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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Rose of Sharon Equestrian School Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Children & Youth, Human Services, Youth Development

Mission: Rose of Sharon is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and adults challenged by disability. ROSES provides experiential learning opportunities which draw upon the therapeutic potential of the horse-human bond to facilitate change, growth, and healing. Additionally, ROSES seeks a leadership role in the field of equine-assisted activities by partnering with academic and medical researchers to demonstrate the efficacy of therapeutic horsemanship programs; and by cooperating with members of Maryland's horse industry to provide vocational training for entry-level workers.

Results: ROSES has been serving students with disabilities for 15 years. The skills learned at the stable continue to effectively transfer to the students' lives in school, at home, and throughout the community at-large.

Target demographics: students with disabilities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 100

Geographic areas served: Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Surrounding areas

Programs: equine-facilitated learning

Community Stories

100 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My grandson is on level one of the autism spectrum. His social skills are impaired and he has difficulty connecting with peers. He is unhappy about his lack of friends. He has never enjoyed sports and found BSA a bit overwhelming. As soon as he began at ROSE OF SHARON, we saw an immediate improvement in how he feels about himself and he is genuinely happy. He really looks forward to coming to Rose of Sharon every week. Joan Twining has unique gifts in terms of understanding each child's strengths and reinforcing them. I recommend her unconditionally!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love everything about Rose of Sharon! From the moment you arrive you feel a sense of quiet and calm that makes you want to sit on the bench outside the barn and stare at the hills all day. As an educator, I was able to set up volunteer work-based learning activities with Joan and her staff (who are all incredible!). Our students have learned valuable experiences that include; moving and spreading mulch, cleaning stall doors, heavy manual lifting tasks, and custodial work. The staff at Roses always pay special attention to our students and work with them every step of the way to complete given tasks with greater and greater independence. Not only do our students enjoy volunteering each week, but our school staff love visiting Roses with them as well! We could not ask for a better partnership for our school and our students.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I met Joan and learned of ROSES through my Girl Scout troop. My Cadettes (7th Grade) were looking to complete their Animal Helpers Badge and I was looking for a unique and interesting way for the girls to complete the badge. When I reached out to Joan, she was more than willing to help and the result was nothing short of amazing. Joan put together an experience for the girls that they will never forget. She is a wonderful teacher and the facility is nothing short of stunning. I cannot say enough to let Joan and ROSES know how appreciative I am of the experience that was provided for my troop.

steph55

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with ROSES as a parent of a student, a volunteer and a board member for the past 15 years. I have seen the miracles that happen when children with disabilities have the opportunity to interact with horses. Personally, my daughter gained self confidence, independence and self esteem along with an ability to work with others. ROSES has made a huge difference in my life and my family.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with ROSES for many years. First as a parent of a student, a volunteer and now on the board of directors. There are many wonderful stories of the students connecting with the horses, especially those with autism. ROSES changes the lives of these special kids. Joan does amazing things and truly makes a difference!

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Mary Clark G.

Board Member

Rating: 5

All you need to do is step foot in the barn at Roses, and you know you have entered a special place. I have been a volunteer there for a year and a half, and it has quickly become one of the highlights of my week. Joan and the volunteers are some of the most dedicated and warm and caring individuals I have ever met. Once the kids come, the miracles truly start. Helping a child who has been withdrawn and hesitant and even sometimes angry in the classroom interact positively with a horse is nothing short of inspirational..Each horse has its own personality and Joan takes much care in assessing each child individually and assigning them a horse that will encourage the student to try new things which inevitably results in positive change. Roses is simply a phenomenal place.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ROSES is such a special place where wonderful things happen for children with disabilities. I saw it in my daughter when she was a student. Joan has created a safe haven where children gain self confidence while interacting with the horses and learning to care for them. My daughter became more confident and was proud of the work that she mastered at ROSES. There is no other place like ROSES!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

From the moment you set foot on the farm, you feel the warmth and compassion of everyone you meet. The staff and volunteers feel passionately about the horses and the students, they are dedicated to the mission of the organization and work tirelessly to better themselves and the services they provide.

1 Writer

Board Member

Rating: 5

ROSES is such a special organization. Everyone (whether it is the barn cat, the horses or the volunteers) is treated with an enormous amount of care and respect. The stories that I have heard about students' experiences are life changing. It is truly an honor to be involved in such a unique and valued organization. ROSES has been a part of my life for over 2 years and I am so excited to see what the future has in store for us.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Whether the children are staring into the eyes of one of the precious miniature horses, brushing Stella's soft, buck skin coat, having fun in the wash stall giving patient Izzie a bath, or simply feeling the warm breath and soft muzzle of Big Midnight, Rose of Sharon creates a bond between human and animal like no other. It all starts as soon as you enter the cozy, welcoming barn, where your mind is gently transported to a place where the outside world takes a back seat. And it's all topped off with the smiles and caring personalities of the volunteers. The children, their aids and volunteers all feel the power of ROSES instantly, and those feelings stay with you long after you leave the barn. That is what makes it so unique and why so many children have benefited from its magic.

The executive director, Joan Twining, along with the sensitive and gentle horses have found a way to break through barriers in children's minds without them even realizing it. It's truly remarkable, and as a volunteer for the past two years, I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.



Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter has been volunteering at ROSES for a year now and asked me to come out this past spring to take a tour to see if I would also like to volunteer. The minute you step into the barn, you are captured by pure serenity. Joan Marie Twining and her horses have created the most welcoming, therapeutic safe haven where children and adults with special needs can come to gain self-confidence, inner strength and peace, which they rarely find in their daily lives. Her compassion for these unique individuals, along with the sweetest horses I have met, has transformed so many. I have seen first hand the once reluctant faces turn into ones with smiles and adoration for Joan and her horses. The past five months of volunteering have been some of the most fulfilling months of my life, and I will be around for a long time to help this great cause become that much greater.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ROSES is a very special and unique place. It is meticulously cared for by Joan, who lives to take care of the children and the horses. I immediately felt at home when I visited, and ultimately volunteered there. It is a real gem, tucked away in northern MD.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I could never fully express the worth of ROSES through words. ROSES has a huge place in my heart for SOO many reasons. I was introduced to ROSES over 13 years ago. Over those years here are just a few key reasons I continue to fall in love with ROSES...
1- After my Mom was in a tragic accident, volunteering at ROSES was therapeutic for me. Joan as a person is therapeutic, her presence alone is calming. Her heart & dedication to her horses & her clients is inspiring and never ceases to impress me!
2- While I was in school to be an Occupational Therapist I saw first hand the amazing physical progress a women healing from a brain injury displayed at ROSES, but best of all I saw her eyes light up & the deep passion she had horseback riding (& the gift it was for her to be back on a horse).
3- While in school Joan allowed us the privilege to work with her on a school project, where we were suppose to fill a need for her. But again- Joan's wisdom & therapeutic use of self probably taught us & impacted us in away that never leaves. (And yet she is so humble- always so humble)
4- When I began working at a school for children with Autism & behaviors Joan helped in writing a grant for some of our kids to be able to come weekly to visit & be treated through ROSES. ROSES reached kids & brought smiles & skills that were not seen in the school environment. Joan would also take any difficult case (e.g.- a student that didn't want to go into the barn & scared if the horse) & create a plan and program specifically for that student (outside if the group plan). By the end of the visits the students did a 180 & showed growth that I never expected to see!!
Joan, the horses, the staff & the volunteers that make up ROSES are spectacular and an answer to so many prayers on so many levels!!!

1 KKopanke

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rose of Sharon Equestrian School has a dynamic and dedicated director, hard- working volunteers and big hearted horses who create an environment built for the personal growth of students and in turn, a greater awareness throughout the community. Developing a bond with such an intelligent and empathetic animal like a horse has many positive physical, mental and emotional changes when cultivated in the right environment. ROSES provides this engaging space with a great deal of care and compassion towards each student and horse and excellent volunteer training. What a wonderful place to grow and learn!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first walked into Rose of Sharon Equestrian school I immediately felt a sense of peace. I had not met Joan, the horses or the other volunteers yet, so I could only assume it was because of the therapeutic atmosphere. I've come to learn after the 5 months I've been able to volunteer with ROSES that I was taking in so much more. The amount of hard-work and compassion poured into the school is very evident, and being a veterinary technician I notice it not only with the therapy program itself but also with the wellness of the animals. Each horse has their very own personality and needs and Joan, with the help of her staff/volunteers sees that these animals are beyond cared for so that they in turn can care for others. The horses at ROSES are naturally kind souls and it is a wonderful experience to interact with them. This is an inspiring organization that promotes wellness and empowerment in all of the best ways!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ROSES is one of those places that you go to for the first time and feel like you belong there. Joan is absolutely doing what she was born to do, and has created an amazing organization to showcase her passion. All of the volunteers are committed people who genuinely care about both the horses and the clients. Speaking of... the horses at ROSES are all so different, yet all serve such a specific purpose for the program. One of the best things about ROSES is that the environment and atmosphere in the barn creates a very welcoming and safe places for both the horses and the students to freely reveal their individual personalities. If you are already involved, thank you! And if you aren't, then you should be!!!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at ROSES has been one of the best experiences of my life. The horses are all so sweet, yes, even the minis sometimes, and I know how much te kids love coming out there. It really is a great program that does a lot of good for the community and the kids whose lives it touches. Everytime I go out there, it puts my life in perspective and allows me to not only help myself, but more importantly help others. It is a truly remarkable thing they've got going on.

Sallys

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rose of Sharon is a win win. The children are given opportunities to succeed in so many ways while the horses and ponies, many old and with varied health issues, are provided amazing care by Joan and her staff. If you love children and animals, this is the nonprofit for you. They couldn't be more deserving.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A wonderful organization that helps children with physical and emotional challenges feel empowered by connecting with horses. The immaculately maintained barn is home to a variety of horses and ponies with the very important job of teaching these special children things that could never be taught in a classroom.
I love the fact that Joan Twining, the director and owner, has combined her expertise to benefit children while providing a home and new lease on life to the barn full of horses and ponies that she lovingly cares for.
It is truly amazing to see the connection between the children and horses!!



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Former staff

Rating: 5

ROSES is a wonderful place! Joan and the volunteers love what they do and it shows! The horses are well taken care of and the horses thoroughly enjoy spending time with the students. I miss ROSES every day and wish I still lived in MD!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Rose of Sharon Equestrian School since May of last year. Because of my work schedule, I am not able to make it out while the students are there, but I can assure you that they are in the best hands. The horses are so gentle and the staff/crew of volunteers could not be more amazing. I recently joined the Board of Directors because I believe in this organization so much and want to do as much as possible to help them succeed. ROSES has changed my life and I cannot wait to be part of their future!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rose Of Sharon Equestrian School is an excellent facility where both humans and animals benefit. The school has an extremely calming, healing atmosphere and magic happens there. It definitely is a Great Nonprofit!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Brooks Taylor and I am a Vocational Program assistant at a school that is provided services from rose of Sharon. First Joan and her assistants are fantastic people who truly care about the students success and they really are tuned in to the special needs of our children. With my school being a behavioral school their have been many situations in which I thought there was no way some of our students would benefit from attending the horse farm. Every time I thought this I was proven wrong. It is amazing to see kids who normally can not sit in a class room with other children, or has trouble dealing with animals, trouble with doing work, and etc... come to this program and shine so bright. Sometimes just because a student was able to attend Rose of Sharon they were able to make even more progress back in the school environment. This is because of the many skills they learn at the horse farm. Responsibility, team work, staying calm, caring for animals and other people, all these things are taught and absorbed like a sponge by even our most difficult students and has positively impacted our students lives. We could not be more grateful for Rose of Sharon program, Joan and all her help!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Rose of Sharon Equestrian School is truly unique and amazing. The school is set up to accommodate children with severe behavioral problems, which is a very difficult population with which to work. Traditional equestrian activities, such as grooming or feeding the horses, are adapted to help students fully participate. The skills that the children are gaining in this program can be generalized to school and home.

It is clear that Joan and her volunteers whole-heartedly love what they are doing. They are making a difference in children's lives that cannot adequately be expressed in words. I am beyond grateful that my students have had the opportunity to participate in this program.

Dawn124

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Rose of Sharon Equestrian School is an amazingly happy, fun, exciting place where lives are changed in the most positive ways!

Through interaction with loving and knowledgeable staff and, of course, beautiful horses, therapeutic riding creates bonds and improves lives - no other "therapy" compares!