Kim Tschirret / Founder & CEO

My intention was to help kids but now Hope Reins has become so much more than that – it has become a community of healing – a safe place for people to come and truly be who they are.

I didn’t even realize I was a session kid until we got further along in ministry. When I was a child, I didn’t have a Hope Reins or Jesus, but I did have a horse where I continually found comfort and safety. God always works in us in ways that apply to us and what I discovered with the growth of Hope Reins was true personal healing and unconditional love from a loving Father.

My father was successful in all his business endeavors but an alcoholic at home. My childhood was void of the unconditional love of a father and developed a performance-based mentality to earn my father’s love. We shared a passion for horses but my dad always pushed me to show, and all I ever wanted to do was be in the stall, take care of my horse and ride… I always wanted the relationship with my horse. This young desire has been nurtured into fruition at Hope Reins.

The founding hope for Hope Reins of Raleigh is Inspire True Hope and Real Healing. I believe in this. We want to help more people, help more kids and more than anything else glorify the Lord! As the community at Hope Reins has grown I have observed, you can truly come as you are and Jesus will meet you where you are, and he will heal you. Hope Reins has become a community of Grace that extends to the Triangle, volunteers, families and me, personally. It’s an easy thing for people to talk about but it’s another thing to see it and experience.

Barbara Foulkrod / Vice President

I was an international flight attendant for 12 years with Delta and I speak German.

Hope Reins combines everything that I love: the redemptive power of the Gospel, family, community, horses and the outdoors. While I am passionate about everything out at Hope Reins, my favorite moments happen when I step back as the Lord showcases His healing power and hope-giving love. This showcase happens weekly during sessions but, honestly, it takes place every time the gate is open to volunteers, donors and community partners.

Back to when Hope Reins was only a dream, my precious friend, Kim, asked me to read a book called “Hope Rising” and to pray about participating in a similar ministry here in Raleigh. Upon finishing the book, my heart was so overjoyed! I knew this is where I was meant to be. Years later, I continue to be humbled by the opportunity to offer the same hope that I have been given and it continues to be the best “yes” ever!

I am humbled that the Lord redeemed me and offered me True Hope and Real Healing. Now, He allows me to tell others of His great healing love. As he’s shown me, I see him show others that there is nothing outside of God’s power to redeem and nothing is wasted in the kingdom of God. I love that we see proof of that every day at Hope Reins. As the healing of Jesus seeps into us, He transforms our areas of pain into opportunities to relate to others and showcase the power of the Gospel.

At Hope Reins, I am privileged to maintain the character and integrity of our organizational culture. It’s a joy to set the stage at the ranch and at our events where our volunteers and donors feel like we have been waiting just for them!

Hilary Schofield / Director of Programs

I’ve bungee jumped from the third highest jump in the world over Victoria Falls!

Hope Reins is a beautiful way to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I have one goal in life: to share the joy that I have in Christ. At Hope Reins, I get to live out Joy in Christ through the things I love most: kids, horses, people and beautiful outdoors! Tell me that is not a dream come true!

When I was a little girl, I used to dream about what it would look like to use horses as a tool to help other kids. When I read a book about Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, I was completely inspired. Thankfully, I was introduced to Hope Reins just starting in Raleigh as a freshman at North Carolina State University. Who knew as I walked up the driveway that first day I would go from volunteering to interning to NOW being on the staff team working with the greatest women!

I see Jesus through His people at Hope Reins more than anywhere else. We can talk all day about serving the Lord, but here I see proof of the Lord as volunteers/staff serve Him. I see Him maturing people, I see Him changing lives, I see Him using us. Here, I have the privilege of seeing God working in others’ lives every single day.

As the Director of Community Programs, I ensure the volunteers, interns, and community partners of Hope Reins serve in a capacity that is meaningful. I realize that investing in Hope Reins’ volunteers, interns, and community partners today is a vital aspect in impacting tomorrow’s hurting children and youth. This personally touches me because I have the opportunity to build relationships with wonderful people!

Jennifer Shepard / Director of Operations

I have my motorcycle license.

It excites me how the Gospel is displayed in such practical and approachable ways to our kids, families and volunteers. Horses and horsemanship (speaking “horse language”) provide endless illustrations of the relationship that God seeks with each of us. Their honesty and unconditional acceptance help kids experience True Hope that leads to Real Healing.

I discovered Hope Reins shortly after moving cross-country, searching for purpose and needing healing in my own life. I found both in the beautiful people I met here and in the amazing ways God gave meaning to my story in light of Hope Reins’ vision and mission.

Of all the things God says He is to us, the most precious to me is “Father.” Each week in sessions I see God coming to be a Father to the fatherless, to revive the discouraged, to provide for those who do not have, to defend the unprotected, to comfort the grieving heart, and to bring hope where there seems to be no hope. 1 John 3:1 says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” And that is what we are!

Working here is a dream for me. Every part of my life – every passion, every pain – all finds its purpose in light of our cause to bring true hope and healing to every child. Every day I get to partner with our amazing volunteers, serve our brave families, and play with some truly exceptional horses in the beautiful place God has provided for us. I have seen God grow Hope Reins into an essential support to our community. This is more than a job for me. This is a life calling.

Brooklyn Stephens / Community Programs Manager

Joy in my heart and coffee in my veins 

Hope Reins takes what I hold to be most dear in this life– God, youth, family, horses– and weaves them together in a beautiful, love-fueled way within a community. God has used horses to shape and mold my personal life by showing me His love, character, and hope through them. It’s thrilling to watch God use these majestic animals to speak where words fail and love beyond impenetrable walls.

Hope Reins snuck up on me in a glorious unfolding of God’s providence. I went from nannying a child who experienced the benefits of sessions to working as an intern and now, I have grown into my dream job of Community Programs Manager.

At Hope Reins, I see Jesus’ love on display as we participate in God’s heart and rejoice in the restoration he allows our willing hands to accomplish. Those apart of this wonderful place are clearly about the mission of God: to love the community and each other as Jesus first loved us. It fills my soul to be in their presence. Hope Reins is where I see the “immeasurably more” of Ephesians 3.

As the Community Programs Manager at Hope Reins, I have been gifted with the opportunity to participate in what God does as he uses Hope Reins to profoundly change the community. There is no greater joy than seeing the light move forward and push back the darkness that has crept into precious lives. I am grateful to be apart of this grand adventure of True Hope and Real Healing.

Elizabeth Love Kennon / Equine Manager

I’m a ‘horse whisperer’ and a life coach.

Hope Reins is the place where I can share the love and grace of God. Here, through the experience of connecting deeply with ourselves and others via extraordinary relationships with horses, God opens hearts, heals old wounds, and brings hope into our lives. I’m so blessed to be part of this process and incredible community.

Horses have always been in my blood.  They were my passion in my childhood, my lifeline in my teens, helped me walk away from drugs and alcohol, and they saved me in my twenties when I finally came out of years of sexual and emotional abuse at the hand of a teacher. They’ve been the catalyst for my deeper spiritual journey, healing, and “waking up” that began in my late ‘30s, and the “place” where I can give back, living my calling and purpose now in my ‘50s.

God brought me to Hope Reins a year after I sold my farm and gave away my precious horses. This was a dream I never could have imagined He was preparing me for. Here I am able to give back the gifts I’ve received – training our staff and volunteers in natural horsemanship and equine-facilitated growth while learning and developing leadership through our growing organization. It is pure joy, being part of this community.

I’ve fallen in love with the amazing people here and the opportunity to share love and joy with all those who drive through our gates.

Christy Burkey/Director of Marketing & Communications

I’m married to most awesome man alive and have three wonderful teenage boys!

Hope Reins has been a part of my life since its inception.  It was over a bagel and cup of coffee that my sister, founder Kim Tschirret, first shared her vision for the ministry.  Flash forward to today, and I can honestly say my job at Hope Reins has been the most rewarding and cathartic of my life.

I worked 17 years in Dallas radio and television broadcasting, busy building my resume upward and onward for my glory and the feeling of being accepted and relevant. It wasn’t until after my mother’s death that I faced my own emptiness and the emotional effects of growing up with an alcoholic father.

God got a hold of my heart during a neighborhood bible study, and the kids, horses, and volunteers at Hope Reins began to fill it with meaning and purpose. Even though I’m a gifted wordsmith and creative being, I truly believe the impact of being present with the hurting kids at the ranch is my most important role.

As Director of Marketing & Communications, I tell the story of Hope Reins with beautiful pictures and the written word.  As you can imagine, I’m never at a shortage for visuals or content because God is busy healing and redeeming souls every day.