Stacey Annette Burns ’90, ’92

LMU Lion Acts of Service Stacey Annette Burns ’90, ’92


Tell Us What Connected You to This Organization
Having ridden horses since the age of 10, the impact of the horse/rider relationship is ingrained in me. As I started LMU, so started my horse-hiatus. When volunteering visiting senior care facilities with Tanner, our Corgi dog, ended I wasn't sure what was next. At a 2016 Christmas party, someone mentioned his volunteer work in horse therapy. I remembered a center by my old barn! It's now known as the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center. By February 2017, I was back to horses and SO MUCH MORE!

What Inspires You About the Organization, Mission or Your Role
The Shea Center is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through therapeutic horse-related programs. Equine therapy can bring amazing results to a child with autism or an adult stroke or traumatic brain injury survivor, or a veteran with PTSD. This brings joy and hope to the clients AND their families. It also gives the therapists, horse trainers, volunteers and (I think), even the horses, a feeling of reward and gratitude seeing what improvement can be made at The Shea.

Share Advice to Guide Students Hoping to Pursue a Career with Social Impact or in Nonprofit Industries
An LMU professor once told me I should look into occupational therapy. I had no idea what OT even was. Plus, I was a Studio Arts Major with plans for that career! I've been a Graphic Designer since. However, in volunteering, I found I could have certainly enjoyed a career as an OT! I think, volunteering is probably as important as doing internships to figure out what you truly love and determine your highest vocation! Perhaps you can love your work and be in service all at once! Fantastic!

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