November 7, 2013

Community Organization Help Families in Poverty

WNC Hosts National 'Circles of Support' Conference

A national workshop that trains people to assist families living in poverty in becoming self-supporting was hosted by Capital City Circles October 22-25 at Western Nevada College.

The National Circles Campaign Hands-On Training workshop included education for coordinators and coaches from around the country. Attendees met in small training groups, and took part in a poverty simulation workshop.

“The National Circles Campaign Hands-On Training is an excellent opportunity for Carson City to showcase the Capital City Circles program and gain national recognition,” said WNC counselor J.W. Lazzari, who has been us to better inform lawmakers and local businesses about the value of our initiative, both locally and throughout the state. This event emphasized Carson City’s ability to eventually become a regional training center for the National Circles Initiative.”

Circles helps area families living in poverty reach the goal of financial independence through education and supportive friendships with middle-class members of the community. This is achieved through a 20-week Getting Ahead Workshop and an alignment with three to five allies (or volunteers). The group meets once or twice a month to help develop the dreams, plans and goals for achieving economic self-sufficiency.

“The program has been a great resource for many Carson families and really has been the springboard to help families to self-sufficiency,” Lazzari said.

He pointed to success stories of a nearly homeless mother of seven children who became a certified nurse assistant, and a single mother of two who has improved her budgeting and money management skills to better care for her family.

Lazzari said WNC has been associated with Capital City Circles on a variety of levels.

“It closely aligns with Western Nevada College’s institutional theme of ‘One College Serving Many Communities’,” he said. “Similar to Western Nevada College, the Capital City Circles Initiative promotes education, strives for personal and community enrichment, and creates community connections.

Lazzari said some of the circle leaders have become students at WNC.
“The Circles program has helped give some of these individuals the courage to go to college and the support to become successful,” he said.

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For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu


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