Firehorse Leadership Organization launching program thanks to Libro Credit Union



By Ron Giofu


Firehorse Leadership Organization will be bringing a leadership and mentorship program to area youth next year with the help of Libro Credit Union.

Firehorse was the recipient of a “Prosperity Grant” from Libro Credit Union in the amount of $21,049. The money will be utilized in Firehorse’s “Learn and Lead” program that will be rolled out early next year.

Firehorse Leadership Organization executive director Michelle Stein said they will be reaching out and look for 15-20 youth ages 14-and-over to enrol in the program.

“It’s a youth leadership program,” she explained. “It’s a ten-month commitment.”

Sarah Parks (centre) accepts a cheque for $21,049 from Libro Credit Union. The money came as part of Libro’s “Prosperity Fund” program.  (Submitted photo)

The “Learn and Lead” program will run from February through October 2019 with Stein stating it will help with career choices, financial literacy, community involvement and more. There will be sessions on one weekend per month at Sarah Parks Horsemanship, where Firehorse Leadership Organization also operates out of, as well as hours in the community where those enrolled will have to complete.

The latter could include working at events such as the Harrow Fair, Woofa-Roo Pet Festival, the Festival of Hawks or other community events. They may also work with younger students riding at Sarah Parks Horsemanship or through another Firehorse program.

“This program is unique because it involves an agricultural component,” said Stein. “It gives them an opportunity to be in an agricultural environment.”

Some students choose to pursue careers in agriculture, she noted, but others learn leadership and are able to use that as they work towards other career choices.

Stein noted that recruitment will be occurring in January through Firehorse Leadership Organization’s social media sites as well as through local schools. She said there will be an interview process but parents will be allowed to be part of that.

“We work closely with young people and their families,” said Stein.

Many students who go through their summer camps want to stay involved after they get too old for it, so the “Learn and Lead” program becomes an alternative. There will also be opportunities for bursaries at the conclusion of the program.

Miranda Desjardins riding Will, Jenna Reaume riding Runner, Brooke Demers riding King, Natalie Grondin riding Triple. The photo was taken during Parade of Breeds at Cottam Horse Festival. They are 2018 “Learn and Lead” graduates. (Submitted photo)

Students will put in anywhere from 50-300 community hours on top of the monthly sessions at the ranch, Stein noted. She said it’s not about learning to ride a horse, but more about mentoring and leadership as well as being part of a team.

There is a $200 per child entry fee to be part of the ten-month program, if accepted.

For more information, call Stein at 519-796-3929, e-mail her at, visit or

Sarah Parks Horsemanship is located at 7150 County Road 20.

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