Riding to success

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Thank you for your great article entitled “On horses and off the streets: The Compton Jr. Posse.” This group, under the incredible leadership of Ms. Mayisha Akbar, has indeed provided a positive life changing alternative for “at risk” youths in an area that has one of the worst reputations for gang violence in the county.

For over 20 years, Mayisha has been struggling against insurmountable odds to keep the organization afloat in an area that is basically a war zone. To do this, she has been working several jobs and trying to survive on donations, hand-me-downs, bake sales, swap meets, etc. A lot of this has changed since the Jr. Posse has been welcomed to Malibu. With the wonderful spirit that so typifies the Malibu equestrian community, the Jr. Posse has received everything from riding lessons (with some of the nation’s top equestrian instructors) to marvelous championship horses. They have participated on a fairly regular basis in many of the Trancas Riders and Ropers Horse Shows that are held at the Malibu Equestrian Park. (They have been consistent winners).

Last Saturday evening at the Malibu Valley Farms’ Boudreau mansion, the First Annual Compton Jr. Posse Fundraiser was held in order to obtain at least $250,000 so that their Equestrian Program can survive for another year. The evening was spectacular with celebrities, guest stars and several hundred people in attendance. I’m sure that your mention of this in the article contributed greatly to the event’s success.

Hundreds of kids have gone through this program and as a result, many of these young adults are now in college and pursuing wonderful careers instead of ending up as a large number of “at risk” kids usually do. There were a lot of moist eyes among the partygoers as the kids told of their own individual battles for survival and how the Jr. Posse had basically saved their lives. (Mayisha’s son, while bicycling home from school was randomly shot five times.)

Two things. We need a large residence in Malibu to hold the Second Annual Compton Jr. Posse Fundraiser next year. If there ever was material for a really great “feel good” movie, this is it. I’m available at 310-456-1037 and I’m willing to work with anyone who can help out in either of these ventures.

Rod Bergen, president

Trancas Riders and Ropers