The ETC Youth Leadership Program: Empowerment Through Connection (ETC) is a scholarship foundation providing funding for horse assisted education, hippotherapy and equine facilitative learning in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston Counties.
One program in particular, is the youth leadership program, providing learning opportunities for teens and young adults to build confidence and leadership skills. The program provides service learning and community internships through scholarships that enrich our future change-makers.
Service and charity is fundamental for youth participating in school Honor Society. Members are active in the community on a daily basis. Finding community service locations can be challenging with many nonprofits requiring volunteers to be at least 18 years of age. At ETC, youth are able to make a difference through volunteering and learn leadership skills while participating.
“I think the purpose of developing confidence and leadership skills allows for a window to learning maturity, responsibility, and accountability. It also helps with learning about relationships with others. It is the foundation of being prepared as an individual in the working world.” ~ Audrey, Jackson High School Senior.
Leadership should not be understood as “power over”, but instead as “power with…” Through hands-on activities with a horse, participants experience leadership including awareness of self, being truly present in relationship with others and effective communication.
What makes us effective as leaders is how we respond in the moment. Our activities allow for personal observation and reflection so participants make the connections from the arena to school or home.
Participants leave with a better understanding that leadership is personal power not physical; is about the relationships you develop; is earned through demonstrating authenticity & gaining trust.