March 1, 2022. “I was thrilled that Reach 4 A Star was selected as the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Wyoming Agency of the Year – – very well deserved!”, said Greta Maxfield, NASW Representative and Assistant Lecturer/Program Coordinator of the Division of Social Work of the University of Wyoming at Casper.
NASW Student Representative, Tania Malone, presented the award to Reach 4A Star’s Executive Director, Karol Santistevan saying, “Reach 4A Star was nominated because of their focus on therapeutic riding to help people with physical and mental health. Recently they have become a social work field practicum site offering a very rich experience for social work students. Reach 4A Star was also recognized for providing life changing groups and classes that are tailored to different populations which includes Veterans, Special Olympians and youth. In partnership with Central Wyoming Hospice, Reach 4A Star runs Kids Grief Camps and offers Girl Scouts Leadership Camps. These day camps are focused on mental health and well-being for community members. Karol (Santistevan) is a certified Special Olympics Equestrian Coach and is taking the Special Olympics Wyoming Equestrian Team to compete in Florida this June. The leadership and staff of Reach 4A Star clearly exemplify the values and mission of the profession of social work and we are happy to recognize their accomplishments and contributions to clients and their community with this award.”
“Reach 4A Star has always been about helping people and what their abilities are…increasing what the abilities are, not focusing on the disabilities.”, said Reach 4A Star Riding Academy’s Executive Director, Karol Santistevan while accepting the award. “So, when I was first approached about being a potential field work site for social work and after researching a little bit about what you all do, we felt that is was a good fit. It’s just really nice to know that we are doing a lot of interprofessional collaboration and exemplifying or even modeling how professionals can work together outside of what is the norm. We incorporate horses and they bring a whole unique aspect to what we do. Being able to work together and see the value of what every person is who comes out. Whether they are volunteering, feeding the horses, participating in programs or just coming to watch somebody who is doing it, we like to try to add value to everybody’s life that comes through our barn door. Thank you so much and we look forward to potentially having more students out in the coming years.”
Founded in 2004, Reach 4A Star Riding Academy is a 501(c)3 non-profit in Casper, WY that is currently providing services to an average of 65 Equine Assisted Learning participants per week. This summer, Reach 4A Star will be piloting 8 different day camps focused on mental health and suicide prevention for at-risk, marginalized or underserved community members such as Law Enforcement, First Responders, Veterans, LGBTQ, Juvenile Probation, Cancer Survivors, etc. Find out more at Reach4Astar.org