Mayisha Akbar, founder of Compton Jr. Posse, sat down with Lu Parker on Wednesday to reveal that a little equine therapy can make a big difference to the youth in southeast Los Angeles.
In 1988, Akbar founded the equestrian enrichment program in Richland Farms, an often unknown community in Compton. The mother of three said she wanted her children to be on horses, not on drugs or in the street. It didn't take long before the neighborhood started to notice.
"People drive by and say, 'Hey! There are horses up and down the street!'," she recalled to Parker -- and that's how it all began.
Now, children as young as eight and young adults as old as twenty flock to Akbar's stables to ride, tend, and learn from the horses. Along with riding, the kids clean the stables and groom the horses themselves. Some even participate in amateur riding competitions.
There is just one condition to the horses' unconditional compassion -- if you want to be a member of the Compton Jr. Posse, be prepared to show your report card.
"If I get a D on this test, I'm not going to be riding," said 17-year-old Keith Johnson. "You better study."
Lu Parker calls the nonprofit a "jewel" in an area where crime, drugs and poverty are hard to escape. The animal assisted therapy encourages empowerment, self-respect and patience among the often neglected children who seek Akbar's stables. Watch the video above and see KTLA for the whole story.