March 5, 2014

Debbie Anderson, co-founder and executive director of Strides to Success, will speak at the 2014 W. Norris Duvall Leader in Residence event March 24-28. Strides to Success is an equine assisted learning facility located in Plainfield, Ind., that connects horses with kids, adults and veterans for educational purposes and life skills development.

Hosted by the Center for Leadership Development in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the Leader in Residence program brings to the UK campus nationally- and world-renowned leaders who are known for their ethical style of decision making and for their focus on youth leadership development

Andersonhas been professionally involved in the horse industry for more than 35 years. She has more than 10,000 hours of experience with equine assisted learning and equine assisted psychotherapy work, serving hundreds of schools, mental health providers and corporate leaders. During the past several years, she has focused on assisting equestrian centers in the United States and abroad in partnering with elementary and secondary schools to develop equine assisted learning programs.

“We chose Debbie Anderson to be our leader in residence this year because of her expertise in developing educational curriculum that facilitates learning through the horse. Our intention is for her to be able to share best practices with Kentucky-based equine assisted learning programs that offer similar services in their communities,” said Lissa Pohl, assistant director of the Center for Leadership Development.

Anderson’s passion for working with youth on character development and leadership also was a large part of the center’s decision to invite her.

“I witness, on a daily basis, the amazing ability of horses to teach and heal humans. I love sharing this work with others and to assist them in developing successful programs,” Anderson said.

During the weeklong event, Anderson will share her expertise with UK students and faculty, local school district officials and private colleges on the topics of curriculum development, economic sustainability for equestrian centers through diversification of services and the challenges of running an equine assisted learning facility, among other topics. Public events will include a panel discussion from 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 26 at E. S. Good Barn on the UK campus and a live demonstration with the horses from 1 to 4 p.m. March 28 at Locust Trace AgriScience Farm—a vocational high school located on Leestown Road in Lexington.

More information and a schedule of events are available online at

The Leader in Residence program is sponsored by the W. Norris Duvall Endowment for Youth Leadership, Ethics and Service. The endowment’s mission is to support programs that reinforce the importance of integrity, ethical behavior and a sense of civic engagement through service-oriented leadership initiatives for Kentucky’s youth and college students.


Lissa Pohl, 859-257-2748

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