We’re a school-based program that meets once a week to give boys a chance to speak honestly about what’s going on in their lives. When we’re honest, we can talk accurately about what’s working and not working in their lives. We can also show them how sometimes our interpretations of today’s experiences are based on past events and may not be accurate for the current situation.
Because we show up every week, we earn trust by our example and by not judging what they do. Instead, we hold a mirror to them and they decide if their actions are moving them forwards, backwards, sideways, or stuck in the same place.
While we come with a plan, Rule #1 is to follow the boys. We have the flexibility to meet the boys with whatever issues or circumstances they bring to us on that particular day. Ultimately, this is about empowering the boys to accurately understand their situation and come up with their own solutions to reach the goals they’ve set for themselves.
Men who participate in circles are provided with training to match their level of interest. Everybody learns the general guidelines and expectations for working with boys. This includes everything from learning to listen and not fix problems, to undergoing a background check, and always working in pairs with boys.
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”