My love for horses has resulted in a love for education, empowerment, justice, and has made me the Social Worker I am today. I began this journey growing up in Oakland, CA during the 1980’s. There were about a dozen children growing up on Maxwell Avenue. When I was seven years old one of my neighbors knocked on my door and invited me to ride horses with a program her mom heard of through the Mayor’s Office~ The Black Cowboys Association. After my first day of participation I was in love with these great beautiful creatures. The program taught inner city youth the fundamentals of horsemanship to assist in making a positive change for Oakland. I continued to ride with this program until I had maximized what they had to offer. I then continued to refine my horsemanship with a local dressage trainer. I was also a member with Metropolitan Horseman’s Association (MHA), where I received Certified Horsemanship Association Level One and participated in beginner level schooling shows.
In the sixth grade I learned of a boarding high school who integrated horsemanship into their freshman course work. I thought that would be a great option for me- I can go to an excellent school, move out of Oakland, and ride horses every day. I was driven to succeed in Junior High School to reach the goal of attending a boarding school with horses. As a result of being driven to succeed and be with horses, I stove to be on honor role from the seventh grade through ninth grade, then continue my successes while attending The Millbrook School, in New York, completing my Bachelors at Mills College and Masters of Social Work program at Sacramento State University.
Recently I have expanded my personal and professional involvement with horses. I spent twenty five years of riding other people’s horses, by leasing or sponsoring. This May of 2013 I was able to purchase my own horse, Monty, adding to my family of 3 sons, a daughter, two cats, a dog, and a husband. I also completed a certification in EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association), which has allowed me to combine my love of horses with my LCSW and provide Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) or Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) to clients. I currently am the Director of Mental Health with Second Chances California, providing EAL services to Probationers and AWP. In partnership with Julie Baker and Dependent Ranch, we are working to expand the services we provide to private practice, as well as services to youth and adults through local community programs.
In creating an intervention program which incorporates horses will apply my life experiences to helping at risk Children, Adults, Families and Groups ~ and finding their drive to succeed in life.