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Circles graduation highlights success
Allies wanted for Circle program

The Circles of Central Kansas graduation will take place from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at the First United Methodist Church, 2123 Forest Ave. There will be a reception in the basement after the program.

The entire community is invited to attend this celebration of area residents who have become Circle leaders in this program that aims to reduce poverty in Barton County, said Cory Webster, local Circles director. People interested in becoming allies to Circle leaders are especially encouraged to attend.

The Circles program’s goal is to reduce poverty in Barton County by turning to the experts — those who live from paycheck to paycheck and crisis to crisis — and empowering them with a circle of allies. The graduates have completed a 20-week course based on the book, “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World.”

Thursday’s program will include comments from some of the graduates and from Debra Factor, executive director with sponsoring agency Youth Core Ministries in Greensburg. Factor also spoke to the Hoisington City Council on Monday about plans to start a Hoisington Circles group.

Circles is looking for allies who will become partners to the graduates as they continue their journey. Webster explained, “An ally is an individual from middle class or wealth interested in coming alongside someone making the journey out of poverty. You do not need to be an expert, just a friend.”

Circles Coach Becky Gillette, site director at Barton County Academy, said the first step to becoming an ally is to attend Bridges Out of Poverty Training. This one-day workshop will be offered in Great Bend in the coming weeks.

Allies and leaders don’t have all of the solutions to life’s problems, Gillette said. “But we do find ways to move forward, sometimes with a better way to look at the problem, or someone behind you cheering you on.”

For more information about Circles contact Webster, 303-579-6886, or Gillette, 620-617-8039.