WHOA! Support in the Community
WHOA! is pleased to support numerous programs and projects in the Woodside-area. See below for opportunities available for equestrian related endeavours.
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Scholarship Award - 2022
MEET our Scholarship Recipients
Meet Olivia Bodner
“I am extremely appreciative,” Olivia remarked after learning the $10,000 Woodside-area Equestrian Merit Scholarship Award would give her a boost into the years of higher education that await her. “It’s exciting to be able to move forward with the help of this scholarship, and I am so grateful to Woodside-area Horse Owners Association and to the Mounted Patrol Foundation! I appreciate what these organizations are doing in the community, not only with this scholarship, but with all their activities.”
Olivia began working at a local horse camp at the age of 11, progressing through increasingly responsible roles as she gained age and experience, culminating in her responsibilities as head instructor.
Eventually, Olivia became a working student at another barn where she is currently responsible for the feeding, care, and management of 15-20+ horses, tacking and untacking horses in training, preparing and packing for shows, holding horses for veterinarians, and more.
“This has been a learning experience in the best possible way, allowing me to learn hands-on from trainers as well as veterinarians,” Olivia explained.
Olivia’s own horses have been inspiration for her life goals. The early retirement of her 13-year-old Thoroughbred was a crash course in the science and the expense of his diagnosis and ultimately his retirement lifestyle. That inspired her to pursue a veterinary medicine education, with the goal of pursuing research to develop new approaches in equine orthopedic surgery. Currently, her other horse, a five-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred in its first year of non-track training, provides continuing motivation for Olivia to pursue her goals.
Olivia recently graduated Carlmont High School and the Cañada Middle College program, in which she spent her junior and senior high school years at Cañada Middle College in a program that allows students to finish their high school graduation requirements, along with college courses, as dual enrollment students.
Olivia’s academic studies included every AP or honors course available to her, which increased the level of rigor and accelerated the course pace. Her academic awards include a Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Achievement (Precalculus Honors), and she was named a National Merit Commended Scholar.
Music has provided Olivia with another avenue of study. She has played the tenor sax since 4thgrade, participating in audition-level band classes through middle and high school, and the College of San Mateo Concert Band until the pandemic halted their performances.
Olivia will be attending the University of California, Davis, this fall as an animal science major, with the long-term goal of becoming an equine veterinarian. An audition for the band at UC Davis is also in her plans.
Through her high school’s music mentor program, Olivia has tutored music students in local elementary schools. This voluntary mentoring program provides students the opportunity to receive small group and individual tutoring that they would not otherwise get in their large group band classes. For Olivia, it provided a way to help foster her love of music with others.
Not surprisingly, Olivia has been deeply involved in animal rescue and care. She participated in a two-week animal rescue project in Costa Rica, working in low-income area spay/neuter clinics and at an animal shelter. At the clinic, Olivia provided hands-on help where it was most needed, from handling intake and prepping animals for surgery, to monitoring vital signs through surgery and into recovery. At the shelter, she helped care for the dogs and provided them with daily exercise.
Before Covid closed it down, Olivia began training to work in the SPCA kitten nursery at her local shelter, and also assisted with rehoming kittens that were surrendered while she worked at a large pet food store.
Rebecca, a Los Altos resident, is currently a novice rider for Stanford Red Barn’s Interscholastic Equestrian Team, has lettered in the United States Equestrian Federation’s High School Equestrian Athlete Program, and has been a counselor at Camp Cardinal, Stanford University’s youth horse riding camp, and a volunteer at Stanford horse shows and team tryouts.
Rebecca will attend Stanford University in the fall, where she plans to join both the dressage and hunt seat teams with the goal of competing all four years. She will study physics at Stanford, and conduct research, to prepare for a physics PhD program and ultimately, her dream career: scientific researcher.