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meredith-george

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1 reviews

Review for CircEsteem Inc., Chicago, IL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

When my son was an active, 7-year-old, he took a circus/clowning class after school. He was encouraged to attend the Saturday morning class at an inner-city youth center. Now at 17, he's comfortable on stage, can do circus arts, has a personality for his clown self, but most of all is very close with the circus team: teaches the newer kids, performs with the experienced kids. He is on a gig this morning and doing a different show tomorrow. His circus team has kids from different continents, different economic classes, different races, and different first-languages, yet none of this diversity is remarkable to him; instead they must focus on their next performance. I am an attorney turned tutor. I get to help circus kids with homework after school to balance their after school circus work. The determination and energy of these kids is a joy. Even the young ones can progress and master skills and it shows in their stage presence. And I am working on juggling rings.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

spending time with the kids. I probably would never have met them outside circus.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredibly dedicated! A joy to be around that kind of energy. Most of the staff is unpaid.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand outreach, buy some new juggling balls, pay some of the volunteers, hire our own kids after college graduation, repair the van (or buy a new one), have an outdoor summer camp site, buy more unicycles, have an endowment for the lean times.

Ways to make it better...

I had started tutoring years ago.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

trying to raise enough funds to sustain us through the down economy.

One thing I'd also say is that...

without circus I don't know what our kids would do, what they would have to focus on, how they would direct all their energy, or what opportunities they would find to shine. I don't want to see that light go out for them.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Role:  Volunteer & I am a parent, a volunteer tutor, a board member, and a fan.