Square Peg Foundation

Rating: 5 stars   20 reviews

Issues: Animals, Children & Youth, Education, Health

Location: Pmb #402, 80 Cabrillo Hwy N., Ste Q Half Moon Bay CA 94019 USA

Mission: We turn “I Wish” into “I Can”
Programs: Our horsemanship program is currently serving about 100 regular students with a stable of 10 horses in Half Moon Bay (just south of San Francisco on the coast).
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EIN 20-1253820
650.520-8744
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Just returned from another wonderful afternoon at Square Peg Foundation. My formerly isolated and unhappy daughter is learning and working cooperatively and happily with other youth and with the horses, and together they grow to accept and trust each other. It's music to my ears to hear her animated account of her lesson, what the kids did, what the staff did, and what the horses did. Joell and her staff are remarkably caring and patient and accepting; they willingly meet each young person in whatever emotional space they happen to be in on a given day. Parents can sit back and relax for a few minutes, pet one of the ranch dogs, or jump in and help with a project around the office or stalls...whatever they need to do at the time. I was referred to Square Peg Foundation from another satisfied family, and will happily pass along my recommendation.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

My 13 year old son takes riding here & we love it! The Square Peg folks are friendly, caring and careful. The most wonderfully unique thing about Square Peg is that it is all inclusive - so regardless of the needs of a child, all are welcome and included and feel important here. Both of my kids (one with disabilities & one without) adore Square Peg, are challenged, comfortable, and learn new things every time. A true gem!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Friendly welcome, freedom: to be who you are as an individual and as a family, lgbtg?-no problem, a place that heals horses and people, integrity, generous, loving, challenging...and like most non-profits they do it all with not enough time or money but with love and grit. (If I took the time to write out complete thoughts this review would be way too long. Try it, if you "get it" you will love it.) My SF city boys have benefitted from Joell and the horses more than I can say.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Square peg is the most unique and wonderful organization I have either professionally or personally ever been involved in. My son has been involved since he was 5 years old. He started riding and learning invaluable life lessons like caring, sharing and acceptance of others. My son has several challenges that left him feeling very different than other kids and not accepted. He found at Square Peg he was accepted, and cared about by not only the remarkable staff but other students at Square Peg. He now is in high school, volunteers all summer with helping other kids in the summer camps and continues volunteers throughout the school year. Square Peg is the place were everyone really does fit. This organization has changed my sons life. He now has groups of high school kids from his school who help out a couple of times a year as community service projects and they also enjoy it. He continues to now ride in their new polo program and has found he loves it. I volunteer whenever I can and love working with the Staff, Board members and clients.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My son has become a better more caring person thanks to his involvement in Square Peg. He always has a place that loves and cares about him which has been invaluable when he has been stuck at home medical issues. In addition, he has learned to ride, take care of the horses and other animals and learning Polo.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help them recruit more fundraisers to help provide more

 
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Role: Client Served
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Joell, Greg and the volunteers at Square Peg have created a beautiful, magical place, where my 6 year old son with autism thrives. He loves Joell, Greg, the horses, and other animals. The kids who volunteer are great role models for him. Greg and Joell focus his tremendous energy on jobs at the ranch, which he loves and is very proud of. They know how to work with active boys! He is so happy there because he can be himself. He can be loud and socially awkward at times and he is not judged. At Square Peg, I have found a very special place where I can learn and grow as a parent. I have learned that my son can successfully be very independent and that I can let go there and trust that he will be O.K. I have learned that rather than trying so hard to turn my son from a square peg into a round one, I want to find more places like Square Peg, where he can happily be himself.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping children with a variety of special needs: autism, Down's Syndrome, and emotional difficulties experience great joy and growth. I have seen typical children, become well-informed compassionate teachers of children with special needs. I have seen parents learn to trust others with their special children and increase their confidence in their children's strengths and independence.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find more volunteers to work on fundraising so that I could hire an administrator. However, this is easier said than done, when you are devoted to providing a great service to children.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing my son radiance at Square Peg. I enjoy learning from Joell and Greg about children and parenting. I love to see these beautiful horses so well loved and taken care of.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

awesome-knowledgeable, compassionate, fun, and creative.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

give thousands of children the opportunity to experience a beautiful connection with the horses, be incredibly happy in a place where they can be themselves and teach many typical kids to be. It could rescue more beautiful horses. It could hire a director, so that Joell can devote her remarkable talents to the children.

Ways to make it better...

Joell had administrative support. And our experience has been and continues to be wonderful.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Square Peg is an amazing gift to children and their families from coastal and inland families from San Jose to San Franciso. I encourage anybody who values children with special needs, creating compassionate children who can teach others, and rescuing beautiful horses to consider helping this organization through volunteering and/or financial support.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

My daughter has been riding at Square Peg Foundation for about 3 years. While we love the horses, the real reason we continue is because of the positive attitudes and nurturing environment offered at Square Peg. Director Joell Dunlap is calm, friendly, positive, unflappable, careful, responsible, fun, and extremely knowledgeable. She teaches much more than just the riding, including horse care and nutrition. The students tack the horses before and after the lesson (including brushing and hoof care), help with feeding, etc. The lesson is designed to be 1.5 hours long (but frequently goes longer -- the kids don't want to leave). At the ranch they have beautiful, well-cared for horses. Many are race-horse rescues with some amazing stories! There are also cats, dogs, goats, ponies -- it's just a fun, relaxing place to be. Square Peg has room for everyone -- kids with special needs, homeschooled kids, parents, whoever needs a chance to realize their own strengths and build confidence. The same applies to the horses. Square Peg finds a home and purpose for horses that have been considered useless by former owners.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my daughter's increasing confidence in herself, and her desire to have a career with animals.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

let the best instructors just teach, and have an administrator run the organization.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the positive, encouraging atmosphere, and clear goals set by the organization.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

responsible, friendly, calm and knowledgeable.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

serve more children and horses, and reach out to a larger population.

Ways to make it better...

the director had more time with the students and animals, and didn't have to do so much paperwork.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of a dedicated administrator -- the director's talent at teaching is being lost as she tries to handle all the administration as well.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Square Peg is doing very important work that more people should know about.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-6-01

 
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