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Circles is a Newaygo County program focused on personal exploration and growth.

Lola knows that so well after her own journey of self-discovery with the TrueNorth Community Services program.

“Everything seemed to be falling apart for myself,” she said. “I knew what I wanted. I knew where I wanted to go. But I didn’t know where to start.” 

Having grown up in poverty, the 28-year-old admitted to not knowing how to save money. She could not figure out how to get ahead, or even be able to go out and do something fun.

Through Circles, she found a way.

Circles helps families build self-reliance and prosperity with community support.  Circles’ foundation is based on commitment, engagement and giving back.

After training as a Circle Leader, she gained two volunteer Allies to help find her way. She was paired with Andy, an information technology professional, and Emily, a high school teacher.

Lola found friendship, advice and encouragement from Andy and Emily. She also expanded her social network with access to theirs and also discovered a wide community of supporters.

“You have a sense of you’re not in it alone. You’re not by yourself and (you find) there’s other people that struggled,” she said. “It’s like a whole positive community of people that are in it for the same reason: To be better.”

Lola has created personal momentum, accomplishing goals, gaining confidence and achieving personal satisfaction while working full-time for a financial services firm.

“Knowing that you have someone in your corner is very beneficial to your self-esteem, to your mindset, to your whole outlook on life,” said the single mother of three children. “It excites me to know that my kids are going to see life in a totally different way than I did.”

She adds: “Since I came to this program, it has made a tremendous change. I have come so far. … (This) helped impact my life in such a wonderful way.”

Circles Newaygo County is starting its fourth cohort of Circle Leaders this fall. It’s three-phase program is about discovering, believing and achieving to work toward success with a community embrace.

If you are ready to take the steps toward a better life as a Circle Leader like Lola, Circles is here to help. Volunteers like Andy and Emily are also sought as Allies to work alongside Circle Leaders as they strive toward self-sufficiency.

To find out how to get involved, contact Circles at (231) 924-0641, ext. 220, or

Circles is funded by a Fremont Area Community Foundation grant.



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