Circles Initiative

Parker contributes to Circles Initiative

Genese Parker chats with IU President Michael McRobbie
Genese Parker chats with IU President Michael McRobbie

Genese Parker describes the opportunity to work with the Circles Initiative as “perfect timing.”

Parker started at the SCCAP in July, and she is currently working as the AmeriCorps service member volunteer coordinator for Circles, which aims to help people out of poverty by pairing them with a community of support resources.

She said she first heard about the program in April at a church presentation, but when she started her job hunt, things clicked into place.

“I just really wanted to use this year of life to do something positive, and I saw Circles as a good opportunity for that,” she said.

Parker said her main duties include gathering volunteers for the program, which can mean emailing, attending volunteer recruitment fairs and contacting and interviewing potential candidates. She said her main goal is to make sure Circles is supported with enough volunteers so that aspect doesn’t distract from tackling the problem of poverty.

Parker is originally from Indianapolis. She graduated from IU in 2003 with a BA in English with a focus on creative writing and communication.

Since then she has worked with the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship as a campus staffworker. Parker plans to attend grad school in the fall to study sociology, and she is currently looking at different programs. She said she could see herself working as a sociology professor or at more of a grass roots level campaigning for social justice.

Still, Parker said working with Circles has given her assets for the future.

“I think it’s given me perspective because it’s offered me a real-life learning opportunity. I think it’s easy to think about poverty as an academic concept, but to interact with people living in it daily offers a different perspective.”

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