Ledger-Enquirer - - Front page - BY MIKE HASKEY mhaskey@ledger-en­

A U.S. Army vet­eran cre­ates CherAmi Farms in Alabama to teach young women rid­ing and life skills.

A U.S. Army vet­eran has taken her love of horses, paired it with a pas­sion for help­ing at-risk girls, and cre­ated a pro­gram teach­ing young women rid­ing skills and life skills.

CeeJae Fowler is the founder of CherAmi Farms, a men­tor­ing and horse­man­ship pro­gram in Rus­sell County, Alabama, that is al­most seven years old. Her goal is to teach, uplift, and en­cour­age.

“We tar­get un­der served or at risk young ladies, “Fowler said, “In other words those that would be in a sit­u­a­tion day-to-day that would hin­der them from thriv­ing.”

The 12-week pro­gram is tiered, with girls who have com­pleted one level help­ing those in the lev­els be­low. There are three lev­els, as well as youth lead­ers and se­nior lead­ers who as­sist Fowler with in­struc­tion. Each level meets once a week and has the op­por­tu­nity to vol­un­teer dur­ing the week.

Fowler hopes the young

woman learn the courage to try some­thing that’s new and chal­leng­ing.

“It’s our hope that they take that courage they gained from learn­ing to ride horses and learn­ing to trust oth­ers, and they take that in the world,” Fowler said.

Fowler’s most re­cent group of five level one rid­ers grad­u­ated Sun­day. She said it was a chance for them to show­case their new skills and for many of their par­ents the first time see­ing their daugh­ter horse­back rid­ing. She said the next cy­cle starts in De­cem­ber.

Fowler said it’s taken hard work and plenty of time to get the pro­gram to this point but she feels it’s ex­actly where she is meant to be.

“I know ev­ery day when I wake up in the morn­ing and drag­ging my feet with a cup of cof­fee to go feed early in the morn­ing, I know this is what God has put me on this planet to do.”

PHO­TOS BY MIKE HASKEY mhaskey@ledger-en­

A young rider par­tic­i­pates in a horse­man­ship and men­tor­ing pro­gram at CherAmi Farms in Rus­sell County, Alabama.

CeeJae Fowler, a U.S. Army vet­eran and founder of CherAmi Farms, runs a men­tor­ing and horse­man­ship pro­gram that is al­most seven years old.

CeeJae Fowler hopes the young women she works with at CherAmi Farms learn the courage to try some­thing that’s new and chal­leng­ing.

MIKE HASKEY mhaskey@ledger-en­

CeeJae Fowler, cen­ter, works with at-risk girls in the com­mu­nity in a 12-week, three-level pro­gram that is de­signed to uplift and en­courge them to take on new chal­lenges.

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