It stands to reason that if someone can handle riding and taking care of a horse, that person can manage the unexpected ups and downs of life.
That is the thought process behind Detroit Horse Power, a New Center-based nonprofit specializing in teaching life skills to teens in Detroit through learning how to ride and care for horses.
"The idea is that this horse-person relationship serves as a springboard for interpersonal growth," says Paul Mack, board president for Detroit Horse Power. "Dealing with an animal that big teaches you how to deal with things you can’t control."
Mack is co-founder of Detroit Horse Power with David Silver, a Teach For America
fellow who recently graduated from Build Social
, a program that teaches the basics of running a socially-focused business or nonprofit.
"I started Detroit Horse Power after reflecting on my two years teaching elementary school in Detroit," Silver says. "I felt that I could work as hard as possible to create a supportive learning environment for my students, but all too often stresses from outside of school would spill over into the classroom and inhibit students’ abilities to learn. The mission of Detroit Horse Power is to give Detroit's youth a safe and enriching space that furthers their future development. Horses taught me so much in my childhood - important lessons about confidence, responsibility, empathy, determination and much more."
Detroit Horse Power is launching its first week-long class with a group of about a dozen teenage girls. They are partnering with the Buffalo Soldiers
, who are providing the horses and facilities. Silver and Mack would one day like Detroit Horse Power to acquire its own facilities.
"We're looking for the perfect property," Mack says.
Source: David Silver and Paul Mack, co-founders of Detroit Horse Power
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.