Hello to all who have donated to the Circles Initiative in Pitcairn! I am excited to share with you some achievements of participants in the Circles program. Your dollars allowed us to help our participants learn how to budget, job hunt, achieve educational goals, and work together to address issues that make it more difficult to get out of poverty. Read the rest of this report and know that your donations have made a difference in the lives of these people.
Wednesday, August 1, 15 new low-income participants began the "Getting Ahead" phase of our Circles Initiative. They brought with them 12 new children, making Center Avenue United Methodist Church on Wednesday evenings a very busy place indeed!
At the same time, we have eight Circle Leaders who continue to work toward achieving their long-term goals of self-sufficiency. Here are some of their stories, much success which has come from the support Circles provides:
Chelsea, a young, single mother to 4-year-old, Braydon, has begun attending community college to study nursing while continuing to work nearly full-time. She is doing well and demonstrates great motivation and persistance. She says the support she gets from Circles keeps her motivated as she faces daily challenges and occasional frustrations.
Teresa has just begun a part-time job using some of the computer skills she acquired through recent education. She will be helping with presentations, grant-writing, and other office tasks. This job will end her long streak of unemployment, add to her resume, and prepare her for more substantial employment in the future.
Aldo is currently enrolled in the same computer class that Teresa recently completed. Previously, he was computer illiterate and nervous about learning the computer. Each week he shares his victories as he learns how to use the Microsoft Office products. He feels good about himself and his goal is employment when he completes his training. Aldo recently celebrated two years clean and sober.
Diane has gained part-time employment. Her confidence has increased and the only government subsidy she still receives is medical disability insurance. She is hopeful that her job will increase to full-time and include access to benefits so she can afford to let go of the medical insurance and be fully self-sufficient.
Charlene, another recovering addict, had a job interview a few weeks ago. She has been offered seasonal employment which she is hopeful will increase to offer year-round employment. She would like to go to college and is intelligent enough to do so. At this time, she has a higher need for income, so that goal is taking a lower priority at the moment.
Dawn is recently divorced and has begun a new business in town, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry for a number of senior citizens. She is not certain yet if this is her long-term goal, but while she explores options, she is able to make enough money to make ends meet.
Two former teachers have offered to help recovering addict, Nicole, prepare for her upcoming G.E.D. Nicole just learned to read two years ago, and although reading is still somewhat of a struggle for her, she plans to enter college when she achieves her G.E.D.
Each of our Circle Leaders thank you for believing in them as they work toward their goals. Your dollars are changing lives! All of us at the Pitcairn Circles Initiative are truly grateful!