Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we’re recognizing Ralph Lauren and its support of Work to Ride.
Work to Ride is a Philadelphia-based program that provides an opportunity for financially need-based youth around the city to learn to ride and play polo — at least, that’s what it does at face value. At its core, however, Work to Ride is teaching those youth the transformative power of responsibility, teamwork, good ethics, and hard work. Students need to keep their grades up to stay in the Work to Ride program, which has produced national championship intercollegiate polo teams (the first all-black/African American team to win at the national level) and seen students go on to intercollegiate success.
Originally, Work to Ride was intended to help more students finish high school — now the program is emphasizing going on to college and furthering one’s education. Work to Ride graduates are enrolled in internships, attending Ivy League colleges, founding and captaining their own school’s polo teams, and traveling the world. They’re not being groomed to be professional polo players, but polo is the passport to open more doors.
Ralph Lauren, high-end fashion and fragrance designer with an eye for polo-inspired designs and ad campaigns, recently announced not only that Work to Ride students would be the featured stars of its latest campaign, but that the company would be supporting Work to Ride with a grant to directly fund collegiate scholarships for its students. The company has helped make Work to Ride a household name in just a few days, giving the program the kind of publicity that will help it thrive and continue, as well as inspire similar programs in other cities, as well as directly and positively affect the students with dreams of continuing their education.
Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.