Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Dream - Nine Years Down the Road

Nick provided the inspiration to begin DreamPower.
Nine years ago this week, DreamPower was born. I (Martha McNiel) was the lone psychotherapist, riding instructor, horse handler and volunteer. The only riding horse was Nick, my personal Arabian, who was not a suitable therapy horse. Three miniature horses (Zachary, Trigger and Choco) made up the DreamPower herd. Nine years ago this week, our first client came to DreamPower. And that was the beginning!

Nine years later, that one client has increased to the over 300 individuals who received services from DreamPower last year. Three Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, two doctoral psychology interns, five Marriage and Family Therapy Interns, six Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructors and one Instructor in Training, as well as more than 250 individual volunteers, will serve clients and students at DreamPower this year. Ten riding horses and Patches the miniature donkey have joined the three original minis in the DreamPower herd.

Martha was selected to receive the PATH Intl.
EFP/L Professional of the Year Award for 2011.
In the last two weeks, DreamPower was notified of two exciting awards that will be presented by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International at the PATH Intl. Conference in Lexington, Kentucky in November. DreamPower was notified that Martha McNiel has been selected to receive the 2011 Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning Professional of the Year Award. This national award is a wonderful honor for everyone at DreamPower. This award reflects on the consistent quality of services offered to our clients. We were also notified that Tulips has been selected as the PATH Intl. Region 11 Horse of the Year. She is now a finalist for the national Horse of the Year award, which will also be presented in Lexington in November.

Tulips has been chosen as the PATH International Region 11
Therapy Horse of the Year for 2011. 

Nine years later, DreamPower offers eleven distinct programs and services. In the past two months we hosted the Camp for Children with Special Needs (sponsored by the Gilroy Assistance League and South Valley Community Church) and the newest program, the IBM/DreamPower Camp for Children on the Autism Spectrum. We have expanded our Animal Assisted Therapy program to include five friendly goats and the 2011 Wine, Dine and Equine raised almost $11,000 and 275 people attended this wonderful event.

As I was reflecting on the past nine years, and the exciting times I believe are ahead for DreamPower, I was reminded of this quote by William Shakespeare, "I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks." That is how I feel about every staff member, volunteer, student, client, donor, supporter and horse who has helped DreamPower to become the wonderful organization it is today.

The future looks bright as we begin our tenth year at DreamPower!
 I want to close today with a quote from Dr. Albert Schweitzer, "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." 

I am thinking with very, very deep gratitude today of every staff member, volunteer, client, student, donor, supporter, horse, donkey, duck, chicken and goat that has made DreamPower into the wonderful place of healing and encouragement that it is today. Thank you all for bringing the dream this far, and I hope you are ready for a fabulous Year Ten!

No comments:

Post a Comment