Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was the keynote speaker at the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center fundraiser breakfast last week. He addressed inspiration in the speech, saying his spark comes from how technology intersects with people’s everyday lives.
“The thing I am most excited about and most inspired by is the impact technology has in empowering people,” Nadella said. “I see it in all walks of life.”
Little Bit is a nonprofit that provides speech and occupational therapy through horseback riding.
“I’m here because I’m a parent whose kids have benefited immensely from what they have been able to enjoy at the Little Bit riding center,” Nadella said. “Little Bit is one of the most priceless services for our community where empowerment of people is what really will drive us forward.”
Two of Nadella’s three children are Little Bit riders: 18-year-old Zain, who is quadriplegic, and 12-year-old Divya, who has “sensory processing issues.”
The riding center opened in 1976. In 2013, the center moved from Woodinville to Dunmire Stables in Redmond. The organization serves about 300 patients every year. In 2013, it hosted 1,295 therapy sessions and 6,698 adaptive rides.
Little Bit enjoys the help of 1,200 volunteers every year, but 217 children are on a two-year waiting list.
“A core value at Little Bit is ensuring our programs remain accessible by providing financial support to all participants,” Michael Gaberman, president of Little Bit’s board of directors, said in the nonprofit’s annual report. “The cost of equine-assisted therapy and adaptive riding services are prohibitive to most families, so our subsidies cover the bulk of the cost.”
Gaberman said the organization was able to award $50,000 in need-based scholarships to 30 families.
Premier Media Group, the parent company of 425 Business, is a Little Bit donor.