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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

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Roses is an amazing organization for children with disabilities. The amount of time, effort, love, and caring that goes into making this such a life changing experience for their students is amazing. Joan is truly making a difference with not only her students, but every person that walks through her door.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter volunteered at ROSES. She came for the opportunity to work with horses and stayed for the love of Roses. The program is very well run with such love and attention to detail. The horse and barn are so well cared for. There is even soothing music that plays just for the horses. This is a place where healing occurs not only for the clients but also for the animals and anyone who comes into contact with Roses. Such a worthy program that will leave an impact on you for the rest of your life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have loved every second spent at Rose of Sharon. It is really an amazing place. The barn and rings are very well kept and very impressive. The horses clearly love their jobs and it is awesome to see them during lessons and the way they interact with the children. Ms. Joan is especially what makes Rose of Sharon so special. I have always loved watching her during lessons, because the patient, caring way she works with every child makes every experience that much better. My two years spent volunteering at Rose of Sharon were some of the most rewarding experiences I have had. Rose of Sharon is truly a unique and spectacular place!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience of volunteering at Rose of Sharon has been nothing but amazing! The facilities and barn are extremely well kept and gorgeous. Ms. Joan Twining truly lives for Rose of Sharon. It is amazing to watch someone in action doing something they really love. Her constant positivity and happiness radiate through all she does. She cares so deeply for the horses, childre, and program. The horses are such beautiful animals that are gentle and kind in every way. Roses is a great place that is doing remarkable things to help inspiring children. There is no place quite like Roses!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first walked into the barn at ROSES, I knew it was a special place. Then when the children came, and I witnessed and experienced first hand the amazing relationship that built between Joan, the horses and the children, I knew I wanted to get involved. It has made me a better person. Having horses of my own, its made me a better horsewoman. During the program, we get so close to the children that by the end of the session we are sad to see them leave. When you see the progression of the children, you know good things are happening at ROSES. There is no coincidences. Everyone is touched.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

ROSES is an incredible place to work with. Children are given a chance to grow and experience new interactions in a safe environment.

abrand

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rose of Sharon is a magical place. It is a no- judgment-zone full of healing presence. I came to the barn as a volunteer and have loved every moment I've spent working the the people and animals. True miracles happen with the work Joan and the ponies and the rosebuds do at Roses. I believe the world is better because of Roses.

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rose of Sharon Equestrian School is an amazing place. It is a place of wellness, safety, compassion, humility and love. I found the barn and Joan and the fourleggeds when I first moved to Baltimore and it was a grounding force in my life. I have been privy to see many amazing things happen with people and animals in this space. And, I can only hope that the positive impact this facility has on the people who touch it/are touched by it and the community that surrounds it will be a ripple effect. A deep bow to Roses, and all who make it happen (people and animals, alike).

Jess K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have really enjoyed my time as a volunteer at Rose of Sharon so far and it has been a very valuable experience. Joan is wonderful with both the children and her horses and her farm is absolutely beautiful. I love how the children's eyes light up as soon as they enter the barn and see all of the horses (and miniature horses!!). Joan has come up with many creative and innovative ways to incorporate horsemanship into fun activities that the children love. I volunteered during a group of preschoolers' first session at ROSES. I have seen first-hand the impressive progress they have made in a very short amount of time. Their confidence has risen and they have become more self-assured as they complete the various activities. I cannot say enough positive things about Joan and ROSES.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started to volunteer at ROSES my junior year of high school. I thought it would just be a way to earn my service hours but after my first day I realized it was so much more. I saw first hand how effective equine therapy is and how excited the students are to come into contact with the horses. I look forward every week to come and see the students and watch them grow and become more confident in their abilities. I never realized how much this experience would mean to me. ROSES is a place of learning and growing not only for the students but for the volunteers.

Kaity W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working at ROSES for about 7 years and it has been the best experience I have ever had. Everyone who comes there has such a positive attitude when ever they are there. I have seen amazing changes in the students that come to Roses. Kids who have severe problems are changed after leaving there. You hear stories from the kids aids about how happier they are in the classroom and at home all because of what everyone does at Roses. I love being a part of this program and being able to help students.

Dawn24

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Rose's a year ago. I found them online and it seemed like a perfect fit for me to be able to work with special needs kids and horses. I started with barn chores in the summer and then moved to classes with the students 3 days a week in the Fall and Spring. Rose's founder, Joan Twining is an inspiration to the volunteers, teachers and especially her students. It is such an overwhelming joy to be able to see the students overcome their fears and learn so much. I love getting to know each of their personalities and am sad when each session ends. I can honestly say that the opportunity to serve at Rose's has made more impact on my life than I ever expected.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Roses for some time now and love it! The amazing care that Ms. Joan and the horses give to the children is something simply amazing. The work that they do on a day to day basis is unbelievable but I believe that their sense of sincere love and care for the people they are touching is the most important of all. I have never met such gentle, pacient horses so willing and eager to please. The work that she does is truly spectacular and touches the hearts of not only the students but everyone invoved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rose of Sharon is supportive and caring of all the students they work with. Joan is careful to individualize each students experience including those who won't ride. The calm and gentle nature of all the staff working with the students is reassuring and comforting.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Coming with a group of 14-20 year old students with Autism, this has been an amazing program. I have watched students grow and learn in an unconventional learning environment in a way that was not thought possible before the experience. The patience of the volunteer staff and their ability to learn and adapt to our students was outstanding, and they were always willing to ask questions and learn a new strategy if needed. They were able to build relationships with the students and in many instances work without the assistance of our school staff.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a employee at Forbush School of Glyndon who deals with mostly children with autisim. I can not say enough about the Rose Of Sharon program and how much their program has impacted our children. I have personally watched children improve in every area just from attending this amazing program. The staff is top of the line and simply wonderful with our children. Words can not express how greatful we our for the Rose of Sharon program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rose of Sharon Equestrian School is a unique facility that provides services for a variety of people, but especially those with a disability. Children and adults have come through the barn doors meeting horses for the first time and they leave with a new found confidence and a life-long 4 legged friend. ROSES allows students to achieve many goals in the barn or on a horse that usually reflect in other aspects of their life. It has been a great experience volunteering at ROSES for 6 years, getting to know the students personally and watching them grow over the time they have been riding. Students learn horsemanship, but they also grow personally and develop new life skills. ROSES ihas been a huge part of my life and after college, I came back to ROSES as a certified therapeutic riding instructor because I love the atmosphere and seeing the miracles that happen here on a daily basis.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Joan has always been the engine that drives the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School. Her love of children and desire to help kids happily achieve has no bounds. Spending time with her while she works with her kids and her horses only reinforces my impression of her obvious love and devotion to what she does. I've honestly never met anyone who matches her patience and love for students with special needs.

Kendra M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first came to ROSES in 2009 the moment I pulled onto the property I could feel this place was special. The air just felt cleaner and the beautiful pastures and welcoming barn instantly eased my anxiety. After meeting Joan and the therapists (horses) I knew I had to be a part of this mission. With the help of the vocational director at the school I worked for we were awarded a grant to take 8 Autism Spectrum Adolescents to the farm once a week. Some of these students had never seen a farm before let alone a horse, so it is difficult for me to express with words alone how much this experience meant to these students. But from a practical stand point the data said it all. Students were more willing to do work and after returning from their morning session with the horses they were calm, more focuses, and eager to participate in activities. The horses also brought forward a strengthened ability to communicate. I wish I could tell you how it happened but you'll just have to ask one of the horses...

Tish T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter applied to ROS because of her love of horses and also the need to fulfill her service learning hours for high school. She was also suffering from the loss of her beloved horse at the time and her experience helped her in more ways than she expected. She was so excited when she came home and told me that one of the students had taken a liking to her and ran up and hugged her as he entered the barn. She completed her hours over a year ago and still wants to go and help when she can because she enjoys being around the ponies and Ms. Joan. I am thankful that she was accepted to be a part of this wonderful place.

Michael91

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was fortunate and proud to volunteer and work with Joan and her herd for about 6 months. We are moving and I miss those powerful "ponies"! ROSES is a beautiful, peaceful barn that changes lives. Everyone that visits this immaculate real world classroom learns and grows. There are wonderful people and kind spirited horses that enjoy their second careers as teachers. I hope that ROSES will continue to make positive impacts in many more kids and families lives for years to come. By reaching their goal of a finished indoor arena and getting a volunteer coordinator they will continue to share the blessings of those smiling faces after a job well done.