PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria High students are looking to showcase the positivity of their school.
On Wednesday, Sept. 14, students in the Interact/ Key Club will host a Community Take Back Night at the Peoria High School practice football field.
The event comes almost one year after a massive brawl at the high school which resulted in multiple arrests. Students said negative events like that do not reflect the entire school and they don’t want to be reduced to just a negative headline.
“Because of the fights and riots that happened on September 17th of last year, we’re going to raise awareness to our school and bring light and bring positivity while raising money to a charity that also helps us,” Adriana Mendoza, president of Peoria High’s Interact club, said.
She said the positivity they’re looking to showcase is rarely highlighted, which is disappointing for those who walk the halls every day.
“Fights do happen and bad things do happen, but it’s not how Central is as a whole,” Madeline Ingersoll, Secretary of the high school’s Rotary/Interact club, said. “There’s so much love in this school and positivity throughout the kids and the teachers everything. It’s like a safe space, I feel safe here.”
“We are a family, we are a community,” Mendoza said. “We do want to give back and we want to help others.”
“We don’t want to be seen as a little group of people who don’t know how to act. We are a a whole a peaceful place to be and we want to be able to help others and we want to be able to be helped when we are down as well,” Mendoza said.
This leads to the Community Take Back event that students said they’ve been planning since April.
“You can see us coming together, bringing the community together,” Akeisjah Parker, lieutenant of the high school’s Rotary club, said. “That’s something we all look forward to.”
The event focuses on student vendors and will feature bounce houses, face paint, food trucks, local vendors, games, dunk tank, and more.
“Our students have this tight-knit community and they have each other’s backs and they’re loving and caring and they are inviting the community to come in and see it,” Dana Sanders, a Peoria High teacher, said.
Money raised from the event will go to the city’s George Washington Carver Community Center. Students said the center has always supported not only Peoria High, but the community in general.
“They’ve never acted a certain way, acted rude because you know we’re that school,” Jerqhari Turner, vice president of the high school’s Rotary club, said. “They’ve never treated us any kind of way because of what the news shows. they’ve always supported us no matter what and I that’s why I think Carver was a good idea.”
The event goes on from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Peoria High’s practice football field.
Student coordinators said they’re hoping to make this an annual event that supports different charities.
Vendors can reserve a spot for $20 by emailing email@example.com.