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 Ms. Tournier 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.
Manuela Tournier , Director of Equine Matters & RDA Certified Instructor
Ms. Tournier has over 30 years of experience in the equine industry, with expertise in: stable management, racing, training, and coaching. She has trained professional stable personnel, as well as non-professional riders. Mrs. Tournier has worked at 9 Dragon Hills Polo Club (Zhejiang) and the Shanghai Jockey Club as the Training Center Manger and Senior Instructor. Before joining the HOPE team in 2017, she had most recently served as Head Administrator for the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders Association in France. Ms. Tournier holds an Instructor Certification from RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association), has been a coach for the Special Olympics at the Shanghai Equestrian Center, and has worked at the Hong Kong Jockey Club RDA program. The HOPE team appreciates her unique combination of equestrian skills and therapeutic horsemanship experience.
Omid Ma, Instructor in Training & Groom
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 a Horse Handler, and is training to be an RDA 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 therapy horsemanship instructor.