Great Circle

Summer Guide

May - August 2019 • Steelville, MO

What I liked

We worked with kids and teens that have been abused in every way imaginable. They are in a place in life where they really close everybody off especially if we tried showing them that we love and care about them. They are convinced that they are at fault for the abuse toward them, and they are unlovable. To prove this to us, they would sometimes cut themselves or lash out in violence toward us and others. I learned how to break down those social walls they built and speak to truth to the root of their problems instead of the initial response. They lost likely did not get in a fight because someone was annoying them. They got in a fight because their dad called them degrading names as a child, or their mom told them they'd never amount to anything. I learned to search for good qualities in them even though they weren't able to see them. Instead of them continuing with the idea that they're selfish and at fault, I could build a relationship with them and show them they are loving toward others and they are needed. They are not at fault for the wrong doing of others.

What I wish was different

The hours seemed a little unbearable. It was 18 hours a day, 6 days a week, but in hindsight, every hour was well worth my time.


Drop any and all expectations to succeed on the first day, and in so doing, put yourself in a continuous learning mindset. I felt super confident about starting, only to experience complete culture shock on the first day. Allow your coworkers to help you, and allow the kids and teens you're working with to teach you. If you listen to then when they're angry and fighting you, they'll tell you exactly how to meet them where they are and help them. Another piece of advice just because it helped me so much is, build strong relationships with your coworkers. At the end of the day, it's so relieving to meet with them and laugh together and talk about what you're really feeling. In 10 short weeks, my coworkers became some of my best friends in the world.
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