In 2012 Jodie became a certified Equestrian Special Olympics coach and brought 5 of her students to Special Olympics in Williamstown,MA for the first time. It was a magical experience for everyone.
In 2015 Destiny's Ride became a registered program through SOMA. Special Olympics has always been near and dear to Jodie's heart, and for many years she has had a desire to be a part of the Special Olympics. With her passion to be of service and help to others, Jodie is proud to be a part of a community that enriches the lives of others.
"I give my students a lot of credit. For 6-8 weeks they are out there riding for 30 - 60 minutes, challenging themselves to be better. They break through comfort zones to be better than last year. I cannot tell you the pride I have being able to witness this growth every year".
In the past 3 years Destiny's Ride has offered scholarships to her riders. The funding came through twice as a grant from the Civitan club of Pittsfield, where Jodie has been a member since 2010, and 2 times Jodie sponsored her riders.
"I don't feel an athlete should have to pay for their training for those 6 weeks, so I sponsor 30 minute lessons for 6 weeks Some parents pay for an additional 30 minutes to offer their child a 60 minute lesson."
Jodie volunteers at many of the fundraisers for Western Massachusetts Special Olympics from Cop on Top to Polar Plunge, as well as assisting with other Special Olympics games throughout the year. Jodie's mission is to help build the Equestrian Special Olympics.
"Other programs have 25 riders. I believe there are more potential riders out there ready to explore and enjoy the beautiful world of horses. I want to make that happen."
Scholarships for students participating in the Special Olympics are awarded in May and training starts in July/August and continuing through the event date in mid September every year. If you or someone you know would like to be a participant in the SOMA or would like to volunteer, please contact Jodie and together we will make someone's dream a reality.