Gloria's Story

Posted December 12, 2018

An example of true change. 💖


🐴A little girl from one of our 8-week anti-bullying curriculums had come with 7 other youth from her school. All of the kids attending had been to the principal’s office several times with issues either from being a bully or from being bullied themselves. PLUS there was a considerable amount of behavioural issues including, FAS, ADD, OCD, ODD, etc. We put the youth into teams of two with their teacher, the horse, each time they came out. Every time we did this, the human teammates never wanted to be Gloria’s partner, so they just left her to do the program all by herself with the horse. Maybe they left her because she didn’t talk much and she continually was burping?

🐴When Gloria began to work with the horse on her own, she started connecting with him right away due to her stimulus. She and the horse were constantly eyeball to eyeball and just by a quick glance you could tell already that they were opening up to each other. The other kids began noticing and began to get jealous, which resulted in them going up and taking the horse away from Gloria. We, as Facilitators, had to let the process happen and could not intervene. It took all the strength in us to not involve ourselves as we felt bad for little Gloria. It broke our hearts to see that the amazing, authentic connection she and the horse had was broken up so quickly. But then again, we listened to the horse's body language, and the situation that was happening was okay.

🐴Onto the next horse. You wouldn't believe it. It happened again. Gloria and this other horse connected right away. Eyeball to eyeball. There came the other kids and stole that horse away from Gloria. Still, we stood back and let the process happen.

🐴Finally, by the 8th program… The last program, she got the skill that she needed! This same situation happened repeatedly, and that last day she finally stood up for herself. She stomped down her foot and said, "No! I am working with this horse." I think we were all taken back a bit as we were not expecting that to happen. However, by us letting the process happen, she finally got the skill she needed to stand up for herself, to be the leader within, and say "no."

🐴Not only was that a truly, truly amazing experience to be a part of, but the program also proceeded to get even better. After the program was done, we went back into the classroom as happy as pigs in mud, to go and finish the day with the debrief. In the debriefing stage, the kids usually choose one word from the achievement board and talk about what their teacher (the horse) taught them, or how it reflected their day. However, for Gloria this time, she didn't pick just one word, not even just two words. She chose eight words! Eight!

🐴We asked her why she chose those words and then, BAM! BAM! BAM! She lists each of them off. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, her peers, who once bullied and ignored her, began to clap at her accomplishment and gave her a standing ovation. What an amazingly humble moment to witness and what a true privilege it was to be a part of little Gloria's journey.

🐴Seeing the change from the beginning of week one to the end of week 8 is why we love our career so much. It truly is life-changing.

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