Our Newsletter

Download or Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter for inspiring stories and insights, with reflections by our staff, Marybeth Leis and Jeff Druery and by students.

Making Meaning-Full Connections

May 2018

For Yechan and Danya, it started with making a positive difference in the lives of children and youth through our volunteer groups. Reflecting with their peers helps them to connect their service with their motivations, values, growth, and plans to make meaningful connections to others in the future.

Community that Changes Lives

March 2018

When students experience real community it is life-changing. Yi and Martin describe the difference it makes to be part of an inclusive and safe group, where they feel held and supported by others who know and care about them.

Spreading Compassion

November 2017

Our world needs more compassion. Whether it’s the at-risk youth in the inner city who needs mentorship, social support, and help with their homework from weekly volunteers like Justin, or whether it’s a university student like Jonathan who has been engaged in a lonely search for meaning, we all need the support of people who truly care about us. Student Open Circles is creating places of belonging, where students can receive the care and support they need, and then reach out and spread that care to others in practical and life-changing ways.

Am I Enough?

August 2017

What is enough? Am I enough? These are questions that students feel but often run from. The feeling that there is something wrong and it’s me is reflective of the larger culture where there’s so much competition to look and act and succeed in a certain way.

15 Years of Changed Lives

May 2017

Student Open Circles began 15 years ago in response to students’ need for safe spaces to explore their big questions and to serve together. Today, this need is even more visible! As much as ever, we need young people who reflect deeply about who they are, the values that they live by, and what their own unique contribution is towards a world that embodies compassion instead of fear.

New series helps students “become themselves”

March 2017

When I told one of our student leaders that more students than ever are getting involved in Open Circle, she responded by saying, “That makes sense. I think my generation is realizing that the way things have been done isn’t working. We’re looking for another way.” We continued to talk about how the current world turmoil may be bringing this quest for more to the surface. In this letter, students reflect on how the Becoming Yourself series helps them to live authentically in their day-to-day lives and to make a life-giving difference in the world around them.

Creating Space for Reflection

November 2016

Students tell us that they need a place to step out of the frantic pace of school and reflect on what matters most in their lives. Emily, Alex, and Simon’s stories tell how Student Open Circles creates this place to stay grounded, to be more empathetic towards others, and to gain a broader perspective.

Young Adults Get Creative!

August 2016

Whether it’s reflecting together after volunteering by drawing on a page, role-playing in a leadership meeting to solve a problem, or journal writing in a reflection circle, there is something about engaging our creative selves that helps young people to trust each other and to go deeper.

Helping Students towards Wellness and Spiritual Growth

May 2016

Pursuing meaning and purpose is common during the young adult stage in life. The questions that Mohamed and Stevie are wrestling with are catalysts for growth. By providing guidance and the support of a community, Student Open Circles is helping young people to discover their inner value and worth as well as the contribution they want to make with their lives.

Moved by Compassion

March 2016

What moves us to compassionate action? Here are two stories that speak to this question. Jordan finds inspiration through mentoring children in struggling inner-city neighbourhoods with his Student Open Circles’ volunteer group. Douglas was welcomed into a warm and caring community with us when he was a student, and ten years later he continues to give back.