John Massey, Direct Support Professional

It was great timing that led me to New Danville.  My daughter, Julia, was born a few months before I retired from Southwestern Bell in Houston.  After five years of being Mr. Mom, I was needing something new to do. My sister, Kathy Sanders, had gotten some miniature horses to start a program for special needs adults. She asked if I would like to learn about horses and help her get the program started. Loving the outdoors, it was the perfect retirement job for me.

I love working with the Wranglers, watching their growth and accomplishments. I enjoy watching them learn, and I feel that I have learned a lot working here, too. I learned about patience, though I come from a laid back, patient family; I learned more patience here. The most important thing I’ve learned is to be thankful for the little things in life and to be thankful for helping create a place where the Wranglers can come and be themselves.

My time at New Danville has shown me that there are so many high-functioning adults with special needs who need a place to meet new friends and learn new things.

Another thing learned working with the Wranglers is something I wish everyone, everywhere could learn:  tolerance. Tolerance of others, who they are and how they are would go a long way in this world. None of the people with special needs asked to be the way they are, but I believe when they get to heaven there will be no disabilities.

John Massey has been with New Danville since its inception. He works primarily in the animal therapy program, but also has led music and song with the Wranglers singing and signing while he plays guitar.

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