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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Strides to Success Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: Strides To Success, Inc. is dedicated to providing unique learning opportunities that strengthen and develop lives. Both children and adults are served by partnering with horses that teach valuable life skills.

Target demographics: both children and adults overcome lifes challenges

Direct beneficiaries per year: 225 participants

Geographic areas served: Central Indiana

Programs: Veterans, KID coaching, animal assisted therapy for trauma, depression and personal growth

Community Stories

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Strides to Success is a shining example to other not-for-profits of the way an organization can be effective, efficient, and vibrant. This organization has been essential to my success in completing a college certificate program in Equine Assisted Mental Health. As an intern there, I learned firsthand how their services are provided to adults and children with many different needs. I saw people from all walks of life cared for with respect, professionalism, and personal attention.In addition to contributing to my own professional growth, this experience gave me insight into how Strides to Success functions. I teach in a Master's degree program in not-for-profit leadership, and from this perspective I can say that Strides to Success is an exemplary organization. It is an impressive member of the greater Indianapolis not-for-profit community. Strong management practices give the organization a secure base from which to fulfill its mission and expand its reach. It is truly a great organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This agency goes above and beyond for their clients! Everyone is welcomed as if they are family and it is a magical environment!

Nancy J.4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I began working at Strides to Success this summer helping to clean stalls and turn out horses. It wasn’t long before I came to feel as if I were part of an amazing family. I soon understood what a special group of individuals and horses make this facility a model of excellent instruction and powerful healing. Executive Director, Debbie Anderson, creates a thoroughly professional warm and caring atmosphere for employees and clients alike. Debbie and Blair McKissock’s knowledge base from years of experience in the field of equine assisted learning is unparalleled. I would highly recommend Strides to Success to anyone in search of experiences in life skills training, teamwork preparation and healing connections to
our most faithful teachers, the horses.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Strides to Success is a excellent organization. They have helped so many people by offering their services! As a returning professional to the equine assisted learning field, they have welcomed me with open arms to continue my education! They are true leaders in EAL.

Kristian S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This program is awesome! My son, who has autism participated in this program and it helped tremendously with sensory issues. He also loved visiting his horse every week. I would recommend Strides to everyone!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found out about Strides to Success through the VA. The medication that the VA was prescribing and my therapy sessions where I was just sitting in a chair and talking about my traumas just made everything worse. I was spiraling down a deep dark hole until I put my hands on one of the horses at Strides to Success. I am an Army Veteran who has seen combat. I was also raped while in the Army. I found myself not trusting anyone and living in almost total solitude. What brought me out of he darkness was a horse who stood still while I revelled in his good horsey smell, the sound of his belly gurgling and matching my breathing to his by putting my hands on his body so I could feel him breath. That cracked my broken heart wide open.
From there, two sisters accepted me into their herd. These two girls are Haflingers and known for their attitudes. Both girls challenged me and both girls tested me. Fast forward to present day and you will see that I have two sisters that have four legs each. I used to run away from any emotional attachment. Now, I cant even imagine my life without those two girls. They helped me get my confidence back enough to go for my own certification in EAL. (equine assisted learning).
Strides to Success and their horses helped me get myself out of the darkness. I leave my house a little more and I have reconnected with some friends. I would never have been able to do this without my four legged friends and the staff at Strides.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing place
Amazing people
Healing and inspiring

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Strides to Success is where equine-assisted learning was shaped. They are dedicated to helping promote EAL as a viable intervention and activity that can be facilitated by educators and human professionals with the knowledge, skill, and experience. This works benefits and reaches all members of the community. If you want to learn how to facilitate the horse-human relationship, this is where you go to learn!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Can't speak highly enough about Strides to Success and the individuals behind this great organization! Each of the workshops I've attended at Strides has provided me with valuable tools to incorporate into my programs. Their approach is always professional and compassionate for horses and humans. I consider them leaders in the Equine-Assisted Activities industry and always highly recommend their workshops to others. Thank you Strides to Success!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Strides is an oasis of hope and wellbeing in the community!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Strides on and off for many years. The director truly cares about all people associated with the organization-from clients to volunteers. All that is done at Strides is excellent. The facilities are beautiful, clean, safe, and well-organized. The people are warm and kind. They do great work!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I highly recommend the Strides to Success workshops. Our entire staff at Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center has participated in their Equine Assisted Learning workshops. They are the facilitation “masters”. This workshop gave our staff the knowledge and tools to design and implement our Equine Assisted Learning summer camp. The campers loved the program and the camp staff saw the campers implementing the life skills developed, such as respectful communication, empathy, trust, and creative problem solving.

We were so impressed with the information and the training provided we sent 4 staff members to the advanced workshop. Strides not only taught the theory but gave the opportunity for hands on implementation. Providing a supportive atmosphere for developing facilitation skills.

Ruth Menor
Founder and Chief Programs Officer
Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Strides about two years ago after retiring from 40 years of teaching Elementary School. I love horses and loved teaching. What better place to volunteer some free time . I love working a long with Kate and all the Staff at Strides. The young students and adults that help out or work at Strides have become very dear to me. It is so satisfying to me to see how the clients that We work with change, improve, and connect with the horse! Horse Therapy truely brings joy into their lives.









Client Served

Rating: 5

What can I say about Strides to Success? I came to this organization through a program offered by Sheltering Wings in 2012. I am a survivor of Domestic Violence. This program helped me regain trust issues and fell more empowered. I became the person I used to be. The horses and staff are wonderful. They uplift you and give you confidence. They have many programs to help with depression, abuse, behavioral issues, disabilities, wounded warriors and others. I still visit there from time to time. I have even volunteered my time to help with others. It is truely a remarkable facility and Debbie Anderson is so amazing. The entire staff and my four legged friends are amazing. You should check it out for yourself. They have an annual Santa and the Ponies in December. It is fun for the whole family.

Lori T.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My relationship with Strides to Success, Inc. is through education. I am enrolled in their HorseWorks Professional program. I have had the opportunity to visit their facility twice and both times I was in awe of the organization they are. Our organization aspires to provide the quality services Strides to Success provides.

Kristin S.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with my family member at Strides to Success for a several month period about 4 years ago. I helped to get their web page updated, clean the areas, and feed the horses. It's a great positive place both for people that go there for therapy, but also for people that volunteer there. It's comforting seeing how the Strides to Success program gives to the community in many ways. The programs success shows by seeing the positive energy that seems to thrive throughout the facility and everyone that goes there. I reflect from time to time how volunteering there for just a short time seemed to open my eyes to many new ways that people can make change. It gives me a humble but yet a feeling of pride to have had the opportunity to be a small part of such a giving and change-making organization.

Melissa C.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had an amazing experience being involved with this facility. Not only have I seen a true difference being made in the lives of the clients/ their families, but I have personally experienced a change in myself. Due to the lessons and experiences from Strides, I have become a more confident person who is more prepared for the future! I have and will continue to gladly refer all I know to this extraordinary facility! Thank You everyone at Strides!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Strides to Success is a safe place to explore life. I have never felt safer! The horses provide such unconditional love and support!! Great staff!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have participated in several EAL workshops and am enrolled in continuous education at Strides to Success. The learnings are immense and invaluable for my development as an EAL Facilitator. All persons working at Strides conduct themselves with high integrity and are genuinely interested in helping clients further their personal and professional goals. It is a warm and welcoming place that I’m very happy to have spent time at.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Strides to Success continues to be at the forefront of creating amazing life changing experiences for the clients they work with!!

Shawna Willis O.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have attended several workshops at Strides and they all have been very educational and informative. The instructors are knowledge, down to earth and very dedicated to their work. They have always been available for further questions or consultation after the workshops. My workplace also did a team building exercise with our management group and was a great experience for all! The facility is beautiful and very well maintained. A little piece of hidden paradise near a big city.

Carol M.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have followed and been mentored by the excellence and expertise that Strides To Success has created and shared over the past 10 years. Their professionalim in the field has created a strong foundation of knowledge and practical application in my work as an Equine Assisted Learning facilitator and Life Coach...at Ravenheart Farms Equine-Assisted Learning Centre and Retreat. Our library contains the majority of their resouces and material. Excellent for working with groups, schools, and the Indigenous people.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended Strides after losing my husband to an auto accident. Initially it was about the grief and became more about my relationship with my son. The work with "Rocky" taught me more about myself and how to better communicate with my son through patience and persistence and knowing when to apply pressure and knowing when to back off. My hope is through grants this program could be offered to other grieving families.

Becky116

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family has had first hand experience with this organization and it is wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone with ptsd, trauma or just life altering events that you might need help dealing with. They treat you like family.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Strides and witnessed the amazing work they do. Beautiful place with wonderful staff (and horses!).

Client Served

Rating: 5

Strides has helped both of my kids through a very tough time. I am so thankful for everyone there. It's the cleanest barn I have ever seen..

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This agency is fantastic. As a social worker, I send kids to this agency in order to receive a whole new perspective on coping skills and how to handle stressful situations at home. They not only work with the kids but the parents too. I can't say enough great things about it. When regular therapy doesn't help, this will. It also works well in conjunction with the typical therapy. They help kids build patience, self esteem, coping skills, responsibility, and it is something for them to look forward to weekly.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Strides to Success is a place where great things happen through the healing nature of horses. I've witnessed veterans describing their stories of PTSD and how hopeless they felt, burdened with the scars from their service to our country. I've heard their stories of healing through working with the therapists, counselors and the horses at Strides. They describe how they see themselves, mirrored in the actions and behaviors of the horses. As they build trust with the horses, they learn how to trust humans again. These soldiers are able to break down the tall, mental walls built to protect them during war times so they can live normal lives again. The staff at Strides works tirelessly to give back to those who have given to our country. The counselors, therapists and staff demonstrate kindness, compassion, empathy and understanding to these brave and broken souls. They build them up by giving them the tools and strategies needed to transition back into civilian life. The veterans learn how to form bonds with family and friends that were broken and never healed. The STRIDES they make through coming to this facility are miraculous. Hearing these men and women tell their stories of SUCCESS is truly amazing. I'm honored to be an advocate for this organization and am so proud of the work that happens here!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Strides to Success is an amazing place. They are the top of their field and have the heart to match. The staff at Strides goes the extra mile to help anyone who asks.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great program. I had the honor of speaking with some of the people who have been through the program. Their stories were heart touching.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My experience with Strides for Success has been extremely positive and enlightening. I attended an E.A.L. workshop that was empowering, interactive and educational for everyone who participated. People came from all different levels of experience and various backgrounds, yet they all left with an enhanced knowledge base and inspired to pursue their personal and professional goals. I have been in the EAAT industry for over 30 years while incorporating core values into my EAAT work and I still felt like I took away many golden nuggets from the workshop I attended this year.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have an adopted daughter with attachment issues. I learned so many parenting skills from working with the horses! Our daughter is learning how to regulate her emotions and gain leadership skills. We absolutely love Strides, the people and the horses! They really care about us and treat us like family. They have changed our lives!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Horses are such amazing creatures! Jodie Mitchell has been quoted, "In their eyes shine stars of wisdom and courage to guide men to heaven." So, that alone is powerful. But then add to that the great talent and caring hearts of the staff at Strides and you have a recipe for wonderful transitions!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the first time I walked into Strides I knew I was some place special. To hear the passion in the directors voice when discussing the mission of Strides, to the look of determination on the barn managers face. As a volunteer, I have witnessed nothing but a positive, compationate, caring and safe atmosphere. They truly invest the time into each client lesson to receive the ultimate result and a lot of smiles.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a very interactive participant at Strides, I have gotten the pleasure of watching other volunteers consider this place the highlight of their week or day. I've also genuinely enjoyed watching the lives changed through the work that is done here at Strides. Something that makes Strides different is the fact they don't run off of a cookie cutter curriculum. They specialize what work they do for the individual. Therefore you are not just a part of a statistic, you as a person are cherished for your particular need and the staff take the time to find what will work best for you. When I walk into Strides I automatically feel at home and at peace. We operate as a family and there is no other place I would choose to spend my free time! I love this place and wish more people could experience the feelings I feel due to this place.