In 2022, the OCCF awarded $24,255 to Crossroads Ranch Inc. for the implementation of an equine experiential learning (EEL) program, known as This is Me!. This program mainly targets at-risk youth, but works with all Owen County individuals under the age of 18 to teach valuable life skills and lessons through equine-assisted therapy. Through structured individual and group sessions, kids learn how to overcome unique challenges and discover their true self worth and potential by being placed in safe, but slightly challenging situations involving a horse. The result is a more well-rounded participant who can fully comprehend their strength, intelligence, and readiness to handle whatever life throws their way.
Since its inception, the This is Me! Program has continued to exceed expectations. Sessions fill up in a matter of days at the beginning of each cycle of the program, with the grant money provided by the Foundation allowing nearly 30 children to participate in over 250 hours of lessons since springtime. Tamra Ranard, a Crossroads Equine Experiential Learning life coach, reports that the primary goal parents ask them is to help their kids focus, control their energy, follow direction, and follow through/complete tasks. 60-90 minute individual and group sessions, as well as half-day workshops at the ranch, focus on honing these skills.
Crossroads continues to grow and has plans to deliver more sessions next year to meet overwhelming interest. They are currently working on additional funding to continue assisting families and meet growing demands. OCCF is excited to see the incredible positive impact they are making with our youth.