Through Circles, I made some of my first friendships—like real, solid friendships. And it felt so empowering and liberating… [Circles] allowed me to grow as a person. They’ve allowed me to take my power back and find my voice, and I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without it.

– Amber Edwards, Trainer, Circles Green Bay, WI

At Circles USA, we believe “the beginning of the end of poverty” must start with understanding our current beliefs and practices. Circles creates the space for people to challenge their assumptions and arrive at more informed views of poverty. While Circles USA has books and training programs that can increase people’s awareness of their beliefs, the most important strategy of Circles USA is the opportunity to build healthy and effective relationships across socioeconomic class lines to empower individual and community-wide prosperity.

In this video, meet Amber, a Circles graduate who has left poverty behind and is now helping others to do the same. She shares her journey from surviving to thriving, capturing the lived reality of poverty and what it takes to end poverty as we know it.

Jennifer Pelling, CUSA Board member and producer of our new documentary short film series, recalls working alongside Amber and the Green Bay chapter. “Our team loved working with Amber—she was so open in sharing her personal and professional experience. She’s calm and patient but doesn’t hold back when it comes to addressing people’s fears or misconceptions.”

“Amber brought so much heart and passion to the conversation on poverty,” says Brian Lawes, who directed and edited the video. “She knows all the challenges it presents for many in our country. I’m thankful we have people like her to advocate for others who may not have a voice.”

Reducing Poverty in Your Community: Introduction to Circles USA
Core Beliefs about Poverty