Goal Statement: The goal for my social change portfolio is to work through a local organization that trains wild horses to provide a job and purpose for some youth in the Blackfoot community as a prevention strategy against falling into unemployment and poverty in their adult lives.
Significant Findings: Glacier County ranks lowest of any county in Montana in combined health outcomes (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2018). The poverty rate there in the Blackfoot Nation is close to 50% (Montana State University, 2017). Unemployment rates are much higher than reported due to the fact that only individuals actively seeking work are recorded (G. Klauk, personal communication, March 20, 2021). Youth are at high risk for continuing the cycle of dropping out of high school and not working. By partnering a local non-profit that adopts horses with youth who strongly uphold the cultural norm and tradition of working with horses, jobs and purpose could be created in the local economy for some youth. Elicitation research, or a needs assessment, would need to be undertaken to determine if this program would be useful, desired, and received in the community.
Objectives/Strategies/Interventions/Next Steps: Action items include discussing and planning with the board members of Freedom Horse Farm, scheduling meetings or focus groups with the Browning school, alternative school, and community college, working with interested community members to set up a facility for the work, organizing and securing horses and initial funding for the program.