BENEFITING: Awareness Foundation
Inner City Slickers is an "Old West" program that was inspired by the film City Slickers released in 1991. We chose this program because the "Old West" symbolizes strength, perseverance and hard work. This program builds self-esteem, self-confidence, integrity, and character, and breaks down the social prejudices that are so prevalent in our culture today. Our “Slickers” learn what it's like to be a cowboy--kindness, dependability, keeping your word, responsibility --an ethical and moral code that will stay with them throughout their lives. They learn how to rope, groom, feed, and sit a horse. Our kids learn what it's like to trust & respect the horses, themselves and each other. The Inner City Slickers program is one of the only means we have seen that can virtually erase the color barrier between teens. With the magic of horses and our expert trained volunteers, our kids are transformed. They change right in front of your eyes. They forget about color and concentrate on what's in front of them --a magnificent animal. Our kids face this challenge with courage and optimism. Once going through our short-term program, with reinforcement of continuing contact, these kids have a much greater chance to become responsible citizens. There is something that happens, a magical thing, when a child and a horse meet for the very first time. Maybe some suspicion and distrust at first, usually on both sides, but as the child and this magnificent animal start to relax and see what is in front of them --that is when the true magic begins. As they develop a relationship and sense of trust, you find that both of their lives are being touched in a unique and profound way. There is a sense of peace, balance, and oneness, that only could happen between the meeting of these two beings –-helping each other learn the lessons of life.