S.T.E.E.D. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   During high school, I have participated in many activities. None, however, has affected me as greatly as volunteering in a horseback riding program for handicapped children. The name of the program was S.T.E.E.D. and my job was to help disabled children learn to ride a horse. More than just a fun day, the riding was used as therapy. The experience taught them the importance of following directions while it also stimulated muscles and encouraged balance.

Through working with handicapped children I learned never to take anything I can do for granted. Whether it is running or carrying on a conversation with a close friend, working with children who were not able to do these "simple" things, made me appreciate the fact that I could. Another lesson I learned while volunteering for S.T.E.E.D. was patience. I learned that yelling or getting frustrated was futile when the kids did not understand. Instead I was forced to stay calm and to stick with it until they got it. Simple tasks like keeping fingers closed tightly on the reins required much repetition and practice. In the long run, this patience paid off for each and every child got better at riding each week.

I believe that volunteering for this handicapped riding program was one of the most important activities I have participated in. From this enriching experience I have learned tolerance and developed the ability never to take anything for granted - valuable lessons I was able to learn while helping others. fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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