David Silver is the founder and executive director of Detroit Horse Power, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that teaches at-risk urban youth valuable life lessons through riding and caring for horses. David grew up as a competitive horseback rider in Westchester, N.Y., and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2012. He moved to Detroit through Teach For America and taught fourth and fifth grades on the west side of Detroit from 2012-14. He received his master’s in the art of teaching from Oakland University in 2014. After two years of teaching, David decided to step outside the classroom to make the character skill building opportunities he had received through working with horses available to youth like his students.
Now in its third year of operations, Detroit Horse Power has brought hundreds of students from the city to partnering horse barns outside Detroit for summer camps that emphasize the life lessons horses can teach us: confidence, perseverance, empathy, self-control and responsible risk-taking. Programming now continues year-round with an after-school program, all while moving closer to the long-term goal of repurposing vacant land within Detroit’s city limits for a new urban equestrian center that will be home to accessible year-round youth programs and support stronger communities.