A Circles Ally is someone who genuinely wants to share their gifts, talents, and most importantly their friendship, with a Circle Leader who is struggling to become self-sufficient and working on creating a better life for their family!
Perks of Being a Circles Ally
- Enjoy an intentional friendship with a Circle Leader and join them in their quest to have enough relationships, resources and reason in their lives.
- Develop an increased awareness of your own stereotypes, class rules, & biases.
- Use these experiences to advocate within the community for changes in systemic barriers that keep poverty in place.
Circles Ally Expectations
- Commit to 18 months as an Ally.
- Spend 4 – 10 hours per month with your Circle Leader , including:
- Two or more weekly meetings,
- Phone, e-mail, text, or personal support to Circle Leader and other Allies as needed.
How Circles Supports their Allies
- Ally Training – that will help you:
- Get an overview of the work of Circles of Greater Topeka.
- Adopt an accurate and comprehensive approach to poverty.
- Analyze our own environment, circumstances, and role in society.
- Build relationships of mutual respect with people from other environments and classes.
- Address change at the individual, organizational, and societal levels.
- Ally Support Meetings
- Assistance of the Circles Staff and Circles Community
How to prepare for being an Ally
People in poverty face many complex issues and hurdles navigating the safety net of services. Understanding the issues and how to be most helpful is essential for your Circle to be successful. Prospective Allies must complete the following preparation steps:
- Submit an application and attend an interview with the Topeka Circles Coordinator and Circles Coach;
- Agree to a criminal background check. A form will be provided by the Circle Coordinator;
- Attend a Bridges Out of Poverty training course – a 3-hour workshop that teaches participants about hidden rules of middle class that keep some people in poverty from being successful;
- Complete a one-day Ally Training to prepare you to be matched with a Circle Leader. This training will help you prepare to be a friend, meet with your Circle, utilize the support of the Circles Coach and other Allies, and most effectively support your Circle Leader in their journey out of poverty;
- Attend the Circle Leader Graduation Ceremony;
- Attend one or more Circle Leader/Ally mixers.