Cir­cles Salem has 14 cer­tify as Cir­cle Lead­ers

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Jas­mine Reynolds

A group of 14 re­cently be­came the first cer­ti­fied Cir­cle Lead­ers in Salem. Cir­cles Salem is part of a na­tion­wide ini­tia­tive help­ing par­tic­i­pants es­cape poverty by be­com­ing lead­ers of their own lives and gain­ing a cir­cle of sup­port. The Salem site opened in March with 14 class mem­bers.

For the past sev­eral months, class mem­bers have at­tended weekly meet­ings and built friend­ships as they made goals and plans to be­come self-reliant. “I am proud of the strong, sup­port­ive re­la­tion­ships that have been de­vel­oped in such a short amount of time. Imag­ine walk­ing into a room where ev­ery­one is root­ing for you, cel­e­brat­ing your suc­cesses or lend­ing a shoul­der to you when life gets hard. This is a snap shot of what you would see ... at our meet­ings,” said Cir­cles Salem Coach Jes­sica Aw­brey.

Soon, class mem­bers will be paired with com­mu­nity vol­un­teers called Al­lies who will cheer them on as they reach their goals. One new cir­cle leader said, “I am so ex­cited to start work­ing on achiev­ing my goals and see what is out there for me. As a sin­gle mom, I didn’t think I would ever be able to make life any bet­ter. I’m hop­ing I can some­day be able to help some­one else who is in the same sit­u­a­tion.” Cir­cles is meant to be long-term. Ideally, par­tic­i­pants will con­tinue in the pro­gram for 18- plus months, at­tend­ing weekly meet­ings as they strive for eco­nomic sta­bil­ity.

An­other Cir­cles class will be­gin in Salem on Sept. 1. Vol­un­teers are needed who would be will­ing to be an in­ten­tional friend to a par­tic­i­pant as well as peo­ple who are in­ter­ested in be­com­ing part of the new class. “There is a cer­tain power that comes from a group of in­di­vid­u­als who have a com­mon pur­pose and are all work­ing to­ward im­prov­ing their lives. That power and in­flu­ence has a way of touching the lives of ev­ery­one in­volved with Cir­cles” Aubrey said.

If you are in­ter­ested in help­ing your own fam­ily be­come self-reliant or you are in­ter­ested in help­ing some­one else, con­tact Lind­say at 801-691-5215 or send an email to Vol­un­teerCon­nec­tion@Com­mu­ni­tyAc­tionUC.org.

*** The an­chor in our world to­day is free­dom, hold­ing us steady in times of change, a sym­bol of hope to all the world. - Ge­orge H.W. Bush, State of the Union Ad­dress, Jan. 31, 1990

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