Sheltered Kids And Rescued Horses Work Together In Virginia Beach Recreational Therapy Program

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Seton Youth Shelters begins equine-rescue partnership To benefit the youth it serves.

Seton Youth Shelters, the region’s only organization devoted exclusively to providing shelter, outreach and mentoring services to runaway, homeless, at risk and trafficked youth, is partnering with Circle A Home For Horses, a Virginia Beach-based nonprofit with a mission of rescuing and rehoming horses bound for slaughter, to enhance its programming for its shelter residents and mentees of its Mentoring Children of Prisoners (MCP) program. Throughout the summer, Seton Youth Shelters will take Friday field trips to Circle A, enabling residents to meet and learn to care for ponies and horses that now call the rescue farm home. Seton’s MCP mentoring program is offering year-round weekend visits for mentees and mentors to visit the farm, explore the rescued horse program, and also learn more about daily farm life. The next farm session will be on Friday, July 14, 2018 at 10 a.m.

“We are anxious to watch the progress of this collaboration,” said Jennifer Sieracki, Executive Director of Seton Youth Shelters. “Seton has maintained a 32-year commitment to providing critical programs and services free of charge to the youth we serve. Circle A Home for Horses is also committed to providing its programming free of charge to the community. In the first month of our collaboration, we are already seeing relationships formed between the youth we serve and Circle A’s equine residents. In our first visit, one of our residents overcame a lifelong fear of horses and bonded with a horse new to Circle A, which the organization had rescued minutes before being sent to the slaughterhouse. We anticipate some amazing benefits for our children and the farm’s horses as we continue the program.”

“We are very excited to welcome Seton Youth Shelters to our equine-facilitated programs,” stated Alicia Mahar, Executive Director of Circle A Home for Horses. “Horses have been used in therapy for many years, although of late, equine assisted programs are emerging rapidly due to the numerous benefits not found in traditional therapy. We look forward to the relationships our horses develop with the children Seton serves.” Established in 2013, Circle A Home for Horses is located in the Pungo section of Virginia Beach. The rescue is currently working to fund operating expenses and hoping to build a new barn in spring of 2018.    

Since 1985, Seton Youth Shelters has served as the region’s only organization devoted exclusively to providing shelter, counseling street outreach services to youth 9-17. Seton Youth Shelters provides prevention, intervention, shelter and counseling to youth 9-17 in crisis and their families—24 hours per day, 365 days a year, at no charge to the child or their family. In 2016, Seton Youth Shelters reached more than 14,000 youth in the Hampton Roads. Jennifer Sieracki serves as Executive Director of Seton Youth Shelters, which marks its 32th anniversary in 2017.

For more information about Seton Youth Shelters, please visit and like us on Facebook (Search: Seton Youth Shelters) For any questions, please call Jennifer Sieracki, Executive Director, at 757.963.5795 ext. 105 or email at jsieracki(at)setonyouthshelters(dot)org.

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Jennifer Sieracki
Seton Youth Shelters
+1 (757) 963-5795 Ext: 105
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