Our fourth Kearney nonprofit finalist in the 100 Year, $100k Office Makeover Contest is Bravehearts Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy & Learning. Founded by Dan and Nancy Lyon in 2015, Bravehearts uses horses to relax, teach and help their clients learn life skills. They are certified Equine Specialists, trained to monitor the safety and wellbeing of both their clients and the horses. Answers provided by Nancy.
To vote for the Kearney winner of the office makeover contest, click here!
Q: Why do you need an office makeover?
A: Our office is a small place in the corner of our house. Our supply/props room is located in a non-heated north porch. Because we operate out of small area, important paperwork/files are often double stacked, if not tripled stacked. Unfortunately much time is lost in trying to locate a much needed file or prop. $25,000 would allow us to combine both areas to create a more user-friendly work space, allowing us to spend more time in the arena overseeing our equine-assisted activities.
Q: How do you devote ethical business practices to fulfilling your mission?
A: Our mission: Connecting with horses to facilitate growth, learning and healing in individuals, families and groups. We believe that people have their own solutions to their own problems. By partnering with a horse, people are able to discover these solutions. To fulfil BraveHeart’s mission, we have a huge concern and respect for people while they wade through the “muck of life.” We have a committment to excellence not only to honor the people as they walk into the arena to find their own solutions, but also to honor the horses’ well-being. In our commitment to fairness, We constantly are evaluting and re-evaluting our costs so that we provide the best programs for the most reasonable suggested donation.
Q: What are some positive examples of your influence on the community?
A: BraveHearts offers unique equine-assisted programs to families, individuals and children who struggle in life. In our HorsePowered Reading/Math programs, while children are interacting with horses, they not only learning and building critical math and reading skills, but they are developing essential skills in communication, teamwork and problem-solving. They think they are just having fun.
One seven-year-old girl came to us not knowing the sounds of the alphabet nor did she care to know them. After participating in our summer HorsePowered Reading program, a fire for learning ignited within her. Jenny wanted to learn how to these letters worked together. For the first time, she picked up a book on her own. If a child believes he can’t read, then he cannot; however, once he believes he can read, it changes everything.
Dustin’s attitude prevented him from succeeding in school. His favorite saying was “This is going to be hard,” when asked to complete an activity with a horse. After a few weeks, his new favorite saying was “This is going to be easy-peasy.” That made all the difference in the world for him. We are impacting the community of Kearney one person/child at a time by empowering then to take responsibility for their own learning, their own decisions and their own actions. When they choose to take on these tasks, it not only transfers to other areas of their life, but it also impacts their family in so many positive directions.
Q: Please demonstrate your leadership.
A: BraveHearts came to life in 2015. It was created out of a desire to help others through a unique method. The nearest equine-assisted pyschotherapy program resides in Lincoln and Omaha. BraveHearts is the only nonprofit that we are aware in the state of Nebraska. Not only do we provide psychotherapy services, but we provide unique learning programs. HorsePowered Reading was created by Michelle Pickel in Minnesota. HorsePowered Math was developed by myself. I am constantly searching and developing new programs to meet the diverse needs of our community. Our newest program is Equine Empowerment developed for the pre-teens and the teenagers. BraveHearts is also in the early stages of teaming with therapists to bring equine-assisted pyschotherapy to our vets and their families. Building a nonprofit from the ground up has not been an easy adventure, but one that has been well worth it. With an office makeover, BraveHearts would be able to be more efficient in the office so more time could be spent in the arena helping others.