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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

CircEsteem Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Theater

Mission: CircEsteem unites youth from diverse racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds and builds self-esteem through the practice and performance of circus arts.

Results: With a 100% graduation rate from high school CircEsteem participants have received over $500,000 in college scholarships. CircEsteem provides dollar for dollar matching funds for participants saving money for college. To date CircEsteem youth have saved over $15,000 for their educational futures. CircEsteem has doubled their savings in addition to providing college scholarships.

Target demographics: youth gain self-esteem through the practice of circus arts

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1000

Geographic areas served: Chicago

Programs: 1. HomeWork & Circus Work is our after school tutoring program that works with youth 3 days a week combining homework help with circus activities. 2. Saturday circus classes happen for youth Saturday mornings from 8 AM to 1 PM throughout the school year. Come take Silks, Trapeze, Lyra, Tight-rope Walking, Trampoline, Tumbling, Chinese Pole and much more! 3. CircEsteem Summer Camp is a safe, fun, and supportive environment where campers can come and learn all the circus skills 7 weeks out of the summer. 4. We love to do outreach in schools. Invite us to your school where we can teach an after school program every week or a gym class workshop. OR you can bring your school to our location for a field trip! 5. Birthday Parties! Celebrate your birthday at CircEsteem! 6. Invite us to your event where we can host workshops for your guests.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

I have been to many CircEsteem events and performances over the years. The pride and joy of the performers is so apparent it often gets me choked up. These are youth who have been through some difficult circumstances who are proving you can accomplish anything through hard work. I wish CircEsteem had been around when I was a kid! Luckily I have been to several adult birthday parties hosted at CircEsteem (Yes! Adults can enjoy CircEsteem programming too) and got to experience the self-esteem boost for myself!



Rating: 5

I have been a close friend of the executive director and a community supporter of CircEsteem for over 5 years. I have witness the inextricable evolution and development of the kids and the organization. The kids' energy, dedication and creativity feed the development of the organization as well as their own. Talented, determined kids, often with few resources, do great work here because they are supported by adults who respect and nurture them. I consistently recommend this organization to friends with children who are looking for an experience that will challenge them in every way.