Circus Mojo offers a unique vocational training program that includes teen apprentices at Cincinnati Public Schools and Hillcrest Training School, a juvenile correctional facility. During each eight-week session, Paul Miller, circus educator and producer of Circus Mojo, hires eight high school juniors and seniors. “I believe in offering opportunities in hopes of capturing the attention of the people I work with by showing them that there’s so much to the world,” said Miller.
During the first hour of their day they learn teacher/classroom management and circus skills. Following this, they’re paid $10/hour to teach and serve 40+ first- through fifth- graders. Here, they offer four circus stations: juggling scarves, juggling balls, ball/globe walking, and plate spinning. Each station has a leader and each group for 10 kids has a group leader taking them around to each station for 10 minutes.
In addition, Cincinnati Job Corps – a federal job program – is partnering with Circus Mojo to offer vocational skills to some of its members.
At the end of each class, participants can demonstrate the skills they’ve learned; those who learn to juggle three objects and spin a plate get to take it home and keep it. The kids want to take these props home so badly that they listen to and learn from the teens, who are then empowered and can clearly see the impact they’ve made.
During several recent Circus Mojo school outings, 700+ children experienced this unique engagement and the trainees had the opportunity to be recognized for their accomplishments. Watch the videos below to see the Circus Mojo trainers and apprentices at work: