Shared by Circle Graduate, Alisha

“Hello, my name is Alisha. I wanted to take a minute to tell you how Circles Newaygo County saved me. I am like a lot of other people. I am a single parent of three kids. I am also a child of generational poverty. I was lost before Circles. I had goals but no idea how to make them a reality, I had debt I wasn’t sure how to do anything about, I knew about budgeting but had no idea how to implement it better in my life, and I was depressed and hopeless. Circles helped me change all of that. Through the Circles program I made friends, I learned to budget, I learned how to reduce my debt and improve my credit score, I learned how to be a better mom, and they taught me to believe in myself like all my new friends believed in me. Circles gave me the confidence to apply to go back to college and I am now working toward a degree. They taught me not to give up on my dreams but rather to make small adjustments when needed to make them a reality. It taught me about self-worth and self-care, things I have never been good at. When I wanted to give up they picked me up and reminded me I had been through worse. The best part is that they didn’t do the work for me. They showed me the way and supported all of my decisions. In doing that they gave me the confidence to work on what I needed to work on. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t joined Circles.”

Circles is all about helping participants, called Circle Leaders, create their legacy. Circle Leaders are paired up with community volunteers, called Allies, who help expand their network and walk alongside them during their time in Circles. Throughout programming Circle Leaders hone in on their goals toward self-reliance while building meaningingful relationships with others.

For more information about Circles, contact Circles Coordinator, Gabie Schmidt at (231) 924-0641 ext. 220 or

Gifts to Circles Newaygo County will be matched $0.50 for every $1.00 and will go directly to helping more people, just like Alisha.