On April 1, the Kingman Community kicked off the Circles program. The mission of Circles is to help people get out of poverty through education, emotional support and mentoring. The first class began with 19 family units with 11 units graduating on August 26. At the graduation ceremony, four individuals shared their stories of experiencing progress in their interpersonal relationships, improvements in their attitudes and self-esteem. One of the graduates, a single father who is raising four children under the age of twelve, shared his distrust of the individuals who were operating the program, confident that they were operating with ulterior motives. After four weeks of attending the class came to the realization that people sincerely cared about him.
Eight of the eleven graduates have begun phase two in which “allies” individuals from the middle class come to a monthly meeting to support and encourage students as they set goals.
A variety of churches are helping with the Circles program including members from Kingman Mennonite. Volunteers prepare meals for participants, provide childcare, serve as allies and donate supplies.