Lauren Schlicker

Class of '12

Place of service: Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center

Why I Serve

I was being interviewed for the Whitworth Alumni Project and the lovely student that was interviewing me asked me if I did any volunteer work. I responded no I didn’t but that I wanted to. I had plenty of the usual excuses: no time, no energy, full time job. As the words were coming out of my mouth I knew they were just excuses. The following week, I signed up for volunteer orientation at Little Bit and started regular service in October of 2015. There are days when work is long and draining and the thought of being on my feet for an hour seems daunting, but the second I step into the arena, the bright smiles of the students and the smell of the horses bring me so much joy. I serve because I know that I am making a difference and doing something life-giving. I get to combine my passion for horses and education into one amazing experience. As much as I hope to help my students, I know they are helping me just as much to remember to value life for all its amazing opportunities, and I am so grateful for them and for the time I get to spend with them and the horses.

How I Serve

Little Bit offers horseback riding lessons and therapy to students with special needs. I volunteer as a Sidewalker and Horse Leader. During classes I assist riders by walking alongside them or by leading their horse, providing physical and sometimes emotional support. I help before classes by grooming and tacking the horses and putting them away after class.