Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: Teresa Fishman of Equest

Updated: Apr 22

Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight those doing good work in the horse world. Today we recognize the Teresa Fishman, one of the recipients of the 2019 Dallas Foundation’s Good Works Under 40 Award.


Julie Diaz, The Dallas Foundation Vice President of Philanthropic Partnerships, Teresa Fishman, and John Dickey, Chair of the Good Works Under 40 Advisory Committee. Photo by Jason Janik.

DALLAS (November 11, 2019) – Teresa Fishman was named the 2019 winner of the Good Works Under 40 award, a program that honors up-and-coming leaders who are making an impact on Dallas communities while inspiring their peers to make a difference.


Fishman was honored during an award ceremony hosted by The Dallas Foundation at The Joule on November 6. As part of the recognition, she received a $10,000 donation to Equest, the nonprofit organization she has volunteered with for the past eight years.

Since 2010, Good Works Under 40 has recognized more than 500 individuals under the age of 40. These individuals are dedicated to empowering change in the North Texas community by investing time, energy and creativity.


“We applaud Teresa and the other finalists for their industrious, innovative and committed efforts to improving our communities,” Matthew Randazzo, president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation, said. “Dallas is fortunate to have volunteers who are making impactful, positive changes on so many lives throughout North Texas.”


Founded in 1981, Equest was the first therapeutic equestrian center in Texas. Equest changes the lives of more than 2,000 clients annually through equine-facilitated activities, therapies and counseling. These programs are offered to children and adults with physical, cognitive, sensory, coping, social and learning disabilities, as well as veterans with adjustment challenges.


Fishman was first introduced to Equest while volunteering with the Junior League of Dallas, and was recently elected to Equest’s Board of Directors. She has received recognition as Equest’s Volunteer of the Year, induction into Equest’s Hall of Fame and the Equest Pi Beta Phi Golden Halo award. Fishman provides support to the Special Olympics and the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.


“I hope my work inspires confidence and security in the clients I see every day,” Fishman said. “I want them to know it’s possible to overcome their challenges, just as I did, with a learning disability through early adulthood.”

Fishman says her favorite part about volunteering at Equest is watching the interaction between horse and human. “You can immediately see the lift in a client’s spirit and the joy it brings to their life,” she said.


Also receiving nonprofit grant checks from The Dallas Foundation are the four other Good Works Under 40 finalists: Katherine Anand, Rainbow Days; Monica Johnson, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation; Christie Myers, Imagine Dallas Inc.; and Katie Wanserski Eska, Teach For America DFW. Monica Johnson, who was also the winner of this year’s People’s Choice Award, received an additional $1,000 grant for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.


This year, The Dallas Foundation is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Good Works Under 40. Over the past decade, Good Works Under 40 has awarded more than $200,000 in direct grants to local nonprofits that, collectively, engage more than 10,000 volunteers.


About The Dallas Foundation The Dallas Foundation, established as a community foundation in 1929, brings together people, ideas and investments in Greater Dallas so individuals and families can reach their full potential.


About Equest Founded in 1981, Equest provides equine assisted learning, therapies and counseling to children and adults with physical, cognitive, sensory, coping and learning disabilities and veterans with adjustment challenges. The services provided include physical and occupational therapy, equine facilitated counseling and equine assisted learning, therapeutic carriage driving, therapeutic horsemanship and competition. With the help of 30 therapy horses, eight instructors, four therapists, three counselors and 700 volunteers, lives are changed for more than 2,000 served annually. Equest was the first PATH International Premier Accredited Center in Texas and remains one of the largest in the country. Equest offers an engaging volunteer program that provides 30,000 hours of direct program service opportunities each year. For more information, visit www.equest.org


This article originally appeared in Horse Nation on November 15, 2019.

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