At the end of April, we wave “zàijiàn” to Amy Tripson
our wonderful Volunteer Manager.
Amy is a traveler at heart. Having previously spent time in South Korea, India, and Europe, she is about to set sail on a new adventure to China. But Amy will be taking a little of High Hopes with her as she starts working for H.O.P.E. (Horses Offering People Enrichment) in the capital, Beijing.
Founded in 2009 by American, Dr. Priscilla Lightsey, PT, DPT, MA, HPCS, H.O.P.E. is an accredited NGO [Non-Governmental Organization,] that serves individuals with special needs through Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. The majority of H.O.P.E.’s clients are from local orphanages, the Migrant Children Foundation, and the Beijing Community.
Amy, a PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor, will be teaching, mentoring and consulting with H.O.P.E. as they explore further certification with PATH Intl. and/or RDA (the Riding for the Disabled Association.) Amy’s skills in outreach and volunteer management will be put to good use as H.O.P.E. seeks to expand its services, recruit more volunteers and educate the general public about therapeutic horsemanship.
“The focus on safety, horse welfare, and program quality made H.O.P.E. an organization that I wanted to be part of and learn more about. The post was advertised through PATH Intl.’s career portal and I was intrigued at the idea of a new position in a country with a very different culture that I have not yet experienced.” Amy will also be working with the team on volunteer training, horse desensitization, and training, as well as education about therapeutic horsemanship.
So what are the key challenges for Amy in the weeks ahead? “Making sure there is a smooth transition for our 650 volunteers here at High Hopes who I will miss enormously; completing the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 5, 2019, for her charity partner the Alzheimer’s Association; and learning enough Mandarin to get by!” she says.
How did your colleagues react? “Everyone has been very supportive and excited for me, but the first question from everyone has been ‘what is happening to Max?’” Max is Amy’s beloved dog, who has become well known to the staff at High Hopes. “Max will be taking his first flight, to Pittsburg, PA, where he will be relocating to live with my parents.”
Amy is planning to go back to “blogging”, and when she does, we will add a link to our website from her page.