ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — From South America to Ardmore, Oklahoma, a Carter County woman is living out her dream by helping children through the use of horses.

Charity Swinson's passion began as a teenager growing up in Chile. That passion: To help kids who are working to overcome obstacles she's familiar with; children who are victims of traumatic events, physical or sexual abuse, or who are in foster care or are adopted.

Swinson moved to Ardmore and started her own non-profit called Freedom Reins Youth Ranch, connecting young children and teenagers with a mentor and a horse.

"I always had a great connection with horses, and I always said that horses and God are the only thing that kept me from taking my life," she said. "The need is great; just in Carter County, there's 176 kids that are in foster care or kinship care that need help."

Volunteer mentors are paired with each child.

"The child that I'm working with — a three-year-old boy," said Katie, one of the volunteers. "Working on a relationship and gradually helping him with other areas that he has."

Tiffany Garcia is one of the youngsters who benefits from the program.

"I get to be with my horse; I get to stay with them for a while and take care of it," she said. "It's like... kind of like a friend."

On top of Freedom Reins, Swinson said she's working on expanding her non-profit to teach kids things like how to get a job and to discover their talent.