PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Community members and leaders gathered at the Scottish Rite Theater in Peoria to celebrate graduation day for an elite group of future leaders.
ELITE Youth Outreach acknowledged forty graduates’, consisting of teenagers and adults, program completion.
In partnership with Peoria Park District, ELITE is an organization that provides educational programs and support to struggling youths and adults coming out of the prison system.
The non-profit’s Founder, Carl Cannon, said after canceling last year’s graduation and overcoming challenges brought on by the pandemic, he’s proud of students and staff.
“We did have to adjust to the reality of what was going on around us,” Cannon said. “Our kids, they’re up to it.”
He said the hard work and dedication put in by students, volunteers, and the community made this an especially rewarding celebration.
“Of a lifetime working with young people…I don’t think I’ve had a greater day in my life,” Cannon said. “This one’s special.”
To learn more about ELITE’s programs and opportunities, visit their website.