Work to Ride Program & History
Work to Ride provides activities that promote discipline, self-esteem, motivation, social development, life skills, academic achievement and physical fitness through year round programs that encourage long term participation. In addition, educational and cultural resources are provided to participants and the community-at-large, as well as vocational guidance and opportunities for careers in related fields.
What is Work to Ride?
Founded in 1994, Work to Ride (WTR) is a 501 c3, non-profit community-based prevention program that aids disadvantaged urban youth though constructive activities centered on horsemanship, equine sports and education. The program is housed at Chamounix Stables, located in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. This setting provides a unique opportunity to bring urban youth in contact with animals and nature. Work to Ride is designed as a long-term program for 7 to 19 year-old youth who must commit to a minimum of one year of participation. It is, however, expected that participants will choose to remain with the program through high school graduation. Work to Ride graduates receive help with college enrollment, and most also choose to return to Chamounix to mentor new participants.
How does it work?
Work to Ride provides youngsters with a positive outlet for their energy and an alternative to negative “street” activities. Participants develop discipline, responsibility, and life skills through training, riding, and performing horse care and barn management chores. They also develop confidence, self-esteem, and the skills necessary to complete successfully in their chosen activities. The youth are allowed to choose among various horse sports. While most are trained and talented in several sports, polo has proven to be the perennial favorite of Work to Ride youth. In addition to acquisition of life-skills, Work to Ride also emphasizes the necessity of academic achievement. Staff and volunteers provide after school tutoring to help students maintain the passing grades required for program participation.
Why does it work?
Work To Ride programs and activities are designed to explore new ways of engaging youth in significant educational, social and cultural experiences that are otherwise unavailable. The youth build relationships and develop problem-solving skills through spirited teamwork and cooperation. Activities at the stables as well as during competitions and trips allow participants to interact with diverse people and to be exposed to a variety of new experiences.
Additionally, Chamounix Stables becomes a “home away from home” for participants. Spending time at the stable helps kids develop family-like relationships that become integral components of their lifestyles. Participation in Work to Ride teaches the youth that the combination of hard work and supportive relationships leads to success.
Work To Ride Accomplishments & Acclaim
- 1999 Work to Ride made history with the first African-American Polo team in the nation.
- 2003 Work to Ride featured on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
- 2004 Work to Ride featured in Sports Illustrated by acclaimed sports writer Gary Smith.
- 2005 & 2011 & 2012 Work to Ride Eastern Regional Interscholastic Polo Tournament Champions
- 2005 Work to Ride’s Jabarr Rosser voted #1 National Interscholastic Polo All Star player.
- 2006 Work to Ride was featured on HBO’s Real Sports for an update on the 2003 airing
- 2007 Work to Ride featured on MSNBC’s “The Today Show.”
- 2008 Work to Ride included in The Horse exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History , NY, NY
- 2008 - 2012 WTR team's compete in the Unicef Cup & Emir of Katsina Charity Shield, Nigeria, Africa
- 2010 Sydney Rutledge and Teenie Jeannie win DVPTP small pony championship
- 2011 Cowtown/WTR wins National Interscholastic Polo Championship becoming the 1st African American team to do so
- 2011 WTR’s Kareem Rosser and Daymar Rosser #1 and #3 National Interscholastic All Star Players
- 2011 WTR’s Kareem Rosser awarded Polo Training Foundation Male Interscholastic Polo Player of the year 2011
- 2011 WTR’s Kareem Rosser featured on ESPN’s E60 October 2011
- 2011 WTR’s Kareem Rosser selected for the Team USPA 2012
- 2011 WTR's Kareem Rosser plays for USPA in Junior Tournament at Metropolitan Polo club, Tianjin, China
- 2012 WTR's Sydney Rutledge Girls SE Pre- Regional All Star
- 2012 WTR"S Daymar Rosser, Brandon Rease and Julia Smith SE Regional All Star Players
- 2012 Cowtown/WTR wins National Interscholastic Polo Championship 2nd year in a row
- 2012 WTR's Daymar Rosser and Julia Smith #2 and #3 National Interscholastic All Star Players
If you have a child that is interested please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and an application. Applications are accepted all year round with admission considered in the fall.
December is the month for giving
Help us make our $50,000 goal by January 1, 2015
Our shortfall is your oppportunity to really help the Work to Ride youth and our ponies. The Interscholastic Arena Polo season is underway and the kids are pumped and practicing hard. The outdoor arena is cold and the winds are whipping at 6:00 pm when the kids come nightly to exercise the polo ponies but their enthusiasm remains steadfast as they contemplate each upcoming game. "When is our next game ?" they say, or "Who is on their team? " or "Do you think we can win? " . The optimism is catchy and the opportunites make what we do so much fun so please donate now.