Four years ago, Wendy Wiebe and her husband of 37 years bought a farm and offered therapeutic horseback riding to children with disabilities, an endeavor that combined Wiebe’s passions for nature, horses and working with children. Inspired, Wiebe wrote a business plan to develop the property into a therapeutic riding and respite center.
“Last fall I ended up in the hospital for two months, at which point my husband told me he no longer wanted me around,” said Wiebe, a mother and grandmother. “The horror of my husband dumping me, leaving me homeless, with no income, no vehicle and the loss of my long dreamed of farm and horses has been really difficult.”
When Wiebe sat down to determine her future, she realized that with her banking and small-business experience and a degree in business administration, she could fulfill her dream of opening the therapeutic center.
“I may have lost my farm, and my riding centre, but I look ahead to better days due to this diploma,” said Wiebe. “I have been working really hard to take the high road and put the bitterness away. I intend to use some of the courses to begin to plan another centre. Having the skills and knowledge of the college instructors behind me will help me fine-tune a business plan.”
Wiebe will use the $1,000 scholarship for books. She attends Red Deer College.
“I really only want to make life brighter for families by helping them become more comfortable with the healing power of animals and nature.”