Circle of Winners is a youth development program that promotes higher education and provides mentoring and leadership opportunities to help at-risk youth ages 14 to 18. This program is driven by and focuses on building knowledge, skills, and opportunities to pave a better way of life. The Circle of Winners program offers high school students the opportunity to become positive role models within the community, earn money for college, and all-the-while learning the importance of higher education in a positive and nurturing environment.
Circle of Winner’s students tutor and mentor younger students, ages 5-13, in after-school programs in the Northside community. This provides elementary and middle school students with the opportunity to interact with high school students whose goals are to finish high school and go on to college. The high school students are positive role models that help encourage the younger children to also finish school. Circle of Winners’ students also work one-on-one teaching computer skills to adult residents and youth.
Circle of Winners’ students are paid to tutor and mentor younger students for 300 to 400 hours each year. Two- thirds of the money they earn is placed into a savings account, which covers the greatest part of tuition and books. The other one-third is given to the students as a monthly stipend.
Circle of Winners’ students have the opportunity to meet motivational and informational leaders from the community each month, that inspire them in their development. The students are also provided with training that gives them insight into the world of college applications, financial aid, scholarships, developing a budget, and creating a résumé. As a result of the program, students learn leadership skills and how to become responsible and active participants in the community.
Circle of Winners’ students serve individuals of all ages while being nurtured themselves. Their activities and the example they give are a direct encouragement for younger students and others to follow.
Circle of Winners statistics since the program began in 2004:
- 100% of students have graduated from high school
- 88% received one or more college scholarships
- 91% of all students completed at least one year of college
- 74% of all students completed at least two years of college
- 32% have graduated from college
- 3% completed trade school