Youth in social circus programs across the US are making big leaps in the skills they need to lead productive lives, according to a recently completed study commissioned by the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) and conducted by the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Effectiveness (CYPE). Take Melvin Diggs, graduate of the St Louis, MO program, Circus Harmony, who says: “Circus didn’t change my life. It saved my life.” Diggs grew up expecting to join a gang, deal drugs and face a life of violence. Instead, he found somewhere to belong, to be challenged and to excel. Today, he works professionally performing circus arts and is currently in Cirque du Soleil’s touring show Luzia. Social Circus is the application of the art and culture of the cir...
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