DARIEN, Conn. - Jenny Schwartz will be one of the six women honored at the YWCA Darien/Norwalk’s Fifth Annual Women of Distinction Awards at the Woodway Country Club on May 29.
A lifelong equestrian competitor, Schwartz discovered New Canaan Mounted Troop in 2002 while searching for a quality riding program for her daughters. In 2010, she was asked to join the Board of Directors as president.
Schwartz saw an opportunity to lend her equestrian network and business expertise in a way that would enhance NCMT’s riding programs and raise awareness within the community about this 75-year-old nonprofit organization, whose mission is “building leadership, responsibility, and confidence in youth through sound horsemanship.”
In March 2012, Schwartz recognized a business opportunity for NCMT to launch its own therapeutic riding program for children and adults with special physical, emotional and cognitive needs. Not only would the program generate new fundraising dollars, it would also allow NCMT to make a meaningful and significant contribution to an underserved population.
The impact the therapy has on the students is truly awesome. “Super Troopers” is a program that program that complements NCMT’s traditional after-school children’s and adult riding programs, as well as inspires volunteerism within and outside of the NCMT membership.
Schwartz saw how Super Troopers would enrich NCMT on a variety of levels, and took on the role of development director in July 2013 to develop strategic partnerships, raise the funds, hire staff, and implement the program. Within one year of launch, Super Troopers enrollment was full, and a growing wait list is evidence of the demand for this unique therapy.
With a professional background in public finance, Schwartz also served as volunteer Chairman of the Darien Housing Authority for four years, overseeing the $30 million redevelopment of the deteriorated Allan O’Neill Moderate Income Family Homes into The Heights at Darien-—106 affordable housing units that will be completed on time in June.
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