A Therapeutic Rider

A headshot of Emma Guillot explains her project
Emma Guillot '18 explains her project to a member of the RWU community.

Emma Guillot, RWU Class of 2018

ArchitectureStudent

In 2017, thanks to a generous gift from Hassenfeld Family Initiatives LLC, seven Roger Williams University students took on leadership roles at several community projects across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts as the inaugural group of Hassenfeld Fellows, a three-year initiative to expand and enhance the university’s innovative work in experiential education. Among them was Emma Guillot.

Inspired by a meeting with a young autistic rider when she was just a girl herself, Emma Guillot – an equestrian since the age of 6 – has taken on a two-fold project that’s dear to her heart. As an assistant therapist in-training at Greenlock Therapeutic Riding Center in Rehoboth, Mass., she works with students ranging in age from 3 to 45 years old on therapeutic horseback riding while also teaching them sensory, motor, cognitive and social skills. While she’s immersed in this work within the community, she’s also drawing from it what would be the needs and challenges of such a facility in order to design her own therapeutic riding center as her senior capstone project for the University Honors Program.

“The opportunity to be a Hassenfeld Fellow is unlike any other endeavors I have been a part of because it goes beyond the concept of helping while partaking in a service-learning adventure,” Guillot says. “The students and my other coworkers at Greenlock have taught me so much about myself and helped to motivate dreams for my future career. I plan to create my own community after I graduate and this program will make me more aware of the possibilities and needs of this growing community.”