Our Vocational Program is for individuals high school ages and older with the goal of demonstrating the skills to obtain meaningful and regular employment in the community. Target individuals are those whose lives may be improved through vocational training in the equine and farming industries. Participants will utilize Forward Stride’s Equine Facilitated Learning curriculum in conjunction with their assigned work duties. The internships typically last for 4 – 6 months.
The Forward Stride vocational program started as an idea from a parent/volunteer who envisioned a program to utilize the ever abundant manure produced by the herd, by composting it with hay and shavings cleaned out of the stalls. This volunteer also is an avid gardener and wanted to use his knowledge to teach others about growing different kinds of crops. Our executive director and our program coordinator put together goals and a timeline for the program, and accepted the first intern into the program the summer of 2016. Our first intern learned about composting and the growing of crops, and spent several months planting and cultivating a garden as well as composting the manure. The efforts culminated with the sale of pumpkins, gourds, squash, and bags of compost at the annual Forward Stride Harvest Fair in October 2016. Overall, about $150 was raised for Forward Stride by the vocational program participants.
The Forward Stride vocational program offers internships in the riding program, horse care, office, and facility management. We hope to continue to serve more young adults with this program, which will be made possible through the support of donations, grants, and volunteers.
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