First United Presbyterian Church

Circles NWA

FUPC supports Circles NWA

Circles NWA is an innovative program designed to reduce poverty in Northwest Arkansas by encouraging individuals and families living in poverty to attain upward mobility through leadership of Circles — mentorship programs which upend the typical mentorship model.

Each Circle is led by an individual working to overcome poverty, and two or three Allies. The Allies are people from more affluent backgrounds who follow the leadership of their Circle leaders. Allies help the leaders to build social capital, develop goals in study or career, and to find and leverage the resources that will make a difference in their lives.

Leaders in their own lives

Circles recognizes that the Circle leaders are the leaders in their own lives. They are the experts on their own strengths and needs, but sometimes they have been so focused on daily survival that they haven’t taken that leadership. Circles prepares them to do so. With 18 months of support from their Allies, Circle leaders are able to make real changes in their lives.

The model is based on the national Circles USA model, which has a proven record of helping to lift people out of poverty. “Our participants achieve a 30% increase in income after six months and a 76% increase in income after 18 months,” the national website reports. “Participants continue to increase their income–even after the 18-month period.”

FUPC support Circles NWA

Circles NWA holds weekly meals for the Circle leaders, the Allies, and their families. These meals not only provide opportunities for fellowship and learning, but also symbolize the support and connections at the heart of Circles.

The beautiful FUPC campus, professional kitchen, and open-hearted community make FUPC a perfect location for these meals.

FUPC also provides financial support, and members of the congregation volunteer as Allies. Circles NWA is seeking a new cohort of Allies for Fall 2024.

Get in touch with Circles

Circles provide practical assistance

Circles provide practical assistance

Circles builds strong connections

Circles builds strong connections

Circles creates friendships

Circles creates friendships

Circles builds social capital

Circles builds social capital

Circles NWA is the first Arkansas chapter

Circles NWA is the first Arkansas chapter

Circles has programs for kids

Circles has programs for kids

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