About Circle of Winners

In studying the needs of the Northside community, it was found that many parents in the community feared that their children may not be able to attend college, and as a result they may become adults with limited opportunities. In response to this need, NICA (Northside Inter-Community Agency) established the Circle of Winners program in 2004. 

The program is designed to attract students (ages 13 to 17) who have decided that they would like to attend college, but they may not have the financial means to afford it. The Circle of Winners program teaches goal oriented teens how to navigate the complicated world of choosing a college or trade school, applying for loans, grants, and scholarships, and staying with a college or trade program until it is completed. 

In addition to learning about what it takes to attend and be successful in college or trade school, the Circle of Winners program teaches valuable life skills, and encourages teens to become active participants in their community. 

What Do Participants Do? 

Circle of Winners participants serve as powerful role models to younger students. As they assist these students with their homework, they also help the younger students to see college, or trade school as a goal within reach, and as the next logical step after high school in building a prosperous future. Further, they encourage the younger students to adopt good study habits, and not to involve themselves in risky or self-destructive activities. 

Participants also attend and assist with community events, and listen to educational and motivational speakers. 

Attending College... 

Many students find the task of choosing a college or trade school to be a complicated task. 

The Circle of Winners program seeks to help students understand how to choose a college, by touring college campuses, and by learning about opportunities to study a trade. The program helps students begin thinking seriously about their future. 

The program address affordability of the college or trade experience by teaching students how to find grant, loan and scholarship funding for college, and by paying students for their time as mentors, and active community members (pay is $7.50 per hour). Money earned by Circle of Winners participants is deposited into a fund to assist students with tuition and other expenses once they have enrolled in a college or trade program. 

Parents can assist their teens in their college aspirations by helping them to choose their high school classes carefully, training them to become conscientious about doing and turning in their homework, and finally by enrolling them in the Circle of Winners program!