Making the World a Better Place: Meet Jessie Kersh

by Elizabeth Gracen:

Welcome to the first in a series of informative articles that feature everyday people doing amazing things to make the world a better place.

Whether it's their random acts of kindness, a passion for a cause, or a life dedicated to advocacy, service, research, or rescue, we commend and support their efforts and believe that their lives serve as an inspiring example of who we can be.

In our first article, we'll be featuring a powerhouse young woman named Jessie Kersh. Jessie's love for horses led her to the important vocation of equine therapy with her organization, Courage Therapeutic Riding Center.

In late October, Flapper Press posted a query on Facebook. We were in search of people who wanted to write for our ANIMALS category in the WELL-BEING section of the website. I was thrilled when Jessie approached us about her work with horses and equine therapy.

As luck would have it, a couple weeks later, we both suddenly realized that we have a much stronger connection than a simple Facebook query: we both have roots in Russellville, Arkansas, our families linked in the past and apparently not to be unlinked by time. It was a nice surprise.

Jessie has already written an inspiring post for Flapper Press called Gift Horses, but we thought it would be a good idea to find out what makes this amazing young woman tick. I interviewed her and immediately knew that she should be the first person featured in our new series - Making The World A Better Place.

Don't forget to click on the donation button at the end of this article so that you can be a part of making the world a better place by contributing to Jessie's organization, the

Courage Therapeutic Riding Center.

Without further ado...

Please meet Jessie Kersh!

EG: Jessie, first of all, thank you so much for your lovely first post to the site and for the terrific photographs of the work you are doing. Let’s just get this out of the way first. You are the daughter of Graham Kersh—someone I remember vividly from my tween days. I had a massive crush on his brother, Richard, when I was growing up, and his sister, Kim, was someone I idolized in a geeky way during that time. I can’t believe we have connected in such a social media success story sort of way! Please tell us about your work with the Courage Therapeutic Riding Center and how you became involved with the program.

JK: Courage TRC has been a dream come true for me. I knew early on how powerful the healing powers of horses could be, and I felt very compelled to share that with others. Luckily, I crossed paths with Lexie Kerr my freshman year of college at the University of Arkansas, and she had a similar dream. We blazed separate trails after studying together for years, but both chose similar paths in equine therapy, working and volunteering at different centers. We always kept in touch, talked about horses, lessons, struggles in our work, and generally cross referenced a lot of information constantly. After 2 years working for an outdoor education and equine therapy center in South Texas, Arkansas called me back very loudly. My home state needed what Texas had in the Equine Therapy department—not just a center within a reasonable distance but a CHOICE of many that specialized in different niches. After I earned my PATH Intl. certification, various other certs, and returned, Lexie and I decided our individual missions were more than similar, and we decided to join forces. Throughout college, we both acquired a unique group of horses with the intent for them to provide therapy.