The Pegasus Program is a recreational, educational, mentoring program for youth. It provides opportunities for youth to learn and grow in a "stable environment". We believe that youth who develop healthy activities outside school and have good relationships with caring adults--healthy, successful, contributing, members of society--are more likely to make a good transition into adulthood.
Originally the Pegasus Program involved horsemanship and riding lessons. Though this activity is still a part of the program, we feel it isn't the only activity we should offer. We recognize that not all children are attracted to extremely large furry beasts, or have the gene for "equine addiction". Those that do can learn about the care and training of horses. We teach how to ride for pleasure or to become a highly competitive rider and trainer in a wide range of equestrian sports. Horses do have a magical attraction for some. They can give unconditional affection, are completely impartial to ones background and offer opportunities for developing good character traits in both the rider and mount. As President Reagan stated, "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man." Other animals also have this therapeutic quality. For this reason we intend of including opportunities to learn about and participate in the training of canines. No matter the species, reward and discipline when fairly and consistently applied produces outstanding results.
Other recreational activities give youth a chance to get physical and have a great time. Hiking of one is a wonderful way to see the beauty of nature and enjoy the company of others. It is enjoyable no matter the size of the group and doesn't require competition to participate. Hikers can be at different levels of fitness and any age. We live in an area that has great natural beauty. Many youth haven't had the chance to go on trails in the wilderness and would benefit greatly from the opportunity.
All program participants must promise to abide by the Pegasus Program Pledge;
"I will do my best in school. I will stay away from illegal behavior. I will try and become my own best self."
Program success is measured by comparing school attendance, grade reports and input from Guardians. In addition, a self evaluation using our "Action for Excellence" attitudinal survey helps to assess internal changes. Improvements in self esteem, self confidence, physical fitness, and scholastic performance have been noted for those participating. We have also seen a decrease in high risk self destructive behavior.