Written by: Devaney Iglesias
Client: Horses Healing Hearts, Inc. https://www.horseshealingheartsusa.org
Release Date: 2016-11-04
Wellington, Fla. – November 4, 2016 – Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) executive director, Liz Olszewski, has returned from the 2016 National Drug Endangered Children’s Conference, where she had the privilege to share her story and the work of HHH. Olszewski took the stage at the Atlantis Resort Casino and Spa in Reno, Nevada on Wednesday, Oct. 25 and stunned the audience with an exceptional presentation.
“Children of alcoholics and drug endangered children often experience trauma and other long term impacts,” said President of National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (DEC), Chuck Noerenberg. “Liz Olszewski has developed an innovative program for healing children and families through equine therapy. Her presentation at the 2016 National Alliance for Drug Endangered Conference was very well received by the conference participants with many hoping the program can be established in their communities.”
The three-day conference covered a vast group of topics such as, current drug trends, the connection between human trafficking and drug endangered children, an inside look at a marijuana dispensary, different ways to handle cases of DEC, women dealing with addiction, how to help traumatized children learn and succeed and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Olszewski was one of five plenary speakers, which included Jim Harris, Dr. Art Martinez, Russell Smith and Chuck Daugherty.
Olszewski had the floor for 90 minutes and the undivided attention of attorneys, judges, medical professionals, mental health professionals, community-based service professionals, substance abuse service professionals, teachers and community members who work on behalf of drug endangered children.
“I was slightly intimidated and an anomaly among the group of speakers,” Olszewski shared. “I started off the presentation with a video of my personal story. When it finished, you could hear a pin drop in the room. I felt vulnerable, but it was moving. Afterwards, I was thanked for being so vulnerable. A lot of people in the room shared my story and it helped them to know that they weren’t alone.”
During her presentation, Olszewski shared an overview of HHH. She discussed its programs, effective curriculum and the services it offers, as well as the challenges it faces. She informed the participants on the impact a horse can have on children whose family members suffer from alcohol and substance abuse and more importantly, motivated individuals to think of unique ways to help DEC.
Olszewski continued, “We do this work, because we came from it and we know how impactful it can be, as well as how devastating it can be. I think we accomplished explaining the importance of a program like ours, and encouraged people to think of out-of-the box ways to help these children.”
Founded in 2009, Horses Healing Hearts services children in South Florida and is the only program of its kind in the United States. The children who have participated in the over 1,000 program sessions provided by the trained staff at Horses Healing Hearts have received valuable life skills and prevention education, ensuring that they are at a lower risk for alcohol and drug offenses as they age.
To learn about Horses Healing Hearts and their mission to help children in South Florida, please visit: www.hhhusa.org.