Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Hometown: Dream Catchers Helps Residents with MS through Therapeutic Riding

Adults with multiple sclerosis had a special form of therapy with the help of those on four legs. Local students received awards for their work in art or science.

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Dream Catchers Helps Residents with MS through Therapeutic Riding

A rider participating in therapy at Dream Catchers (Submitted)
A rider participating in therapy at Dream Catchers (Submitted)

Thanks to grant from the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, local adults with MS had the chance to experience the world from the back of the horse.

For 10 weeks, six people with MS took lessons at Dream Catchers at the Cori Sikich Therapeutic Riding Center, with one participant’s lessons funded by donations to the nonprofit center. The customized program included targeted exercises and adaptive equestrian skills designed to enhance the riders’ core strength, balance, leg strength and coordination.

The sessions finished in April, and riders reported an improvement in physical abilities and positive outlook.

Janet Mayberry, a Dream Catchers instructor, said in a news release the program increased riders’ self-confidence and formed friendships.

“Riding has given them a freedom that daily life sometimes does not allow,” she said.

Dream Catchers will be applying for additional funds from the MS Foundation to fund a new group of students in the fall.

Area Teens Place in PFAC Student Art Show

Siobhan Irvin’s oil painting “$7.50 Hamburger and Fries” won her $250 in an art show featuring the work of local high-schoolers.

Irvin’s work is one of 131 pieces in “Prefaces 2014,” an annual show that highlights high-school art at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center. The show includes work by 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students from across the Peninsula.

Siobhan Irvin with “$7.50 Hamburger and Fries,” which won first place in PFAC's student art show (Submitted)
Siobhan Irvin with “$7.50 Hamburger and Fries,” which won first place in PFAC’s student art show (Submitted)

Other Historic Triangle winners were Rebekah Nettleton, who won third place for “Trapped” in clay, and Jordan Allen who earned fourth place for “Time” in clay. Both are students at Grafton High School. Haley Ellis from Warhill High School, Amber Brown from Grafton High School and Brady Hunt from Hampton Roads Academy all took home honorable mentions.

The awards were given by the Tidewater Chapter of The Society Inc.

The exhibition of student work is on display until May 25.

Bruton High Student Among Statewide STEM Essay Contest Winners

From students across the state, Kaela Frazier’s essay was chosen in a contest for high school junior and senior girls interested in science. The third annual STEM (Science, technology, engineering, math) essay contest is sponsored by first lady Dorothy McAuliffe and the Virginia Council on Women, in collaboration with the Science Museum of Virginia, and awarded five scholarships from 270 submissions.

Frazier won fourth place and a $2,500 to be used for pursuing a STEM field in college.

“We need to encourage more young women to excel in these high-demand STEM fields, so they can be leaders in the industries that will make Virginia more competitive in a global economy,” McAuliffe said in a news release. “An innovative program like the STEM Essay Contest is just one tool we can use to build awareness of the great career pathways our students are pursuing in every region in Virginia.”

Scholarships were presented to the recipients at the Science Museum’s Up & Atom Women’s Leadership Breakfast.

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