Hi, my name is Kimberly Portanova-Feibus and I’m currently enrolled in the master’s degree program in Mental Health Counseling at Walden University.
Goals: When I started in this program, my goal was to become a licensed professional counselor, work with couples, families, and help them re-instill their family values. And then I had an opportunity in my field experience to meet children and to work with them. Children who had been affected by trauma. Children who came to the mission where I work, defeated. Victims. And I saw the pain in their eyes and I saw the loneliness and I saw the fear. And session after session and watching them with the horses, I saw them start to get a twinkle in their eye, start to get a turned up smile when a horse would come up and nudge them.
The Mission: Through the work that we’re doing with horses and equine assisted psychotherapy, these children are going from the role of victim to the role of survivor. What we’re finding is, children are healing from their trauma. Children are getting better. But, their parents are stuck in victim mode. Their parents are stuck in what happened. Their parents are so consumed with getting the help for their children that they’re not recognizing the need for help themselves. So my commitment is to help the entire family.
I have approached the directors of the mission and the president of the board and asked to spearhead a new element of the mission in working with the parents so that they can also go from victim to survivor.
Spreading the Message: Through outreach organizations, participation in countless activities, whether it be Light the Night to raise awareness, candlelight vigils where victims of sexual or physical abuse learn to share their voice and tell their story. Talking to children, talking to families. By my children having bake sales or student council activities designed to raise awareness to stop child abuse. Through this video, in the hopes of having a winning video that will provide finances for my mission which provides equine assisted psychotherapy free of charge to every child we see. This is my commitment to social change.
Thank You: Thank you to each and every professor that I’ve had at Walden University who’s taught me valuable lessons. Thank you to Walden University for teaching me the value of becoming an agent of social change. One child at a time, I will make a difference. Thank you Walden.