CircEsteem has been an incredibly positive influence for all three of my children. My oldest daughters have been involved for over 5 years. My youngest son only recently had his first experience. It is, without question, their favorite place to be. They are welcomed, they are challenged, and they learn amazingly impressive skills! Their experiences there have taught them to support, respect and encourage one another.
CircEsteem is one of the few truly diverse organizations for children in that it embraces economic diversity as well as racial, national, and cultural diversity. I get to help the youth with homework in CircEsteem's Homework Circuswork program. I have watched kids who have nobody at home who can help with their homework gain expertise, confidence, and the tenacity to try their best at both academics and circus arts. They don't iust learn circus tricks, they also learn how to be part of a team. Fun to watch the youth blossom into their best selves.
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.
My children have discovered diverse community in which to discover share and develop circus skills. CircEsteem truly serves its community. I am thrilled we found a home here!
I am blessed to be able to enhance the kids experience in performing by creating costumes for them. I don't know where I would find a more diverse, loving, talented, respectful, group of children anywhere. Working with them one on one I am able to see what shining lights they are, how committed to developing their skills and how committed they are to one another and the success of the program.
I first heard about CircEsteem from an actress working in San Francisco. She had helped found the organization when she was living in Chicago. When she learned that I was moving with my mid-elementary and middle school children to Chicago, she told me to look them up. I did and enrolled my two children -- aged 9 and 11 in introductory circus arts classes. Once a week, we traveled from Evanston to Chicago to participate in classes with city kids and kids from Lake Forest, another northern suburb. It gave my kids a great opportunity to work with kids of other socioeconomic backgrounds and to learn circus arts at the same time. The director, Paul Miller, always made my children and all the children welcome and encouraged them in all their endeavors. He brought great energy, enthusiasm and interest to each and everyone in his presence -- adults and children alike. My daughter and I also participated in the after school tutoring program -- she as part of a community service project and I because I am a learning specialist. While my daughter and I were tutoring, vollunteers from the Lycee School, a french elementary and high school, in Chicago also were tutoring kids. I thought what an amazing way to gather people together for mutual benefit and learning.My husband has taken photographs for Circusteem on numerous occasions. When I go into a city school where I work, I see posters with his photographs, advertising upcoming performances. Since my kids have been involved with Circusteem, we have attended fundraisers and performances. I am always amazed at the incredible skills that the performers bring to their programs. Circusteeem is indeed a great asset to the greater Chicago community.
circesteem/chicago youth circus was the perfect place for our son to bring his quirky skills and quiet personality. it is a place where encouragement, responsibility and team spirit are consistently applied. where city, suburban and refugees kids come together and build trust, cooperation and lead to lasting friendships. their performances consistently impress.
CircEsteem helps kids build skills and confidence through the Circus Arts. I have met and worked the kids involved in CircEsteem and have seen the results of their dedication in their fantastic shows. Some of the kids have gone on to professional careers in the Circus Arts. My kids enjoyed themselves, learned some tricks and helped others through their on site tutoring program. On several occasions I have photographed the performers for their promotional posters and during their wonderful shows. This is a vital and important non-profit organization.
This is a transformative program for city youth, bringing together a remarkable assortment of kids at all levels from the newbies to the vets. It has a strong educational/homework base with proven results (scholarships, academic achievements) and a physical fun and skills component that is linked to other youth circus groups around the US and Europe. Kids stay with this for years as they learn and grow, and who can blame them despite the demanding effort it takes! Great staff, great kids, great program!
As a supporter of CircEsteem, I have watched the organization transform young people's lives, taking them from refugees to future doctors in training. I have never worked with an organization that commits so much time and energy into developing amazing young leaders and mentors.