Thursday, March 8, 2012

Inner City Philadelphia: Home of Polo Champions

Horses and polo have come together to give a brighter future to many at risk youth from Philadelphia. The CNN article, “Top ranked polo players hail from Philadelphia’s inner city,” highlights the work being done by Lezlie Hiner, a psychologist, who chose to give inner city at risk kids a better chance and life. Through her “Work to Ride Program” she is offering these at risk teens an opportunity to get off the violent streets. Not only are at risk teens being skirted out of the extreme “violent crim[es]” and drugs and alcohol that marks much of Philadelphia’s inner city youth, but they are also making headline news about being the first “all-black” polo “team to win the National Interscholastic Polo Championship.” The polo teams coming out of the “Work To Ride Program” are know for demolishing many “ivy League” polo teams such as, Harvard. To read more about what is going on with the “Work To Ride Program” in Philadelphia click the link below.

Lezlie Hiner, founder of the “Work To Ride Program” in Philadelphia, has made it her life to help at risk youth navigate the turbulent water’s they have been born into to become healthy productive adults. This is similar to the ideas behind a "healthy" person being discussed by Dr. Corsini in Counseling and Theology.  As canvased in class, a "healthy" person encompasses more than not being sick or involved in  a dangerous lifestyle, but focuses on a functioning complete whole person. That is the material biological part of a person and the immaterial soul/spirit part of a person are redeemed and reflecting the image of Christ more and more. This is what we as counseling students are learning in hopes to help our future clients, so we too, as Lezlie Hiner, can make a difference in the lives of others.

Although I am uncertain what my future holds and the work I will be in, but, as Lezlie Hiner has done I also hope to make a difference in the lives of the hurting human beings around me. It is not enough to simply share the truth about what Jesus has done for humanity, but must also, through the Holy Spirit, live the gospel out by addressing the material needs of men and women in hopes to facilitate the healing of their immaterial. Lezlie Hiner is an active example of what living the gospel out should look like. “The Work To Ride Program” is offering tangible help and hope to those who need a reason to be counter cultural in their homes, neighborhoods, and community. 

1 comment:

  1. Making a difference in the lives of others is one of the primary goals of Christian counselors. I believe this story highlights how important community service is. Giving back to the community is not only suggested by various ethical codes, but on a practical level helps those in need. I was truly inspired at the Salvation Army the other day. I saw a professor there who was working with me in the kitchen to give a meal to those in need in Lynchburg. He was not required to be there and received nothing in return. No one important was even there to witness his service, so he was not there trying to look good to bosses, colleagues, or pastors. He was there anyway. This is the purest form of help and service when one does something expecting nothing in return, not even the adulation of others. This is also a testament to his character, doing something good even when no one is watching.


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