A Pinellas County teen with autism won the gold at the Special Olympics Florida Equestrian Sports Championships.
Elizabeth Backman, 17, was recently diagnosed with autism. She rides horses as a form of therapy.
"It's really important to me because I want to show them and make me feel like I fit and I'm able to do this and able to do things," says Backman.
Insurance and lack of funds almost kept her from riding. But non-profit Watermark for Kids stepped in to help fund her therapy.
"Seeing first-hand how the program was helping her thrive, I didn’t want to see that happen. So, we offered to sponsor her lessons for six months through Watermark for Kids," says Melissa Krysh, Community Life Director at The Fountains at Boca Ciega Bay.
Backman also took second place in the trails competition.