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Students and Horses Excel
Board of Directors
Willa Rose – President
In 2003, Willa was gifted a free horse/pony. "What am I going to do with this horse? I'm down to only one horse, and I kind of like that", she said. Looking up to the sky with that question, and ready to have the answer fall into her open hands, she had a vision of helping young victimized girls regain their self-esteem with some horse time. She closed her hands to capture that vision and went for it. She already had 2 years experience working with a charity for victimized women and children, and witnessed the hardships facing survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Believing that nature heals, and wanting to give back, she decided to give it a go.
Students and Horses Excel (SHE, Inc.) received its non-profit status in 2003. In the beginning, she found it easy to acquire more horses, hay and safety gear. It was harder to acquire funds to give-away the therapy sessions. Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies hadn't quite caught on yet in Idaho. After 15 years and a few relocations, SHE is still serving the Treasure Valley in SW Idaho. With the medical associations finally acknowledging the benefits of EAAT, we are hopeful that funding will now be more readily available so more individuals and families can heal from their traumas.
Douglas Griffis - Vice President
Douglas has an extensive background in the training and exposition of historical Baroque Riding. The care given to this level of training a horse’s body and mind produces a willing equine partner that carries its rider with balance so that the endorphins do their job of healing the brain and connecting it to the body. His kind and gentle approach to special needs students is treasured. His enthusiasm and dedication to horses helping families is pure joy.
Kathi Griffis - Secretary
Kathi's background is secretarial work and medical billing. Her organizational skills are greatly valued as we move into an era where EAAT is recognized more readily as a viable modality to healing.
Joseph Morisette - Treasurer
Joseph's experience as a financial officer spans 50 years. Along with his own businesses, he volunteered for 6 years as a Regional Financial Officer for a 35 year old (at the time) nationwide non-profit historical reenactment organization, the Society for Creative Anachronism. He also volunteers his time to SHE in this capacity. As well, he is a licensed mental health counselor and volunteers in our program.
Alyssa LaJoie – Director
Alyssa grew up volunteering with our program as camp counselor, and training assistant. Her passion for the horses and their well-being took her on the path of Equine Bodyworker. With two certifications, she now is our horse counselor, because when the horse's body works well, they work well.