himself as a role model. It took others pointing out his impact on them that he finally started to become comfortable with the term.
“For the longest, I did not look at myself as a role model,” Horn said. “I felt that I was just answering people questions and listening to their ideas. After people who were older than me started to say I was their role model, I started to recognize that I do not choose if I am a role model. I see being a role model as an honor in which others see me as a trusted confidant.
“In a world where judgement is part of the daily culture, I work hard to give people the space where they can come without judgement. I am very appreciative that others would seek me out to be their role model. I work the hardest to be the number one role model for my children. I believe this is what makes me worth being consider as a role model to others. If I cannot model what my own children should strive to be as a person then it is not worth other peoples’ time to seek me out as a role model,” Horn continued.
Horn touched on various other subjects in his interview with Front Runner New Jersey.com.
FRNJ: Tell me about your family and growing up.
Arthur Horn: I was born in Bridgeton to Ronald Horn and Arlene Pierce-Horn. The first five years of my life was lived on the southside of Bridgeton. My mother’s family lived on South Avenue and across the ally my father’s family lived on South Avenue. I spent my time in between both homes learning and growing. I attended Union Baptist Temple in Bridgeton as a young child through my adult years. My parents and I moved to an apartment in Bridgeton Village. I was about 4-years-old. I remember my father saying, “The first roach I see we moving.” Well about seven months in we saw one roach and as promised, we were on our way out. My parents purchased a home in Fairfield Manor located on the boarder of Millville and Fairfield Township (Gouldtown). I have two sisters and two brothers. My sisters are the oldest and youngest as I am the second oldest. I come from a very large family. Fairfield Township school system is where I attended K-8th.
I attended Cumberland Regional High School from 9th–12th. I built my personal brand through being a fierce point guard and a stylish dresser. I was the first fifth grader to ever make the Gouldtown boys’ basketball team (most of the time 6th grade was the entry point to make the team). I continued playing basketball throughout my high school years. In addition, I was selected as Best Dress in 8th and 12th grades. After graduating high school, I went to the first degree conferring Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. L.U. is where I continued to grow as a person and begin to embrace the leadership roles I found myself in. I double majored in Sociology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Human Services. Besides my academics, I was Senator for freshmen, sophomore and Junior years. For my senior year, I was elected vice president for the class. Note: I would have been Best Dress for senior yearbook but I declined. After moving to the City of Philadelphia to start my career, I returned to Lincoln University’s graduate program and received my Master’s of Science in Administration with a concertation in Education. Then obtained a Master’s in Business Administration from Georgian Court University. In addition, I am certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator, Career Services Provider, and Financial Education Instructor as well as a New Jersey Life Insurance Producer Currently, I have a blended family with my significant other Jennifer. We are parents of 6 children and two grandchildren.
FRNJ: I see you worked at the Department of Corrections as a social worker. Any part of that experience you take with you today? Why?
Arthur Horn: There were a few experiences that I take with me today. While at Southern State Prison, the Social Services department was expected to do a lot of unit visits. After being on staff for seven months and having conversations with the other social workers, we decided to bring our concerns to administration. The staff requested to have the administer for the facility to come to the next staff meeting. To prepare for the meeting, I typed up a document to hand out during the meeting titled “Five Focal Points and a Person Concern.” I remember that time because my oldest child was 4 months old. The night before as I typed up the handout, my daughter was sitting on my lap. All I could think is “how could this decision to hand out this document affect my ability to take care of her.” That next day the meeting time arrived. Everyone was sitting around the table. Some people shared but was hesitate, so I passed out my created handout. The five focal points were about operational barriers to do the work. The personal concern was a statement that “All African-American males at SSCF are not inmates.” This concern was to address the racism that was given out by some of the Correctional Officers at SSCF. This moment is significant because even when approaching this difficult work situations in a professional matter, I understood there was still a risk involved. Two weeks after the meeting, I was informed that someone scored higher than I on the Civil Services Test. Due to this, the position would have to be offered to that person (I had provisional status at the time).
During the same time, the department had nominated me for the state Social Worker of the Year award representing SSCF (the department did not even know I was about to be let go prior to the nomination). Basically, I was a fired Social Worker of the Year recipient. I did get hired at South Woods State Prison in the Social Services department. While at SWSP, I built a representation that I got answers for those incarcerated. There was an older man who was sick. He had been trying to get medical staff to see him about medical concerns. This individual was not on the unit I was responsible for providing services. He found a way to get in contact with me. When I met with him, he was very sick. I could tell by just meeting with him. I advocated for him to get seen my medical. I spoke with one of the Lieutenants in the building. He agreed to talk with the medical staff to get him in for an appointment. The individual got scheduled for the next morning. The next day, I came into the office and sat down. The lieutenant that assisted in getting the appointment set up came into the office to see me. He informed me that late in the previous night the man died for heart failure. This moment still lives with me today. For three weeks he refused a medical appointment. We got him an appointment then he left this earth. I still feel today that I participated in a system that killed a man. But, I also realize that as he died, he knew that there was at least one person who fought for his humanity. This moment pushed me to leave from inside the prison walls.
FRNJ: Who has and continues to inspire you (parents, teachers, etc.)?
Arthur Horn: My parents Ronald and Arlene have always been supportive. Growing up we always heard “you are all that.” My grandparents were very influential to me prior to their deaths. I learned so much but receive a lot of love that allowed me to elevate myself. My family and extended family (which society would call friends) in general have been a blessing to me. Jennifer continues to inspire me to advocate on the behalf of others. As a special education teacher, foster parent and even with our own children, she is relentless in advocating for others. In the 10 questions asked, this is the hardest for me because I am truly inspired by people at meet. I believe everyone has an inspirational story so when I meet someone my goal is to learn something from that person.
FRNJ: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Arthur Horn: In five years, I plan to be effectively working in the growing movement to create and network people (businesses) that redirect wealth back into the economically affected communities.
FRNJ: Anything else you would like to add?
Arthur Horn: I have learned that standing up and speaking out will impact a person’s personal economy, but standing up and speaking out on behave of others allow a person to stay internally R.I.C.H. (with Respect, Integrity, Character and Honor).
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