Mustang Leadership Partners (MLP) was established in February 2009 to provide girls and young women with an opportunity to develop, practice, and improve relationship skills, responsibility, social accountability, self-awareness and self-confidence—all of which are mirrored in the mustang’s behavior. Providing hands-on science experiences and equestrian training, the MLP program is grounded in the belief that horses are mirrors to our energy systems and teach us important life lessons.The MLP program serves girls who attend the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA), Tennessee’s first all-girls public charter school, which serves grades 6-12 and has a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The vision for the MLP program was born from a partnership with CGLA and Carter Farms in July 2008 to host the school’s inaugural orientation session for 75 girls. During the orientation session girls had an opportunity to meet Charlie, a wild mustang, on his very first day on the farm—an amazing experience as the girls prepared to embark on a new educational and life journey. After the orientation session it was clear that CGLA students could benefit from a structured equine program providing expeditionary science experiences and leadership development.