The PATH Intl. James Brady Professional Achievement Award is given to a person who has made a significant contribution to the industry of equine-assisted services (EAS). (James Brady was the press secretary to U.S. President Ronald Reagan who was shot during an assassination attempt in 1981. The failed attempt paralyzed Brady who as part of his physical therapy began therapeutic riding with his horse. He said riding helped him improve his balance and muscle control more than traditional therapy. Brady was an ally of then NARHA, and subsequently the association named its most prestigious award in his honor.)
Winners of this award are recognized for demonstrating the highest ethical behavior in their personal and professional life; for possessing proven leadership and dedication through delivery of service, educational contribution, support and promotion of the industry; for bringing innovative ideas to fruition; for creating collaborations and partnerships to advance the work of EAS; and for enhancing the success and knowledge of others in the association.
This year PATH Intl. is extremely proud to present this award to an outstanding leader in the industry: Teresa Morris.
Teresa is a lifelong equestrian with a deep love of family and horses, caring for both with her whole heart and soul. This is a much loved and respected woman inspiring thousands of volunteers, students, parents and staff members with her own enthusiasm, professionalism and personal positive attention.
Teresa’s dedication to the industry has spanned three decades, touched centers from coast to coast and thousands of professionals. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor with her CTRI designation, an Advanced Lead Evaluator, Registered Lead Evaluator and Lead Site Visitor. She has served on too many PATH Intl. committees to list, most notably, Programs & Standards Oversight, Grievance Review Panel, Business Model Task Force, 2010 CEO search committee, and region representative, just to name a few. She is a life member and a frequent generous donor who served on the PATH Intl. board throughout the 2000s and was board president from 2008-2010.
She always encourages professionals in therapeutic horsemanship to pursue PATH Intl. membership, additional certifications and to have a program accredited. She consistently demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and support of the association’s work. Ross Braun, past board president said, “Teresa Morris is an amazingly sharing, talented and generous person. She was a major contributor for the PATH Intl. 50th Anniversary celebration and made it possible for a number of past presidents and leaders of our association to attend the spectacular event. Her dedication to PATH Intl. and equine-assisted services continues to create a powerful organization.”
KC Henry, current board member, said, “I would choose Teresa to work with on a PATH Intl. project of any sort over most anyone else I know. She is fair, creative, strategic, open minded, fun, surprising, inspiring, compassionate, dedicated, knowledgeable, experienced and a talented collaborator of diverse people and ideas. She is an ideal leader and friend.”
Never one to do anything half-heartedly, when Teresa first became involved at a center in the 1990s as an instructor and volunteer director, she increased the number of volunteers by ONE THOUSAND percent. Her influence out in the field has been immeasurable. She co-founded Milestones, Inc., a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Highlands Heights, KY. She is one of the three original staff founders of Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, a PAC in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. She founded the therapeutic horsemanship major and Premier Accredited Center at Higher Education Member, Lake Erie College. And more recently she was a founder of the new PATH Intl. member center, In Step With Horses with the unique focus of improving mental health, where she serves on their board as vice president and governance committee chair. Melissa Hauserman, from In Step says, “Teresa is the most dedicated EAS practitioner and supporter I know. She is truly a visionary, constantly exploring the boundaries of the industry and looking for new, innovative ways to bring horses into the lives of more people.”
Lynette Stuart, the executive director of Fieldstone Farm who has known Teresa for 28 years, stated, “Because Teresa is a visionary person, she has come up with many new programming ideas that have benefitted our participants in many ways. I will never forget the day she sat in my office as we talked about our Vocational Education program. She said to me, ‘If these students can come to Fieldstone and find success in their job training program, but then return to their schools and struggle with their academic program, why can’t we just keep them here all day and provide both parts of the program?’” Lynette’s response was that they were not a school and couldn’t be a school. Teresa, of course, asked, “Why not?” Now, 14 years later, the Gaitway High School is a highly successful model of an alternative classroom and has had 79 students receive their high school diplomas. That would not have happened without Teresa.
As Stuart also pointed out, “When someone has a passion for what they do and they are willing to share what they know as freely as they do, it is because they are deeply invested in the greater good that comes out of it. Teresa has given so much good to this industry over so many years and she most certainly deserves to be honored for all that she has done!”
PATH Intl. honored Teresa with the establishment of the New Generation Higher Ed Scholarship fund. The fund has a great start with donations from a few of Teresa’s colleagues and friends. For information, visit pathintl.org and click Donate Now at the top of the page.
About PATH Intl.:
The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International® (PATH Intl.®) was formed in 1969. The organization leads the advancement of professional equine-assisted services (EAS) by supporting its members and stakeholders through rigorously developed standards, credentialing and education. At 881 member centers, more than 66,000 children and adults, including 6,200 veterans, may find improved health, wellness and a sense of pride, independence and fun through involvement with horses. EAS at member centers may include therapeutic or adaptive riding, interactive vaulting, driving, adaptive equestrian sport, equine-assisted learning and therapy services. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful programs and professional careers. There are nearly 62,500 volunteers, 5,011 instructors, 7,800 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.
For more information, contact:
Cher Smith, Communications Specialist
(800) 369-7433, ext. 123