Circle Leader graduates

Recent graduates of the Wilkes Circles of Care “Circle Leader” program, from left, are Timothy Baldinger, Victoria Baldinger, Anna Tilley, Tanya Jackson, Terry Calhoun and Alexis Surratt, represented by her mother, Misty McGill. Surratt had just delivered a baby.


Wilkes Circles of Care announced that six local people recently graduated from its 12-week Circle Leader program.

Wilkes Circles of Care is a nonprofit that tries to help people work their way out of poverty and also remove barriers that keep people in poverty. It strives to empower people by providing them resources and support they need to achieve financial independence, said a spokesman for the organization said.

People become Circle Leaders when they complete the 12-week researched-based program, which includes learning basic financial and other skills.

The local people who completed the program and were recognized at the Circle Leader graduation event at W. Kerr Scott Reservoir are Timothy Baldinger, Victoria Baldinger, Anna Tilley, Tanya Jackson, Terry Calhoun and Alexis Surratt.

Surratt participated remotely via online video because of the early arrival of her baby. Surratt’s mother, Misty McGill, represented her.

Michael Cooper of North Wilkesboro, guest speaker for the event, encouraged the graduates to continue their journey by building on their skill sets and work toward achieving their goals. Cooper is an attorney and has been a volunteer legal advisor for Wilkes Circles of Care for several years.

Circle Leaders are matched with “allies,” who are local volunteers with training to support and help Circle Leaders achieve their goals and thrive.

Wilkes Circles of Care is seeking applicants for its next 12-week Circle Leader program. Also being sought are volunteers interested in working with Circles Leaders as allies, who befriend, encourage and support families on their journeys out of poverty.

Contact Greta Ferguson or Ken Lyall at for more details.

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