Mayisha Akbar

Raised in a government housing project in a partially rural area of Los Angeles, Mayisha always had a passion for animals, especially horses. After becoming a successful real estate broker, she found a place in a little-known agricultural area of Compton called Richland Farms and decided to move her family there. She soon established her nonprofit, the Compton Jr. Posse Youth Equestrian Program, providing inner-city kids with an after-school program that offered an alternative to the gang and drug lifestyles. This included training and apprenticeships with international trainers and Olympic gold medalists. In 2009, the organization formed the first inner-
city high school equestrian team in Los Angeles. Students received opportunities for international studies in Africa and Korea. Akbar has touched thousands of lives through her program and was responsible for many participants going on to college. She has received numerous honors and accolades due to her work with Jr. Posse students, including California Legislature Woman of the Year, Essence Magazine’s 1 of 25 Most Inspirational Women, and President Bush’s Point of Light Award. There has also been a multitude of media coverage on her work, including from CNN World News, Good Morning America, and the New York Times. The biggest honor was that the students who grew up in her program picked up the reins after she retired in 2019 to continue helping the children of Compton find personal success through the relationship with the horse.

2019 Cowgirl Honoree – California