In keeping with our Mission, Empower Me Up has supported various projects that support, educate and empower our adolescents, young or disabled adults and their families.

Current Project: Sydney’s Shelter: Animal Therapy Project

Teens enjoy working with animals, and a new program built on helping rescued pets – will provide fun, motivating and meaningful experiences for youth. Empower Me Up will provide funding for this new and innovative Animal Assisted Therapy (ATT) program that promotes emotional and physical healing for people and rescued pets alike.

All of the therapy animals in this innovative new program are rescues that have difficult and challenging histories. Teens that participate in the program develop behavior plans to help treat the therapy animals. By working to heal the cats, dogs, rabbits and other rescued pets, teens have the opportunity to enhance their social skills in addition to developing problem-solving abilities and empathy.

For teenagers, using rescue pets enriches the therapy environment, and in many cases can be preferable to more traditional treatment methods. Benefits of animal therapy include:

  • Most people naturally feel comfortable with a pet and have positive feelings when in the presence of a therapy animal, making the counseling process more enjoyable and effective.
  • Research proves that therapists are more approachable and/or likeable when there’s an animal in the room, which helps teenagers become more motivated and invested in the treatment process.
  • Each animal in the program is a rescue with its own story. Matching teens with pet rescues that have similar emotional or behavioral issues benefits both parties, facilitating learning and growth.
  • Using therapy animals to develop fun and creative interactions with youth helps focus on the teen’s issues while avoiding direct confrontation.
  • Animals help focus the attention outward, relieving symptoms of physical pain, depression, and anxiety and other problems that are generally self or internally-focused.

We believe that using pet rescues as therapy animals is a worthwhile program that will transform the lives of the teens that have the opportunity to participate in the program.

If you would like to help Empower Me Up fund the Animal Therapy Project, please select the DONATE button below to fund this particular project.You may also mail a check to:

Empower Me Up
950 Boardwalk, Suite 201
San Marcos, CA 92078

If you prefer to donate by check, please indicate whether your donation is for the Animal Therapy Project, Scholarships, Empowerment Events or Greatest Need.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact toni@empowermeup.org. Thank you for your support!

Therapy Games Project:

Empower Me Up has provided therapy games to therapeutic schools and programs to assist these programs in their work with their students. This provides these programs additional tools to reach more participants and challenge them in unique and various ways in either a group or individual setting. So far, this project has benefitted more than 200 students.

Technology & Equipment Project:

Empower Me Up understands the power of and need for technology in the therapeutic long-term program setting and the associated constraints. The Foundation has provided iPads for use by program therapists and academic staff; and sound equipment for group programming and motivational activities and events. We have supplied 11 iPads to programs, 2 sound systems and numerous other speakers, microphones and related equipment. All of these items are being used on a daily basis.

Transportation Project:

For many of these programs, transportation is necessary, not only to transport students to medical appointments, but also to provide field trips, access to community service projects and other off-site excursions. Empower Me Up has been able to provide vans for use by several therapeutic programs. We recently provided two new vans to a long-term therapeutic boarding school, which maintains an average enrollment of 160 students, who will benefit from these vans for years to come.