Corral Seeks to Buy Its Home to Keep Helping At-Risk Girls
Since 2008, more than 100 girls going through rough times have found hope and help at Corral Riding Academy, a working farm in Cary. The Christian nonprofit accepts at-risk girls in the Triangle and works to turn their lives around by pairing them with rescue horses and offering them a combination of farm work and therapy. Together, girls and horses heal each other.
But Corral is in danger of losing its 10-acre home, which is up for sale. So the nonprofit has launched a campaign to raise $1 million through June 2016 to buy its property, and any donations made through Dec. 31, will be matched.
The program accepts girls who have experienced abuse, neglect, trauma or substance abuse; or who exhibit promiscuous behaviors or intent to harm themselves. They are referred to the farm from sources such as Wake County Human Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice, Wake County Public Schools, Haven House and local police departments. Once accepted, the girls visit the farm twice a week — once during the week for one-on-one riding lessons and private tutoring from their mentor, and again on the weekend, when they do farm chores, such as haying and caring for the horses. After their chores are done, they take part in drill team practices, trail rides, games on horseback and other fun activities that let them enjoy the horses and each other.
According to information from Corral, the program has shown stunning results. All of the girls who have gone through the program have improved their social and emotional skills after a year, none has had court complaints while in the program, and all Corral high school graduates have matriculated into college. Additionally, although 82 percent of Corral girls were failing when they signed into program, they finished the 2014-2015 school year with a B- average, according to Corral. In the next five years, Corral officials hope to help more than 500 more through their work on the farm, if they can buy their home.
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Photo courtesy of Corral Riding Academy