SUPPORT: Providing a safe and caring environment for young women to explore their strengths and possibilities, and to build confidence and a positive self-image.
PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY: Encouraging young women to live healthy lives by establishing a connection with the natural world and promoting healthy decisions.
MENTORSHIP: Creating opportunities for young women to build long-lasting networks through trusted mentoring relationships and empowering connections with other young women.
INTEGRITY: Sustaining a passionate organization that celebrates its historical origins and embraces diversity, inclusion, transparency, and community connection.
ACCEPTANCE: We support all of our Circle participants, unconditionally, however they may wish to express or identify.
Self-reliant young women, confidently engaged in their community and living to their full potential.
Circle Program was founded in 1993 by the trustees and camp director of Camp Onaway, a camp for girls on Newfound Lake in Hebron, New Hampshire. They wanted to create a summer camp program for socially and economically disadvantaged New Hampshire girls, but recognized the fact that just a few weeks at camp might not be enough to make a sustainable difference in the lives of the girls. They modeled Circle Program after the Mayhew Program for boys and combined residential summer camp with year-round, one-on-one mentoring.
Circle began as a "pilot program" with twenty-two girls. Currently, over eighty girls and teens are enrolled and they come from thirty-two towns throughout the Lakes Region. Circle Program is the only program of its kind serving girls in New Hampshire. It is also one of the only programs in the country that combines camp and mentoring, serving rural girls.
THE CIRCLE TEAM
Who We Are
Chelsea, before she found nonprofit management, worked throughout South and Central Asia in international development and security. Her priority was to promote stability efforts and diplomacy throughout the region, particularly with women's life skills training and children’s education programs. Chelsea was able to align her personal mission towards gender minority empowerment efforts by increasing quotas within local law enforcement as well as tribunal seats.
Chelsea holds a BA in International Studies from the University of California Irvine, a JD with a Certificate in International & Comparative Law, a LLM in National Security Law & US Foreign Relations, a MBA with an International Business focus, and is a licensed attorney with the DC Bar.
Prior to joining Circle Program, Chelsea founded and acted as Managing Partner for a law practice focused on immigration, human rights, international, and comparative legal issues. As an animal lover and advocate, she takes pro bono cases to assist animal sanctuaries, activist groups, and rescue organizations.
Jamie has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bryant University and is about to complete a Master of Art degree in Special Education at Ball State University.
She has worked with youth ages 6-17 in a variety of settings ranging from public school to residential education programs.
Jamie is certified in Wilderness First Aid, is an American Red Cross Lifeguard, and an avid hiker of the White Mountains. She has been a mentor with Circle Program since 2014.
Lindsey is a highly skilled aquatics professional with 12 years of experience as an American Red Cross Lifeguard and swim instructor. She is passionate about nature, traveling, science, and history.
Lindsey has a Bachelor of Arts in US and Latin American History from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Arts in Mexican History from Portland State University. Lindsey is a bilingual speaker of English and Spanish and is currently certified in Wilderness First Aid. Summer 2020 will be her 5th year at camp.
Her favorite part of camp is seeing a camper work hard to meet a challenge or to push past a roadblock.
Liz Grace, MS, has worked as an office assistant most recently for Plymouth State University in the Health and Physical Education Department. She has also worked in a similar capacity over the years for various New Hampshire businesses.
In addition to working as the Circle Program’s office manager and being a realtor, Liz is a custom furniture maker and has shared her skills with the Circle program by teaching the woodworking classes at camp for the past two years.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Sarah Crane, President
Deborah Schachter, Vice President
James Mitkonis , Treasurer
Mary Ann McRae, Secretary
Dawn M. Beers
Jennifer M. Crane
Karen S. Werner
Chelsea Francek, Executive Director
Priscilla W. Gemmill
Seton Lindsay O'Reilly
Carol M. Southall