The Just For Girls Academy, the Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy and Performance Transformation, LLC™ collaborate to create the first Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning program in the United States to be adopted as part of a charter school’s core curriculum.
Last Friday, I had the privilege to appear on Patricia Raskin’s Positive Business radio program. Co-hosts Patricia and MariAnn Snow inquired about our new, collaborative educational development program, SMART Girls. During the first segment of the show, we explored the emotional, psychological and behavioral benefits a relationship-based approach to Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning can deliver for young girls.
Yesterday, with the seamless support and leadership of Gail Clifton, Sam Toomey and the remarkable, heart-centered volunteers at SMART, (Bradenton, FL), we conducted our second workshop with the young ladies from the Just For Girls Academy. Dr. Jennifer Rosenboom, the principal of the academy, members of their teaching staff and Becky Canesse, the CEO of Just For Girls, were also present, providing their support, guidance, and leadership for the girls experiencing yesterday’s workshop.
Shortly after watching a girl in second grade set a soft and respectful boundary with Jazz, a quiet paint mare at SMART, I started thinking about the world these girls will be inheriting. In 2030, these girls will be matriculating out of school and finding their places in the world. When I try to look forward seventeen years, I struggle to even begin to imagine what the pace of change, constraints on resources, technological advancements, and hopefully a few social advancements will have done to shape their lives.
When I look back seventeen years, to 1996, I see a much different world. Remember when you’d lose the digital signal on your StarTac and the battery would drain in a matter of minutes running on analog? Remember the screech of modems connecting over a phone line? Remember Netscape? Daniel Goleman’s book, “Emotional Intelligence” was a best seller alongside “The Dilbert Principle”. Gas cost $1.23 a gallon and unemployment was at 5.6%. So looking forward, to 2030, it is difficult to visualize what things will look like, but I sense ambiguity and rapid change are unlikely to dissipate.
This is why we are so excited about the work our unique collaboration (of public/private, nonprofit/for profit organizations) is doing to educate and develop what Ms. Canesse and Dr. Rosenboom refer to as educating the whole girl. Each and every girl is developing mindful leadership competencies based in compassion, authentic empathy and the connection and presence that emerges when one is being of service to others. The challenges these young women are likely to face demands nothing else. Mindful adaptability and being secure in one’s intrinsic values will greatly serve these young people as they step out into the world of 2030.
It is the same world we need to consider when we train our next generation of business leaders as well. In the second segment of the program, we discuss the neurophysiological dynamics of our approach to leadership development and the positive impact this has in today’s multi-cultural, multi-generational, rapidly changing, global workplace. We discuss how the introduction of novel, experiential learning, supported by an educationally-based approach to coaching, cultivates organizational fitness and mindful leadership capable of driving engagement, creativity and innovation through the fog of an ambiguous landscape.
You’re welcome to listen in to the podcast below:
© 2012, Patricia Raskin.
© 2012, Terry Murray.
Photograph courtesy of SMART.