​Mary Ann recently arrived from Kauai, Hawaii where she lived for 3 years. She moved there pre-pandemic to help her son and his wife with their two young daughters. God sent her there at the right time since, fortunately, both their parents continued to work as Mary Ann took care of the girls. She took a job as an Educational Assistant at her granddaughter’s school for the next 2 ½ years.

Mary Ann and Meagan first met when Meagan was completing her internship at the center where Mary Ann was the Program Director. Throughout the years, Mary Ann and Meagan kept in touch. Mary Ann was absolutely amazed at the many ways God was working through Take Heart. For more than 2 years, the Holy Spirit encouraged Mary Ann to make her way to Take Heart. In October 2022, she began the process of leaving behind her family and friends on Kauai. Although this transition was not simple, she knew that this is where she belonged. And God has blessed her beyond her imagination.

At 46 years old, Mary Ann attended a small, private college in North Carolina to complete her undergraduate degree in Therapeutic Horsemanship (working with horses and people with disabilities) and a minor in psychology. For more than 10 years, she held positions as Executive Director and Program Director at two programs and a PATH, International Certified riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health for 20 years. Mary Ann witnessed many amazing accomplishments with the folks she had the privilege of instructing, such as:

  • A non-verbal child who said his first words upon the back of a horse;
  • A woman with multiple sclerosis who arrived for her first horse encounter in a wheelchair and after a few sessions was walking unaided progressing to cantering;
  • A middle-age woman who expressed that she was so proud of her bravery to ride a horse.

These are a few of the many memories she has of those encounters.

Mary Ann attended Prescott College, Prescott, AZ taking psychology courses with equines as partners. She continued her education completing a Master’s Degree program in Gerontology from the University of Southern California, Davis School of Gerontology. Her work in the assisted living/memory care field enabled her to work with the elderly population and gained knowledge of the challenges the older population face and learned that no matter your age, physical and/or emotional struggles, we all still have a purpose. She has completed her Natural Lifemanship Level 1 and will continue those studies in Spring 2023.

Her interest is working with adults helping them navigate through life changes (divorce, job loss, death, disappointment and hurts) to become the person he/she dreams they can be and with women (or men) who have experienced post-abortion trauma. Her faith in God and her many challenges and changes she has overcome, will hopefully encourage others to take a leap of faith knowing that God has specific, life changing plans for you “For I know that plans I have for you” (Jeremiah 29:11). She has also been trained as a Celebrate Recovery facilitator.

Mary Ann truly knows that God has ordained this work for her. Psalm 32:8 is a verse that resounds loudly for her: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you”. Her prayer is that she can help others find the way that God has planned for them.

Contact Mary Ann by at MaryAnn@TakeHeartCounseling.com or (808) 482-4024.

Hope. Healing. Horses.

Mary Ann Dabek, MA, ES, NLT-I