Detroit Horse Power, a nonprofit organization that teaches youth how to ride and care for horses, has named Shelly Watts development director.
Watts is a certified fund raising executive and has served as a fundraiser at the various nonprofits, most recently as vice president of fund development at United Way for Southeastern Michigan. She is also the founder of Muirneen, an equestrian clothing company sponsoring the USA Pentathlon Team through the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“It is no secret that the equestrian sport struggles with diversity,” says Watts. “When I learned about the incredible mission of Detroit Horse Power to increase equestrian opportunities for Detroit students, I knew I had to get involved.”
Detroit Horse Power is constructing an urban equestrian center on repurposed vacant land to offer year-round youth programming and serve as a robust community center in Detroit. Since its founding in 2015, hundreds of Detroit youth have had the opportunity to participate in free summer horse camps and after-school programs that teach riding, horse care, and social-emotional skills learned from partnering with horses.
“I have seen horses change the lives of Detroit students,” says David Silver, executive director of Detroit Horse Power. “We were looking for someone that fully understood the power of horses and had the desire to help us exponentially grow our impact through expansion. Shelly Watts fit the bill perfectly.”