David Silver

Detroit Horse Power

What is Detroit Horse Power?

Detroit Horse Power is a nonprofit that gives kids in Detroit greater opportunities through working with horses. I started this organization after teaching elementary school for 2 years. I knew I could create a safe supportive space in the classroom but stresses from outside of school would keep kids from learning. When I was growing up, working with horses taught me so much about confidence, responsibility, empathy, determination and a lot more. It became personal for me to pass these positive enriching opportunities to kids like my students.

What was your experience in the Build Social class?

I really loved getting to know the great community of social entrepreneurs and learning together about different aspects of what social entrepreneurship is, how to develop a business plan, how to measure social impact, how to position myself better for funding. The opportunity to pitch at the end and receive feedback from peers and stakeholders in the community was a great opportunity for me. The ongoing events to network and learn from workshops have been really critical to my development.Detroit Horse Power

“The ongoing events to network and learn from workshops have been really critical to my development.”

What are your recent developments?

We received two mini grants to do our first pilot camp June 15-19 in Rouge Park. We partnered with Alternatives for Girls and had 7 middle school participants. We taught them how to ride and how to take care of the horses. We had 3 guest speakers from various equine professions. Everyone had a great time and learned not only about horses but important lessons about themselves.

Later this summer we’ll have another pilot camp. We recently won Detroit SOUP and are using those funds to make the second pilot camp happen. Donations from the community have also been a great support.

What is your long-term vision?

Horses address two persistent issues in Detroit: a shortage of opportunities for kids and the abundance of vacant land. This dual mission is at the heart of where Detroit Horse Power is going in the future.

Our long term vision is to repurpose a large parcel of land in a Detroit neighborhood that will provide year round opportunities for youth and in a stronger community. This barn will operate as a social enterprise with revenue streams from private horse boarders that can cross subsidize the nonprofit programming.

Our mission is to use the power of horses to improve the lives of individuals, a community, and the city of Detroit.