Operation Progress LA | Equestrian Program
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Equestrian Program

Junior Leadership Committee

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Hi! I’m Alec, and I’m a Senior at the Polytechnic School in Pasadena. My family is pretty heavily involved in horses, so my sister, Katie, and I grew up riding. I was enthralled when I found Operation Progress’ Equestrian Program and readily became a volunteer (Katie volunteers, too). I was incredibly disappointed to learn that the program lacked funding and would shut down. I have seen the impact that the Equestrian Program has and would like to make sure that it continues to make a difference in people’s lives – scholars, volunteers, police officer-mentors – including my own. I hope you will join us!



My name is Lily! I am a Junior at Notre Dame Academy High School in Los Angeles. I participate in activities such as The Association of Catholic Student Councils (TACSC), playing volleyball, and I enjoy riding horses with my mom. I like to volunteer as much as I can and Operation Progress’ Equestrian Program is a great opportunity for me to help others. I hope to continue working with it and helping make sure the program continues because it makes a positive impact for me and the Operation Progress community.



Hello, my name is Jake and I’m a Freshman at Santa Clara University in Downtown Los Angeles. Before I discovered Operation Progress’ Equestrian Program, I had no experience with riding. However, once I witnessed the effect these horses had on the children, it motivated me to learn everything about the species in hope of making this experience even more enjoyable for them. As a result, when I heard that the program would soon be shut down due to a lack of funding, I knew that I must use all of my power to stop this tragedy from occurring, which is why I’m seeking your support. This program means everything to these kids… so if it ends they won’t have anything.

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I’m Loran and I’m a Freshman at Flintridge Prep in Los Angeles. I’ve always been interested in horses, and I love how much the Equestrian program helps my community. I can’t wait to work more with the program!

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Hello, my name is Nick and I am a Senior at Loyola High School of Los Angeles. I’ve always had a profound interest in the therapeutic effects of animal companionship, and the Equestrian Program has allowed me to witness, firsthand, these amazing benefits. The horses offer the children an experience that can change their lives, teaching them amazing life lessons and creating opportunities for the kids to experience the joy of riding. Everyday, I continue to learn more about myself and my community through this program, and I hope you can all join us in our mission to keep this awesome project alive and thriving.

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Katie (Left)

Hi! I’m Katie. I’m a seventh grader at Polytechnic School (the same school as my brother, Alec). I love to ride horses (I have a buckskin mare called Bella Luna) and am really excited to be part of the Horse Project at Operation Progress. I have a great time hanging out with and getting to know the OP Scholars each Saturday.  I am learning a lot and making new friends!

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Audrey (Center)

Hello. My name is Audrey. I am a Poly seventh grader. In my free time, I like to draw and read. I am so glad to be a part of the Horse Project at Operation Progress! I find the kids’ stories so powerful, and I love to see the help that the Horse Project provides for them. I have really enjoyed volunteering at OP and look forward to continuing!

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Kaylin (Right)

Hi, my name is Kaylin and I am a seventh grader at Polytechnic (same as Katie).  I am an avid fiction reader and a complete nerd.  I am thrilled to be part of the Horse Project at Operation Progress!  I love animals and hanging out with my friends.  I learned so much from Operation Progress!

What is the “Horse Project”?

OP’s Equestrian Program is amazing. A unique and rewarding blend of volunteers and Scholars who share a love for horses and community, the Equestrian Program changes the lives of participants and volunteers alike. But the Equestrian Program costs money and OP does not have the budget to support it. We really like the Equestrian Program, so we decided we would try to raise the money needed to keep it going. That is our commitment. We are calling our effort the “Horse Project.”

Who are we?

We are six kids who volunteer at Operation Progress’ Equestrian Program: Alec W.(16 years old), Katie W.(11), Audrey T.(11), Kaylin Y.(11) (all from Polytechnic School), Lily B.(15) (Notre Dame Academy), and Jake G.(16) (Loyola High School). We have had a blast working with and getting to know the OP Scholar/equestrians—who are terrific group of young people with some impressive equestrian skills. We call ourselves the Junior Leadership Committee. We have included information about some of us below.

Equestrian Program
Team work

What are we going to do?

First, we need to raise $28,500 in 12 months—because that is what the Equestrian Program costs. We will track our progress on this page. Our parents have thrown in the first $1000. So we are on our way! Second, we will volunteer as many Saturday afternoons as we are able. We have the best time with the horses and the scholars! Third, we are going to figure out new ways to enrich the program and help out any way we can. We already have a bunch of ideas and look forward to working on them with the scholars and other volunteers.

Please help!

We have a long way to go but are confident that with support of our classmates, family, and friends, we will reach our goals. We are grateful for any support you can give. To donate now, please click on the button below. We appreciate every donation in every amount.

2018 Donors

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our Equestrian Program. Your generosity will help transform and inspire the lives of countless underserved children!

A special thank you to our Principal Sponsor Whittier Trust for donating $5,000 for the second year in a row!


John and Paula Gambs, Eleanor Mercado and Tara Bunch


David & Monica Walsh, Ryan & Sonia Yagura, Michael & Nancy Casey, Bice Passavant Foundation, Janice Burrill, Warren and Ann-Marie Guinane


Katherine Wimmer, Barbara & Patrick Hines, Purvi Patel, Steve & Kate High, Barbara & Scott Bice, James & Sandra Kawahito, Geoffrey Stover


Brian Flynn, Connie Robinson, Richard Ardoin, Jonathan Tomlin & Elaine Lu, Jennifer Luong, Leah McCrary, Michael & Dounia Turrill, Bita Rahebi, Scott Jurgensen, Matthew Ardoin, Charlene Liebau, Ginger & Chris Wilson, Miriam Vogel, Brian Beck & Quimby Pierce, Margaret & Marc Kenny, Sean & Juliet Lord, F. Jack & Charlene Liebau, Peter Brejcha, John Major, Mark & Ann Kennedy, Nick & Gina Mosich, Christianne and Charles Kerns, Thomas Vigdal


Nicolas Morse, Rhea & Pat Rendon, Michaela Bushinger, Karin & William Amour, Laura & Louis Fleming, Dongmei Huang, Jenny Park, Kevin Grandalski, Yuen Fang, Nicolas & Judy Martin, Charles Callanan, Thomas Faughnan, Neil & Shaina Tyler, Cameron Lamb Fasick, Susan Pfeuffer, Kate, Michael & Sophie Amundson, Nicholas & Judy Martin, John & Allison Byrne, Daniel M. Crowley, Patricia and Dick Lowry, John Durrant, Marina Chang, Vivian Suarez

Special Supporters

Robert Turrill, Kathleen Callaway, Bianca Howitt, Marea Kelly, Susan Etheredge, Julie Sperling, Lee & Diane Weidman, Marjan Khazra, Olivia Romero, Brian Walsh, Diana Rewinski, Renée Larios

2017 Donors

A special thank you to our Corporate Sponsor Whittier Trust for donating $5,000!
Kolar Foundation Charitable Foundation of BuckleySandler LLP/ Clinton and Kelly Rockwell and Family, Stacy Vierheilig-Fraser
 Bice Passavant Foundation, Catherine and Casey Adams, Barbara and Scott Bice, Janice Burrill, Warren & Anna-Marie Guinane, Ken and Carolyn Mueller, David and Monica Walsh, The Yaguras, Eleanor Mercado, Tim McCarthy
Steve and Katie High, Ryan Walsh, Dr. Joseph and Mrs. Karen Walsh, David and Frances Morrison
Thomas Vigdal, John Webster, Sheri and Peter Chan, Wendy Ray, John and Allison Byrne, Tom and John Sonego, Warren and Katherine Wimmer, Julio Ramirez and Anette Castro, Janet Andrea, Margaret and Marc Kenny, Kenneth Busiere, Mark and Sandra Miranti, Elaine Lu and Jon Tomlin, Nick and Gina Mosich, Jean and Altagrace Henry, Howard and Susan Goldman, Elizabeth Camacho and Felix Avila, Christianne and Charles Kerns,  The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, Joseph and Melissa Demer, Nicole & Bernhard Von Thaden
Ann Babcock, Kevin Grandalski, Kate Rangel, Leona and Al Huber, Lolly Gallup
Special Supporters
Richard and Sharon Ardoin, Toliver and Marjorie Besson, Valerie Elise Bigelow, Suzette Clover and Leonard Pape, Susan Etheredge, Barbara and Patrick Hines, Paul and Hui Fang Hwee, Margaret Jordan, Katherine Murray, Purvi Patel, Rhea and Patrick Rendon, Jonathan Smith, Robert and Crystal Span, Jay Schuminsky, Alan and Millie Steinbrecher, Michael Turrill, Brian, Robin and Kevin Flynn, Kathleen Callaway, Patrick and Abigail Walsh, Ryan Aubry, Lisa Robin and Terry Smigla, Nancy Thomas, Charles Miller, John and Mary Ulin, Margaret and Paul Grossman, Yong Bom Lee and Su Yeon Lee, The Kelly Family Revocable Trust, Louis and Laura Fleming, John Durrant
Mitchell Silberg & Knupp LLP, Vivian Suarez, Chris Wilson, Quimby Pierce, Nicholas & Judy Martin, Yuen Fang & Stanley Liu, Karin & William Amour