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Terri McCleary
with Boulder County B.E.S.T. Mentoring Program
by Chris McCloskey

For the last year, Terri McCleary has shared her love of horses with her mentee in the Boulder County B.E.S.T. Mentoring Program. B.E.S.T. volunteers mentor teens at risk, who are involved in some capacity with the juvenile system.

For McCleary, this relationship involves the subtle task of letting her teen be a kid. They get together two-three hours a week to do things that are fun, that the teen does not have the opportunity to do otherwise.

In McCleary's experience with horses, she has observed their unique ability to respond appropriately to the emotional state of the people around them. Acting on her mentee's interest in horses, they have found a healing and enjoyable connection.

As well, they go to the movies or out to eat. Last year they went to the Stock Show. McCleary and her mentee have developed a trusting friendship during a turbulent time in the teen's life. McCleary said, "We have fun sharing experiences in an honest relationship without judgment. Our relationship is 50-50. I gain as much as she does from our time together."

For information about volunteering with Boulder County B.E.S.T. Mentoring Program or other agencies, call the Volunteer Connection at 303-444-4904.

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