PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — PeoriaCorps held their graduation ceremony today for four young Peorians making an impact in the local community. The graduates are OSHA certified and will look to develop themselves further.

The program provides career development opportunities for those 18 years and older.

Members gain skills through green infrastructure projects, such as planting and harvesting trees and plants. They also helped clean the city of Peoria by picking up garbage.

Graduate Benjamin Reyes said that the program opened his eyes as to how the city needed their help.

“I think seeing how much trash there is in the city, because I would not even notice how much there would be, but me actually picking it up off the street makes me realize how bad we are with our environment,” Reyes said.

The program provides classes in addition to its real-world applications. Program Director Amelia Ohlrogge said that the program benefits those that go through it.

“This is a unique experience, it offers such a dynamic number of benefits, they’re earning certifications, they’re gaining experience in actual landscape management, they are experiencing all sorts of career exploration,” Ohlrogge said.

This is the 7th class the program has graduated. The new class will begin on March 27.