Who We Are?

our Mission

Walk With Me is a non-profit equine therapy organization focused on the psychological healing of those suffering the effects of trauma, addiction, loss, and poverty. 

Be Empowered

2019 is the year for growth and awareness.  Walk With Me has already begun a campaign to offer hope, educate, and inspire within our community. Often times in our society, we hide the darkness of mental health issues, addiction, effects of poverty, and the impact of trauma.  With our new programs Walk With Me can make lasting changes in peoples lives and make recovery possible.

Core Values

Excellence – providing quality in all activities

Integrity and accountability – ensuring that all business is based on ethical principles and conducted with transparency

Professionalism – enhancing the value and quality of service with a standard of accountability.

Service – providing effective and responsive service to meet the need of our clients

Education – sharing the knowledge and skills with clients to facilitate their success

Compassion and caring – providing a culture of safety and understanding in treatment of people and equines

Hope Takes A Team

Jennife bandy
Equine specialist in mental health and learning
NC certified Peer support Founder

Jennifer Bandy’s love of horses has spanned her whole life .  She focused her learning and skill set in natural horsemanship.    She then rose to a training role, teaching horsemanship to many riders, families and horse owners.  It was during this teaching experience that she realized the healing power people experienced when interacting with horses.  Jennifer then decided to take her knowledge and skills and use them for a healing purpose to help those who are suffering from trauma.  Using Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy to help the client through the healing process, Jennifer established Walk With Me.  This equine therapy program is designed to help those in need regain hope, confidence, self-esteem and teach responsibility through horsemanship.  

Jennifer has her Equine Specialist (ES) certification with Path International.  She is currently working on her certification with Natural Lifemanship.  Still Waters Farm is a registered center member of Path International.  We believe Path International has set the standard in the industry and Walk With Me at Still Waters Farm wants to meet or exceed that standard.

Horse Partners

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Kim Thompson
cadc

Jessica doucet
barn manager

Jessica is in long term recovery. She joined the barn staff in February 2019. She was offered on the job training to learn about proper care and feeding of horses and stable management. She began observing how her relationship with the horse had changed over a few months. That created a desire to want to deepen her experience, where she entered a program that  eventually help her heal from her trauma and ignite a passion to want to help others. Currently she is working on her Equine specialist in mental health and learning and has successfully completed the NC certification for Peer Support Specialist. 

Jodee Strohmier
Development Director

Jodee maintains a life-long passion for horses and helping people.  She treasures the profound effect that horses have made in her life and sees the value in sharing that with others.  In her role with Walk With Me, Jodee joined the Walk With Me board after a 35-year career in the pharmaceutical industry.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Indiana University.  Jodee oversees business development efforts and coordinates foundation, corporate, and individual donor campaigns.

colleen hastings
executive director

Colleen Hastings is a 58 year old widow with one son.  She was raised on a home farm that had all kinds of animals including horses.   As a way to improve her riding she worked on a dairy farm to pay for riding lessons.  She competed for 2 years in English Dressage and English Equitation.  Colleen works on mission team with her church and host Red Cross Blood drives every 3 months.  Her friendship with Jennifer Bandy, owner of Still Waters Farm, her great love for helping others makes her a perfect match for being Executive Director position of Walk With Me.  Her horse skills make her a great addition, and she is working toward her Equine Specialist certification, helping with clients who come to the farm for therapy. 

Crystal Burrell, LPCA

My favorite quote has always been “Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light.” -Groucho Marx. I identify so strongly with this statement because I am one of the “the cracked.” For years I saw this as a weakness, and a vulnerability that I would not be able to overcome, however I now know that adversity does not build character; but reveals it. It was through my struggle that I found out who I was, what I was capable of, and who I was meant to be. My main goal in working with those who suffer with mental health or substance use issues is to help them identify their purpose and their identity through their struggle. My definition of mental health is the ability to grow, adapt, and prosper in site of adversity.

I have spent all of my clinical training working with under-served and neglected populations, whether that be victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, veterans, the homeless, or those being released form incarceration or hospitalization. My passion is working with those individuals that society has told have no worth. I envision helping them turn a negative situation into a positive for themselves, all while finding a way to pay it forward so that a community of helping and healing can be built by those who feel the most ignored and victimized. I am provisionally licensed as a mental health counselor (LPC-A) and as a substance abuse counselor (LCAS-A) and am a nationally certified counselor (NCC). I have certifications in SMART Recovery, and Darkness to Light Suicide Prevention, as well as further training in TF-CBT, DBT, MI, and grief counseling. I have experience with both group and individual dual diagnosis counseling, and am open to any new opportunities to serve these populations. I look forward to helping those who feel “cracked” let their own light shine through.

Jen Strickland
Intern

Jen is a third-year clinical graduate student at Montreat College where she is pursuing her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  Beginning at age 8, she took English Riding Lessons and developed a love of horses that has always stayed with her.  Her interests lie in trauma-informed and unconventional modalities to assist those who may be unresponsive to traditional treatments.   

Currently, she is an intern at the farm and has a strong focus on Trauma-Informed Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, Equine Connected EMDR, and Equine Assisted Activities and Learning.  She has a special interest in integrating faith into counseling when clients desire it.  She is adept at working with clients through trauma-focused modalities to help clients safely explore painful feelings.

Chris Strickland
NC certified Peer support specialist Community Outreach

Chris is a North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist Veteran Endorsed on a local Assertive Community Treatment Team.  He spent five years working in our local mental hospital and after seeing the severity of some of the consumers decided it was time he step into the world of mental health on a professional level.  He has been the go to person for individuals to share their troubles or challenges.  He is gifted with the natural ability to “twin” with his clients and easily connects with others on a personal level. 

He started out having a deep youthful love for motorcycles, nature, and animals. After working as weekend feeder for 18 months on a 30 head horse farm and living on a small horse farm near Glen Alpine, Chris developed “the bug” for horses and the steel horse quickly translated to the real horse.  Since that time he has seen the phenomenal power that horses have to heal and give hope to those that are suffering through trauma and severe mental illness.  He has a strong focus on assisting individuals that have persistent severe mental illness, sexual issues and dysfunctions, and offering hope and help in the darkest of places.

Where Hope is the First Step to Recovery

Walk With Me Anticipates Great Things In 2020

  • Education
    inspiring the community through understanding
  • Veteran Workshops
    4 workshops held throughout the year
  • Summer Camps
    engaging our youth
  • Recovery Workshops
    5 workshops held throughout the year