Squad members on German wheel

Our mission

Trenton Circus Squad is a non-profit organization that inspires young people to take big leaps in life. Through our free circus programs, squad members learn how to cooperate, push themselves and serve their community – all through the astonishing practice of circus arts.

Squad members learn physical techniques, life skills and build trust with teens from other neighborhoods. They lead community engagement through workshops and performances with younger children and families. It’s an often breathtaking experience filled with exercise, learning and joyful laughter for kids of all ages.

Learn about us on NJ PBS!

What we offer is about connecting with other humans positively.

It’s about questioning your own assumptions, your own limitations. It’s about the pleasure of physical activity and an absence of judgment. It’s about the fun of experimenting and cooperating with peers. And it’s about showing off. “Look at me, I’m fabulous. Look at me for what I did. See me for something good.”


Circus arts are a proven, effective way to foster self-reliance and confidence in young people. It requires focus, teamwork, and a lot of discipline. They spur personal expression and deep connections, too.

An independent study commissioned by the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) shows high impact of our program.

The evaluation sought to answer three questions:

  • Do circus arts program offerings achieve high fidelity implementation of challenging curriculum and responsive instruction for diverse youth?

  • Do youth social and ¬†emotional learning (SEL) behavioral skills grow during circus arts program offerings?

  • Do the levels of curriculum challenge, responsive instruction, and skill growth compare to benchmarks for exemplary SEL programs?

Girl on aerial hoop

I found friends who eventually became family. I tried things I never thought I would try. I learned that in the circus world, you can do anything!


Squad Member, Age 12