Watch Now! 2023 Leadership Conference Circle Leader Mini-Keynotes

Circle Leaders are at the heart of Circles USA’s work building community to end poverty…so we knew that centering our 2023 Leadership Conference around the voices of those with lived experiences of poverty was critical.

CUSA invited three Circle Leaders to share their stories, testimonials, and messages of inspiration in the form of mini-keynote talks, live and in-person, at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Orlando, FL.

Building on our 2023 theme of Deepening and Expanding, these Circle Leaders described how the Circles experience has changed their knowledge and perspective of poverty and prosperity; improved their financial and social skills; helped them reach personal goals; and supported them in sharing their unique voices within their chapters and communities. 

We are proud to share their stories—electrifying, inspiring, and courageous—with our entire circle of practice today.

Tim Rodgers | Circles West Orange, FL

“Circles is about overcoming poverty, and although I have not fully accomplished that end financially, I have grown to be far more than who I was when I began my journey.”

Carmen Gonzalez | Circles Northwest Arkansas, AR

“Before Circles, I didn’t have a lot of faith in humanity. I didn’t believe in community; I didn’t have people I could depend on locally. I joined Circles and met people who genuinely cared and wanted me to succeed in ways that no one has ever wanted for me before. That was life-changing for me and my family.”

Annette Brown | Circles West Orange, FL

“I hope that my sharing at the Circles conference will help other Circle Leaders to gain courage, to step up and be seen and heard in their most authentic way possible. And to give everyone else in the room a glimpse into my life living in poverty, and out of the same lens, see me today for the woman I have become, no longer living below the poverty guidelines.”

Learn more about Circles USA at, or contact Administrative Coordinator Gena Atcher at for more information.

Each year, our Lives Transformed featured Circle Leaders embody this courage and vulnerability by sharing unforgettable testimonials of their Circles journeys. Check out their stories in written form; or listen to Yakilin, April, Ashon, and Pam recount their experiences in our 2022 suite of videos.