Manhattan
Let's Get Social!


Spotted in the Saddle


Teen actor RJ Mitte of "Breaking Bad" fame visited New York City to mentor budding actors, speak out against bullying, and support therapeutic horseback riding.

RJ Mitte riding at GallopNYC

RJ Mitte, the 19-year-old actor best known for his role in the Emmy-winning AMC drama Breaking Bad, stepped out of the Hollywood spotlight Feb. 13 to spend a day with GallopNYC Therapeutic Riding, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that offers therapeutic horsemanship programs to children and adults with developmental, emotional, social, and physical challenges. Throughout the day, Mitte drew from personal experience to mentor GallopNYC riders and volunteers on everything from acting to bullying.

On screen, Mitte plays the son of a cancer-stricken high school science teacher turned drug manufacturer (Bryan Cranston). Mitte’s character, Walter White, Jr., has cerebral palsy -- a disability the actor suffers from in real life (though in a milder form). Off screen, he is the youth spokesperson for the National Disability Institute's Real Economic Impact Tour, which works to improve the financial situation of low-income persons with disabilities; a spokesperson for I AM PWD, a campaign that advocates for actors with disabilities; and a celebrity youth ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy, an organization that educations, advocates, and provides support for people with a spectrum of disabilities.

"RJ is an example of someone who has achieved success as a person with disabilities. He speaks openly of the challenges he has faced, and he embraces other people with disabilities of all types," says Alicia Kershaw, executive director of GallopNYC, explaining why the organization decided to partner with Mitte. "Also, some GallopNYC riders have experienced bullying -- a hot-button issue for Mitte."



RJ Mitte acting workshop with kidsThe eventful day began with a therapeutic riding lesson for Mitte, taught by GallopNYC lead instructor Ben Goldberg, during which he bonded with his mount Daisy and showed real aptitude for riding. Next, Mitte visited Richard R. Greene High School of Teaching, where students have formed teams to volunteer with GallopNYC, to speak about bullying. Mitte spoke of his own experiences with bullying and advised kids to seek help if they are bullied:  "Bullies see something in you that they want for themselves,” Mitte told the students, "and if they can’t get it for themselves, they want to take it away from you."

Taking advantage of Mitte’s acting chops, GallopNYC then hosted an acting workshop for several of its young riders at Dance New Amsterdam in Lower Manhattan, in partnership with Daytime Moon Creations, an organization that brings the joy of theater to children and young adults with special needs through recreational programming. Mitte mentored the budding actor as they performed skits, including a skit the young people had written themselves, then stayed for a meet-and-greet reception with about 50 riders, volunteers, and friends.

Mitte can be seen next in the upcoming fantasy-thriller film House of Last Things, set to hit theaters this year.

GallopNYC offers horseback riding lessons at three stables in NYC, bringing the enjoyable, supportive, and rewarding experience of riding a horse to 150 riders with disabilities each week. For more information or to make a donation, visit gallopnyc.org.

 

More News Articles:

Things to Do with Kids in NYC this Weekend

Enjoy these fun things to do with your kids in New York City this weekend. Start planning your weekend now with our editorially curated list of happen...


Latest News:

Kids Embrace Art at the Whitney Museum's Family Programs

Kids create their own works inspired by modern masterpieces as part of the Whitney Museum's Family Programs and Open Studio.


Family Activities:

Urban Farm Volunteers

Randall's Island Park Mar. 27, 2022 - Oct. 16, 2022

Volunteer to help manage this one-acre Urban Farm.



Have a Laugh:

Best Memes of the Week for Parents

Here are the funniest parenting memes from Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit this week.
Kaitlin Ahern

Author: Kaitlin Ahern has a degree in magazine journalism from Syracuse University. See More

Featured Listings:

Children's Museum of Manhattan (The)

Children's Museum of Manhattan (The)

New York, NY For more than thirty years CMOM has been a destination and resource where families of all backgrounds come to learn, play and grow together. At CMOM, ...

Shooting Stars NYC

Shooting Stars NYC

Shooting Stars NYC is a 21-year dance company based on the Upper East and Upper West Side. The main focus of SSDC is competitive dance. “SSDC” offers ...

Diller-Quaile School of Music (The)

Diller-Quaile School of Music (The)

New York, NY The Diller-Quaile School of Music was founded in 1920 by pianists Angela Diller and Elizabeth Quaile. Since the School?s founders believed that the ca...

Lightbridge Academy

Lightbridge Academy

Lightbridge Academy is The Solution for Working Parents® providing the Gold Standard for health and safety in a nurturing environment for infant, todd...