The Trenton Circus Squad, located at the Roebling Wire Works building, is renowned for its extravagant and mind-blowing circus performances featuring the talents of youth from the local community.
The organization was founded five years ago by Zoe Brookes and Thomas von Oehsen, who shared interests and experiences in performing and operating circuses with a goal to empower local youth through learning and performing as part of a circus squad.
Since launching, the program has far exceeded expectations and continues to inspire Trentonians to take big leaps in life. Training over 600 youth enrolled in various programs and sessions, the squad engaged nearly 10,000 youth as participants in workshops, and performed for over 13,000 audience members. All youth programs are free of charge, which gives them equal access, regardless of their ability to pay.
Trenton Circus Squad empowers youth in the region by teaching various challenging circus skills such as the German Wheel, trapeze, juggling, and more, along with building their confidence, inspiring youth to push themselves to the next level, and to work together as part of a team by trusting one another.
The Squad is intentionally comprised of at least 50% Trenton residents and 50% non-Trenton residents. This is done in order to bring together youth from various backgrounds build trust in one another while leveraging their unique strengths. “What’s special is that you don’t see any divide based on socioeconomic status or race. They trust one another and see themselves as part of a family.” said their new Director of Operations Bradd Marquis Jackson.
The organization recently expanded efforts to empower local youth by hiring four program graduates (three from Trenton) to serve as Junior Coaches. These coaches continue working on their respective crafts and gain paid employment experience while giving back and teaching younger members the skills they have mastered. The experience is also helping many of these members save up for college, improve their career prospects, and build their confidence.
Jackson noted how remarkable it is to see a group of young Trentonians so faithfully dedicated to their work and crafts. “When youth get involved, they find more than just a program teaching them circus skills, they find a home,” said Jackson. “For them it’s a home where they can learn, grow, and work towards becoming successful young men and women.” Jackson also mentioned how the program focuses on more than just circus related skills as youth receive college prep, tutoring, and find connections to other organizations to learn other skills such as the culinary arts.
The Squad, which is dedicated to being anchored in and serving Trenton, hopes that all throughout the region will come to know Trenton for being the home of the Trenton Circus Squad and for their role in inspiring Trentonians to take big leaps in life. You can get better acquainted with the Trenton Circus Squad by checking out the video below, visiting them online at https://www.trentoncircussquad.org/, or at their upcoming Trenton showcase Get on Downon March 23rd.
To purchase to Get on Down on March 23rd in Trenton visit https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4091422.
The Trenton Circus Squad is headquartered at the Roebling Wire Works located at 635 South Clinton Avenue.