Foundations Community Partnership has awarded a $3,000 Partnership in Youth Services grant to Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center for the collaborative program “WOW (We’re Outstanding Workers) – Young Adult Job Skills Training and Job Placement Preparation.”
During the 2017-18 school year Ivy Hill partnered with the WOW Program from the Bucks County
Intermediate Unit where they acted as the host organization for a pilot study offering transitional work experience for special needs students aging out of the public school system. Four WOW students, working in pairs, learned skills to help them live and work as independent members of their community.
This grant will allow Ivy Hill to expand upon and integrate the program as a permanent part of Ivy Hill’s service offerings. The expanded program will commence at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year and will follow a standard school year calendar, half days, 3 days/wk. WOW students will be accompanied by a WOW caseworker during their visits to Ivy Hill where they will learn about and provide various clerical and maintenance tasks and may also learn about basic horse care.
WOW Program teachers will help monitor and track participant achievements. One measurement of success from our pilot study is that a student obtained a position at a local veterinary practice after completing her service at Ivy Hill. Ivy Hill received an Caring Community Award in June of 2018 for their commitment to providing a work environment and a real-life employment experience for the students.
WOW student at veterinary practice where she found employment following Ivy Hill pilot program
The grants were awarded at the Foundations Community Partnership Luncheon on Tuesday, October 23rd.
The luncheon featured keynote speaker Caryl Stern, President and CEO of UNICEF, USA.
Congratulations to Sophia Boquist for receiving her Congressional Award Bronze Certificate! Sophia has given 30 hours of volunteering here at Ivy Hill. She was recognized by the United States Congress for her service, and for achieving her goals in physical fitness (competitive diving), personal development (piano), and a wilderness expedition she planned (an 8.8 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail). Sophia loves to ride, and decided that volunteering at Ivy Hill was great way to help her community and share her love for horses. We welcome Sophia’s efforts at Ivy Hill as she continues toward the Silver Certificate.
Congratulations also to Quinn Boquist, her brother, for earning his Abilities Awareness belt loop and pin badges through Cub Scouts. Quinn came to visit Ivy Hill and volunteered some hours with his sister as he discovered how our Ivy Hill family serves the needs of our community. For these badges, he also had to learn about the different types of challenges those with special needs face, whether physical, mental, or learning. Additionally, Quinn read about a famous person with special needs, used several different mobility aids, and simulated a loss of his hearing for two hours. We are pleased to be a part of this learning experience for Quinn.
Rob Boquist, their father, is 26-year veteran of the US Air Force. When he recently retired from service, his family decided that Bucks County was the place they wanted to live. “We love it here, and my wife and I want our children to grow up as caring and compassionate people who contribute in their community. Volunteering at Ivy Hill helps us build that character in our children.”
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans. It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. The program is open to all 14- to 23-year-olds; young people may register when they turn 13 1/2 years old and must complete their activities before their 24th birthday. Participants earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas; Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Earning the Award is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you’d like to try for the first time. Go to http://congressionalaward.org/ for more information.