Category Archives for "BHW Blog"

GIRLS ALOUD! A CONCERT ADVOCATING GIRLS EMPOWERMENT

Miss Hall’s School students, Anna Kim and Tiffany Luu will host “Girls Aloud! Advocating Girls Empowerment,” from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, at The Barn at the Egremont Village Inn, 17 South Main Street in Egremont.

Proceeds from the show will benefit Berkshire HorseWorks, so please take some time to support both Anna and Tiffany as well as BHW!

Here is a link to the School’s website with more information.

https://www.misshalls.org/page/news-detail?pk=1176429&fromId=210444

Help us get our equines back in shape!

We here at Berkshire HorseWorks are starting to get out equines back into shape after they had a few months off due to the weather and our move! We are seeking one or two experienced riders (must be at least intermediate level) to help us bring our boys back into work. This will be a volunteer/intern basis and we are hoping to have someone out at least 2x a week to work with our Barn and Equine Manager.

Anyone who is interested and would like more information should contact Hayley Sumner at Hayley@berkshirehorseworks.com or (310) 488-9777

 

Social Justice Seminar

Our blogger, Genevieve, who has been an intern here went to Washington D.C.
Two weeks ago, I was able to travel to Washington D.C. for L’taken, a social justice seminar for Jewish teens from all over the nation. L’taken prepares teens to write and present a speech to Capitol Hill on a variety of topics. The weekend is structured to provide an introduction on many topics including LGBTQ+ rights, voting rights, climate justice and Israel. Once a topic is chosen, teens work with other teens from their congregation and legislative assistants from the RAC to write their speeches. This event was hosted by the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism. The RAC “mobilizes around federal, state, and local legislation; supports and develops congregational leaders; and organizes communities to create a world overflowing with justice, compassion, and peace.”

Each program was lead by a legislative assistant that specialized in that particular topic, so the programs were focused, interesting and fun. I learned so much about each topic, while having fun and meeting people from all over the nation. I chose to write and talk about climate justice, specifically, fighting for renewable energy to become more popular and fossil fuels to stay in the ground, for our meetings on Capitol Hill on Monday. Attending this event opened my eyes to another interest, tikum olam, or repairing the world.

The torah tells us “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof,” “Justice, justice you shall pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). One of the most important jewish values is standing up for what you believe in. I hope to live out this value for the rest of my life, especially as I head off to college next year. I will be attending Mount Holyoke College in the fall, where the students are encouraged to be politically active and fight for what they believe in. I am planning to join clubs that align with my beliefs and stay politically active, especially in the current political climate. The biggest take away from this seminar was the importance of being politically active and reminding your representatives what their constituents want from them.

Motivation

I was sitting here with the horses where I am interning ( I am a senior and live in the Berkshires) and thinking about how to not get derailed from my daily life and responsibilities as all of these traumatic events swirl around. If any of you are feeling lost, depressed or not motivated, just consider these thoughts. According to a recent report from the Center for Motivation and Change, people should show self-compassion and patience to bounce back. The horrible tragedies happening in the world impact me daily, but I still manage to find a way to keep my head and grades up. It can be hard to find the motivation to focus on school, but with some practice, motivation comes easier. To focus and get motivated I turn inward and try to become my best self while also seeing support from friends. Often, I plan out my afternoon with time for breaks, so I don’t become burned out with work. When I finish a goal, I take a break and reward myself with a yummy snack, because while it is important to push yourself, it is crucial to know when to stop and take some time for self care. Balance is key. I also ask my friends to encourage me to get my school work done and we form study groups to keep ourselves on track. I find it easier to study for the same test with a group of my friends, than by myself because we can quiz each other. By using these methods, I have been able to focus on my school work and not become derailed by the news. Just thought I would share ……Genevieve

Mental Health Day

Although National Mental Health Day was honored last week, I found something that I believe is worth sharing especially given our current political climate with North Korea and China.
According to a study cited in a column in The Huffington Post entitled “A New Generation Of Therapists Is Fighting Asian-American Mental Health Stigma,” “Many Asian immigrants come from cultures that do not see mental illness as a legitimate illness.” They tend to wait until it is hard to recover before getting help. For those who do, they often do not stay for extended periods potentially because of a language barrier. There are communities of therapists who are actively trying to reduce the stigma around getting help. They host public workshops, health camps and community outreach programs in areas most affected by these issues. Mental health professionals are trying to encourage families to not hide their issues from each other and to not be as ashamed of common illnesses. They are also trying to hire more therapists who are native speakers, to augment the efficacy of treatment and diminish the chance for miscommunication between patient and therapist. The political posturing which has nothing to do with one’s nationality will hopefully not further stigmatize the Asians in this country. I hope they as with everyone receive they need. -Genevieve Franck

This is one of our donkeys, Rodeo, making an entrance at Third Thursday in Pittsfield last month.

http://bigbeaconseats.com/rodeo-makes-an-entrance/

A great new addition to our team, is a 17 year girl named Genevieve. She is an intern as part of her senior year at Mounument Mountain High School in Great Barrington Mass and will be posting twice a week about current events around the world and her relationship with horses. We encourage to follow her work as she is an honest, open, strong, individual who has a lot to share. Here is Genevieve’s first blog:

While volunteering at Berkshire HorseWorks, I learn a lot about myself as I strengthen my connection with the horses. They teach me patience, compassion and empathy, as I ask them to work with me while lunging or even ridding. Horses also help me through some tougher times, so it feels really good to be able to give back time and attention. When I need someone to listen to me without judgment, I talk to the horses and it seems like they understand and give me their full attention. Even while grooming, filling water buckets or feeding them, I let them work their magic, making me calmer and more centered. Every time I come to the barn, I face a new challenge; sometimes it’s motivating the horses to exercise or learning a new way to care for an ailment. I leave feeling happy because of the new skills I learn and the older ones that I work toward mastering.

Volunteering here, is opening my eyes to a slightly different version of the career path I want to follow. I thought that I was going to run a barn and give riding lessons, but now I realize that I want to do more than that, I want to give back to the community through similar programs, as well as give the opportunity to the community to experience the same kind of love from these beautiful animals.
#volunteering #eagala #horselove #girlsrule #teens #givingback #intheberkshires

Childhood Anxiety

We would like to introduce our newest member of the team! Alecto, a 12 year old girl who has enrolled in our mentorship program is now our first official blogger! She will be writing bi-weekly blogs, sharing her insight on topics relevant to her and to our community! Please let us know if there is a topic of which you would like to read about. Below is Alecto’s first blog:

Anxiety. The word may purport an ominous presence to some, a feeling of familiar pain to others. This, of course, has its roots in truth. Anxiety is a serious problem, especially in our youth. It is often misdiagnosed or left undiscovered for many years, creating a domino effect of trouble for many. As an outsider, I know how those who don’t notice the anxiety could see it — the teenage years, especially, are full of drama and angst, but anxiety is much deeper that that. Many children and teens have been misdiagnosed, even by trained professionals. Yes, this is a serious problem, but there are solutions. Therapy and medications are readily available to those afflicted with anxiety. There is hope for children and adolescents dealing with this mental health challenge. This disorder has become much more prevalent in recent years, especially considering the tales of woe and hatred prevalent in the media. One key piece of advice from me to the parents reading this is; watch your children. Find out what is normal for your child, what triggers them, and why. Don’t let this go undiagnosed- provide a safe and happy future for your children. I say this again, there is hope. There are methods of helping family or friends with this disorder, and trust me, it will be beneficial. According to the American Psychological Association’s article: http://mobileservices.texterity.com/apamonitor/201703…

Five Reasons You Wish You Could Bring a Horse into the Boardroom

Companies that invest in their workforce do so for various reasons – retention , staff development, productivity or just good mojo.  For those  who are looking for clear statistical data before making a decision, here are five reasons to invest in team building initiatives:

 

70 % of U.S. workers are not engaged at work

Companies with engaged employees earn 2.5 times the revenue than competitors with low engagement levels.

Problems with direct supervisors account for 49% of disengaged employees.

40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their position within the first year

$11 billion is lost annually to employee turnover

 

Still not convinced despite these compelling numbers?

Check out the newest trend in team building in which YOUR competitors are engaging!!

 

References:

http://www.dailyinfographic.com/10-shocking-statistics-about-employee-engagement-infographic

http://www.stackhands.com/blog/company-culture/company-culture-statistics/

http://blog.clearcompany.com/5-surprising-employee-development-statistics-you-dont-know

Policing: Is it just black and white?

I believe we all can agree that on one level or another we have seen a huge disparity in the  interactions between  those of different races —   both within the ranks of law enforcement and amongst neighbors.  The tragic police shootings at times are used as a preventative tool – a reaction to a perceived threat or merely to underlying bias that gets triggered.  Leadership and organizers are  trying to get to the root of racial bias and how to understand and expunge it.   Precincts are holding workshops …But in the world of biases, there are both implicit and explicit types.  As outlined in the APA’s article, “Policing in Black and White,” explicit is easily detected as it is a bias one openly expresses in conversation, implicit biases can become deadly if undetected.  Implicit biases are ones we all have but of which we are unaware until we are asked to make a quick decision in a situation where stereotypes come into play. If we don’t make an effort to understand and deal with both levels we are merely putting a bandaid on the problem.  Officers are now more than ever becoming aware of these biases and are eager to work on them.  David M. Corey, PhD, a police psychologist and founding president of the American Board of Police and Public Safety Psychology says, “The police officers I’ve worked with are looking for effective ways to reduce implicit or unintended bias, and they welcome advice based on psychological evidence, not politics…We feel like we have to do something, but sometimes the action we take proves to be merely window dressing,” he says. “My worry is that could cause a police agency to think they’re doing enough, or that the monies being spent will prohibit spending for other areas, including research.” This has not stopped many of the 15,000 law enforcement agencies across the country from implementing bias trainings.  Psychologists, while still left with many unanswered questions, are developing bias detecting and reshaping programs including screening tactics to ensure  new hires are best equipped to handle implicit biases.

 

While  bias screening, detecting, and reshaping is helpful, the American Psychological Association offers up a more auspicious solution; one at which  our very own Pittsfield Police Department is excelling — rebuilding a community.  While human contact and ‘walking your beat’ has decreased among patrol duties, so has the relationship between officer and citizen. “In the past, an officer used to walk a beat. They’d get out of their car, get to know people,” says John Dovidio, PhD, a social psychologist at Yale University . “Effective policing requires the cooperation of the community. If the community doesn’t trust you, they won’t give you info to help you do your job,” says Dovidio. “If you can create a sense of being on the same team, having the same goals, it makes policing more effective.” Local Officer Darren Derby Is making great head way.  Please check out his social media postings, #HoopsNotCrime, #GetOutOfYourCruiser, Operation Copsicle, Cop on Top, Cops N Kids..  Keep up the good work, officers!

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