Jennifer “Jen” Donahue currently serves as the Specialty Programs and Outreach Coordinator for Equest in Wylie/Dallas Texas and has served Equest in the past as Head Instructor and Education Coordinator. She has also worked with SIRE, Houston’s Therapeutic Equestrian Centers, Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding Center in Lubbock, TX, Greater New Orleans Therapeutic Riding Center in LA and founded Pointe Celeste Therapeutic Riding Center in Port Sulfur, LA. Jen holds her Masters of Science Teaching plus thirty hours of graduate work in education from Loyola University New Orleans.
Jen’s evolvement with PATH International includes: Advanced Instructor, Level III Driving Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, Lead Evaluator Faculty Member, Site visitor, Driving Faculty, Registered
Mentor and serves as the State Chair for Texas. Jen currently serves on the PATH Intl. Accreditation Sub-Committee and Driving Sub-Committee. She loves life, people, horses, photography, painting, and being in nature.
Mrs. Rebecca Mercer is the founder of the Spirit of St. Louis Therapeutic Riding Center in Tyler, TX and also serves as a PATH Intl registered level therapeutic riding instructor. She has earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education and master's in special education both from the Texas Christian University. Mrs. Mercer is a Certified Equestrian Special Olympics Coach and Area 7 Games Director, a role she held from 2000 to 2006, and again from 2009 to the present. Additionally, she is a Level 2 English and Level 2 Western Certified Horse Professional through the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA).
Kim works full time for Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield as a Business Analyst and still takes time to volunteer as an Instructor at Sunrise Riders almost every Saturday for the past 17 years. She was also a riding instructor at a Girl Scout Camp Noark. She is a professional member of PATH, Intl. She is the PATH Intl. State Chair for Arkansas and a board member of the Lone Star Therapeutic Equestrian Network (LSTEN). She is a 2001 CHA Certified Riding Instructor and a PATH Registered Riding Instructor. She has been riding and showing since she was a teen and she has competed in barrels, dressage, jumping and enjoys trail riding. She volunteers with 4-H groups, Horse Tales Literacy Project and also the Houston Dressage Club twice a year as a acting steward. She hopes to get certified as a steward and technical delegate in the future. She also enjoys training horses and dogs.
Calle Poindexter-Hayes is the founder and owner of High Point Nonprofit Services, a company based in Albuquerque, NM that serves as a centralized hub for EAAT centers and nonprofits to collaborate resources and increase each organization's impact on the community. She is also the former Executive Director of The Riding Therapy Center (RTC) of Victoria, TX and a PATH Intl Member and Registered Riding Instructor since 2010, and a PATH Intl. Mentor. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University, her Master of Public Administration from Sam Houston State University and was a member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie National Champion Equestrian Team from 2004-2006. She is currently the LSTEN Board President, is a member of the Best Buddies New Mexico Advisory Board, a Yoga Teacher, and has served on several Boards and Committees such as the PATH Intl. Standards Task Force, Junior League of Victoria, Therapeutic Living Services, and the Nave Museum, to name a few.
Orginally from Victoria, TX., Emilie moved to Mansfield in 2003 and started volunteering in 2004 as a Junior Volunteer with All Star Equestrian. Graduating from West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. in 2014 with an Animal Science degree she returned to All Star and became a PATH International Certified Instructor in 2016. Emilie became the Texas PATH Intl. Co-Chair in 2017, and has loved learning more about the organization, and helping her fellow members. She wants to help further grow the Therapeutic Riding Industry and the public understanding of it. She believes that teaching is beyond her dream job and she is very proud to be a part of such a wonderful industry!r
Karen Somma has loved horses all her life and was blessed to own her own horse as a teen. After graduating from SMU with a BFA (Studio Art) degree and working for attorneys for 20 years, she was raising her son and searching for a new direction in life. In 2008, she volunteered as a horse leader/sidewalker at SIRE in the Houston, Texas area and immediately fell in love with the EAAT industry. Karen earned her PATH Registered Level Instructor certification in 2011 quickly followed by Equine Specialist in Mental Health/Learning and Mentor credentials. She currently serves at SIRE (Hockley site) as an instructor assisting people with disabilities to gain strength, increase communication skills, develop confidence, and have fun through interaction with those magical creatures known as horses.
Rachel Royston is the Executive Director of Turning Point Ranch, a PATH International Premier Accredited Therapeutic Horsemanship Center located in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Growing up on a working ranch in northern Oklahoma fostered close relationships with her horses and the understanding of what amazing souls they are. Her love for horses - and an enthusiastic new friend who was a PATH Intl instructor! - led her to the field of therapeutic riding. Paired with a heart for people with special challenges, she made the best decision of her life to leave advertising specialties and become a PATH Intl Registered Instructor in 2010.
Seeing the need to develop volunteers and instructors to be fulfilled and effective in serving, she became a PATH Intl Mentor and later an ESMHL. Rachel has been faculty at three PATH Intl international conferences as well as region conferences and the Minds-n-Motion International Symposium on Equine Wellness, sharing with peers about miniature horse training, mentoring and the identification, selection, training and long term care of horses serving in EAAT. Developing EAAT professionals and caring for her equine partners in service have become passions that grow each day with a constant effort to learn to serve them better. She believes this is the foundation of serving the people involved in EAAT with excellence.
Vicki joined the staff of New Heights in spring of 2016 prior to this she was a volunteer at New Heights for almost 5 years. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Florida State University in Early Childhood Education and spent almost 20 years teaching elementary school. She combines these attributes at New Heights to train, coordinate and support our volunteers who are the lifeblood of our program. Vicki is a PATH International certified instructor and is certified in CPR, first aid, and mental health first aid. Vicki is also a PATH certified mentor.
I began riding while living in Scotland, and competed in show-jumping (indoor and outdoor), working hunters/show ponies, hunter trials, as well as joining pony club, foxhunted and participated in gymkhanas. In 1988 I moved to Houston, where I stayed involved with pony club, aging out with my H-A certification. I competed throughout Area V (eventing) through the preliminary level, and through first level dressage within region 9. While in pony club we volunteered at SIRE (Hockley) to clean tack, where my parents later donated my brothers pony "Zippy" where he lived and worked until his retirement. In 2009 I began volunteering at SIRE's Hockley site, then going through PATH certification in the spring of 2011 I began working part time with SIRE shortly after certification, I also have my ESMHL. I am still involved with pony club as a chief horse management judge, and have held a number of leadership positions at the local and regional level. I graduated in 2006 from Sam Houston State University with a degree in History, and currently teach world history and government/economics at the high school level just west of Houston.