Our goal is to provide opportunities, for everyone.
In 1913 as Mahatma Gandhi stared out at the seemingly unsolvable problems of India and the sufferings of his people, he wrote:
"We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do."
[From VOL 13, Ch 153, General Knowledge About Health, Page 241, Printed in the Indian Opinion on 9/8/1913 from The Collected Works of M. K. Gandhi, published by The Publications Division, New Delhi, India.]
Since this wouldn't fit on a T-Shirt, popular culture has summarized his words to "Be The Change", which are the words we have built our foundation upon. But rather than stopping at "Be" we choose to take action by "Being" the change. Building a strong and successful generation with our children may seem impossible at times, but if we work together, one small change at a time, anything is possible.
For the Kids - Through equestrian sports we will provide opportunities for kids in the South Mountain area to develop discipline, self-esteem, motivation, social skills, life skills, academic achievement and physical fitness. Our kids will learn all aspects of caring for horses, from basic mucking stalls to veterinary aid. In exchange for all their horse work our professional instructors will teach them to tack, to ride, to play and eventually compete at polo. Once established the program will expand to include more disciplines like hunter/jumper, eventing, racing, rodeo and dressage. Our kids will earn these opportunities through commitment to themselves and our horses. We plan to maintain 100 students each year beginning in the 3rd grade and graduating with high school.
Kim has been a lifelong volunteer which she attributes to her positive parental role models and the strong sense of community she gained growing up in New York. Kim's charitable skills really began to develop through the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, where she served as Vice President of her initiating chapter from 1987-1989. She continues to serve on the graduate membership committee, healthcare initiates committee; specifically breast cancer awareness. After relocating to Arizona (first to Tucson) with her husband she began volunteering with Heifer International, finding herself deeply inspired by their mission to empower families to turn strife into prosperity. Kim is currently a Professor of Public Administration at NAU and also serves as the Athletic Director at St. Louis the King Catholic School. Kim will be completing her PhD in 2014 and looks forward to incorporating her experiences with Being The Change into her dissertation “Lived experiences and perceptions of intercollegiate coaches: A qualitative transcendental phenomenological study of Cultural Intelligence.”
After retiring as an executive from a large corporation in NJ, Shelly returned home to her native Arizona to dedicate herself to a new career as a lifelong volunteer. 14 years ago Shelly began by opening her home (heart and checkbook) as a rescue and foster home for Golden Retrievers. She has served on various committees within the Arizona Humane Society helping to facilitate their needs through public outreach and fundraising. She continues to serve as a volunteer Board Member for the Arizona State Veterinary Investigative Committee. For her two legged friends - Shelly has been a leader within the Junior League of Phoenix since 2000, and has made amazing progress with her special blend of enthusiasm and encouragement. For several years Shelly was an active volunteer and continues support the Central Arizona Shelter Services. During her many years of service for so many varied causes and communities; Shelly earned a solid reputation as a "Doer" and is often one of the first called upon by organizations to lead new campaigns. She has recently introduced her 6 year old daughter to "service of others" by gathering and distributing blankets each winter and is really looking forward to working with South Mountain area kids.
While growing up in New Mexico, Sarah was an active participant in the Girl Scouts; all the way from Brownie to Cadette. During this time Sarah was fortunate to complete work necessary for the Silver Award, a large part of which was a community service project in an elementary school. It was here that Sarah developed her lifelong passion for community service, and she credits her many of life's accomplishments to skills gained in programs in which she participated and later those in which she has served. In her adult life Sarah served as Chairman and Board Member on citizen boards hearing appeals for zoning disputes and Risk Trust Fund for the City of Avondale. Sarah has served with the Junior League of Phoenix since 2006, and continues to sustains that organization. Sarah has also served the Arizona Humane Society and has been an active supporter of Homeward Bound and Child Crisis Center. Sarah found true focus when serving as a Assistant Cub Scout Master for her son's pack in Laveen and will to bring that same love of learning and youth leadership development to Being The Change.
Cristina has been a leader in the service our nation for most of her life, which has given her the unique opportunity to see and learn from the world's community projects. Now she has begun putting her knowledge of the world's best practices to use in her native Phoenix. Cristina has been an avid rider since her youth and is very excited to combine her passion for community service with her love of horses and kids.
Erin McDonald - President of Community Outreach