MEET THE LEADERS
Priscilla Lightsey, Founder/CEO
Dr. Lightsey is a life-long horse enthusiast who has a passion for serving children with special needs. She worked at R.O.C.K. (Ride on Center for Kids) before moving to Beijing.
Her credentials include a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Master of Arts in Special Education, Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist and PATH Int’l Certified Instructor. When not in Beijing, Dr. Lightsey works at ROCK and TAMU Grimshaw Equine Therapeutic Program. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at Texas A & M University (TAMU), teaching an Introduction to Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies course.
Luna Sun, Director of Operations & Programming
Ms. Sun holds a degree in education, is bilingual in Chinese and English, and owned an English Language school in Shanghai. Originally a volunteer at HOPE, she became the HOPE Director of Operations and Programing in 2015.
Ms. Sun has worked closely with Dr. Lightsey and the HOPE equine team to learn about therapeutic horsemanship and to refine her equestrian skills. In 2016 Ms. Sun participated in a Primary Equestrian Training course at Huijia Equestrian Club. In 2017, Ms. Sun spent time in Texas, U.S., at ROCK and TAMUS CC, to enhance her skills in therapeutic horsemanship, NGO management, and natural horsemanship. It is in large part due to Ms. Sun – her skills and hard work – that HOPE obtained our NGO status in 2017.
Amy Tripson, Equine & Therapeutic Horsemanship Director
Ms. Tripson joined HOPE in 2019, bringing a variety of skills through her education and work experience at therapeutic centers large and small. With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s in Kinesiology, and 20 years of horse experience, therapeutic riding was a natural fit for Ms. Tripson. After obtaining her PATH Int’l Registered Level Instructor certification in 2015, she became Program Director at a therapeutic riding center in the U.S. state of Georgia, where she assisted in helping the center obtain PATH Int’l Premier Accreditation. Ms. Tripson went on to work at the Korean Racing Authority (KRA) Let’s Run Park, where she helped develop their program and achieve their Premier Accreditation. She returned to the U.S. in 2016 to serve as Volunteer Manager at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Inc. In addition to her PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor Certification, she is a PATH Int’l Mentor. She is excited to apply her passion for problem solving and streamlining processes as a member of the HOPE team.
Omid Ma, Head Groom & Instructor in Training
Mr. Ma is from Qinghai province and has been a member of the HOPE team since the fall of 2017. He demonstrates natural skills with both horses and HOPE participants. Mr. Ma cares for the HOPE horses on a daily basis, acts as a Horse Handler, and is training to be a certified instructor.
Lucia Zhou, Volunteer & Program Coordinator
Chunxia Zhou (Lucia) joined HOPE in August 2018 after working as a volunteer with us for two years. Lucia previously worked at Beijing Xiong Peng Equestrian Club, where she gained experience working at a stable and discovered an interest in horses. Earlier in her career, Lucia worked as an Executive Assistant and Interpreter to foreign CEOs expatriated in Beijing. She speaks fluent English and Mandarin. She serves as HOPE’s Volunteer & Program Coordinator, with responsibility for the lesson schedule, communicating with parents and orphanages, recruiting volunteers, and organizing volunteer training. She also assists during lessons and therapy sessions as the Side Walker or Horse Handler. Lucia is working to gain the necessary qualifications and certifications to become a therapeutic horsemanship instructor.