Many of us who have struggled to fit in, find our place in the world and who work to achieve a true sense of success know the power of truly feeling like we belong.
In Dr. Brene Brown’s
research on belonging she asked a large group of eighth graders to define belonging…here is what they said:
- Belonging is being somewhere where you want to be, and they want you. Fitting in is being somewhere where you want to be, but they don’t care one way or the other.
- Belonging is being accepted for you. Fitting in is being accepted for being like everyone else.
- If I get to be me I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in
This, along with countless other pieces of data she has collected on belonging, shame and authenticity, led her to her definition of True Belonging:
True Belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are;
it requires us to BE who we are.
We believe that every person has the capacity to create the life they truly desire and that an important factor to getting and staying out of poverty is finding a community where social capital can be developed and authentic relationships can be built.
Families and communities can take charge of their destinies. And if given the right tools and support, economic stability can be achieved. Through an approach that combines strategies and services along with the individualized support of our dedicated staff, volunteers and the resources of organizations and communities, we can create an environment that educates, empowers and equips our community members to move up and out of poverty successfully.
Circles is a community-based initiative that creates relationships across economic boundaries. It connects people of low-income who have attended the Getting Ahead
program with people of middle and upper-income who have attended a full-day Bridges Out of Poverty
workshop, on a weekly basis, in a casual and purposeful way.
At each meeting, all Circles members volunteer to enjoy a meal together, connect, share and learn from each other. Members form long-lasting authentic relationships built on mutual respect and increase the social capital for all involved and where each member feels and knows that they belong.
Crystal, a Circles Leader shared with us this statement:
“Circles saved my life. For the first time I felt like I mattered and that I could do so much more than just survive. I thought for so long that I would be stuck in poverty. I thought there was no way out. Now with Circles I know I CAN make my dreams come true. I feel empowered and able to support my family. Actually just being around people who believed that my dreams could come true changed everything! At Circles I feel like I belong.”
Contact me and find out how you can become a part of Circles.