About One Circle Foundation
At One Circle Foundation, we promote resiliency and healthy development in children, adolescents, families, adults, and communities.
We train, consult, and equip service providers across all youth sectors in the United States and Canada, and internationally with state of the art, research based circle program models, best practice approaches, and manual-guided curricula for programs serving girls and women, and male responsive programs for boys and young men. Girls Circle®, The Council for Boys and Young Men®, Women's Circle® integrate evidenced-based practices of motivational interviewing and strengths-based approaches with cross-cultural traditions and caring relationships.
As social entrepreneurs, we’ve utilized a sustainable business model, recently establishing our independent 501c3 nonprofit identity. Our services and curricula have supported our mission since 1997. To endure tough economic times and to expand the reach of these circle models for more and more youth, we are embarking on new fundraising efforts that will strengthen the impact of this approach for generations to come.
As mothers with a passionate vision to foster healthy relationships and choices within their daughters and other girls in the mid-1990’s, founders Beth Hossfeld and Giovanna Taormina began facilitating Girls Circle groups. We were additionally motivated to develop programs due to the severe national epidemics of depression, eating disorders, body image problems, dating violence, teen alcohol and drug abuse, self-harming behaviors, relational aggression, bullying, gang affiliations and rates of abuse upon girls.
Inspired by the very positive responses to the circles and the encouragement, leadership and assistance the girls shared with one another in the circles, we developed the first Girls Circle Facilitator Training in 1997 and proceeded to become a nonprofit Project of the Tides Center in 1998.
Our gender-responsive model, training, and curricula were well received nationally in the areas of: schools, mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and community based programs. National research of the model indicated that the program is responsive to girls across all ethnicities and demographics, and significantly increased positive body image, social support, and self-efficacy. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention recognized Girls Circle as promising approach, including it in the OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide.
While growing in depth and delivery of trainings for gender-responsive groups for girls, we also recognized the need for healthy, male-responsive development models for boys and young men. In fact, many of the facilitators of Girls Circle groups creatively adapted the model for teen boys as well.
We ourselves understood that to have lasting impact on girls, we must try to make a difference for all youth by also creating healthy conditions and environments that provide young men a solid pathway into manhood. In an effort to challenge myths about manhood – especially unhealthy myths like the “boy code” that lead to accidental injury, violence, drop out, interpersonal violence, depression, substance abuse, illegal lifestyles, prison, or compromised futures – we wanted to encourage full access to the range of healthy human capacities for boys and young men.
In 2006 we partnered with experienced male and female facilitators to develop the Boys Council model, now named The Council for Boys and Young Men. The structured group model recognizes and builds upon inherent strengths and interests of boys and young men, challenges unhealthy masculinities, and connects youth in solidarity and community.
As more communities experience and incorporate Girls Circle and The Council into their programs and services, they generate an ever-increasing interest from community members. Like us, communities are finding that the relationships developed in the circles have a ripple effect of positive impacts and convey what we believe is an inherent and life-affirming truth: We are all Connected.