Allies in Circles of Grant County: A Qualitative Study Exploring Experiences

Taylor Bray Indiana Wesleyan University, Abigail Degenhart Indiana Wesleyan University, Grace Poole Indiana Wesleyan University, Emily Shafer Indiana Wesleyan University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Katti Sneed Indiana Wesleyan University
The prevalence of poverty has become overwhelming for many residents of Grant County, as the poverty rate has nearly approached 20% (Data USA, 2014). In 2015, Grant County was recognized as having the highest child poverty rate in the entire state of Indiana (WFYI Indianapolis News, 2015). As these rates have become progressively startling, the Grant County community has been in dire need of intentional efforts to combat poverty. In 2012, a Circles chapter was created in Grant County to fulfill this needed role. Circles is a national model that seeks to partner with families and individuals in poverty and empower them. Circles provides the families in poverty, called Circle Leaders, the education and social support that is needed to escape the cycle of poverty and thrive. Volunteer mentors, known as Allies, partner with a Circle Leader and build an intentional relationship where they can work together to meet personal goals. This phenomenological study focuses on gathering the lived experiences of the Circles Allies through semi-structured interviews. This study will focus on gathering the Allies’ opinions about the Circles program, the Allies’ perceptions of themselves, and their value systems. These interviews will then be analyzed to identify common themes. The researchers hope to capture the experiences of the Allies in order to have a more holistic view of how community programs impact everyone involved.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

02:00 PM
Jordan Hall 201