A thriving horse facility for kids in the middle of gang-infested Compton?
Sounds like fiction but it is fact. Beginning in 1988, Mayisha Akbar, with the help of her family, bought three properties in a little-known rural area of Compton called Richland Farms. Akbar converted their backyards into a mini-ranch which has served for 20 years as home for many rescued horses and a year-round equestrian program for hundreds of children between the ages of 5 and 20.
A recent study estimates there are 40 gangs operating in Compton. Kids are constantly battling the lure of gangs and drugs. Many fear they won’t live past the age of 16.
Jr. Posse members have participated in horse shows all over Southern California opening their eyes to life outside the invisible walls of the inner city. Students develop discipline, responsibility, increased self-esteem and communication skills.
Jr. Posse, a 501(c) 3 children’s charity, is in its third generation of students attending college, joining the military and going into business for themselves. This is phenomenal because the drop-out rate for students in Compton high schools is one of the highest in the country.
The mission this year is to establish the first inner city high school equestrian team and charter school. Students would then become eligible for numerous equestrian scholarships available across the country. Raising funds for this program will also make it possible to increase the number of children served and make a significant difference in reducing the appeal of gang life.
In order to help make this happen, Akbar and her rapidly growing team of volunteers have organized a fundraiser for May 30 in the Grand Ballroom of the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, beginning at 5 p.m.
Last year’s fundraiser sold out early, so those interested in this year’s event are encouraged to buy tickets quick! Tickets are on sale now for $175 each or tables of 12 for $1750 on
www.comptonjrposse.org or call 310-632-1247 for more information.