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Circles Salem has 14 certify as Circle Leaders

Jul 17, 2016 07:46PM

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 [email protected]

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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