PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — SkillsUSA students hosted a local business market at the Carver Community Center Saturday, April 16, to raise money to help teen parents get high school diplomas.

The program’s high schoolers put on the market as part of their community service project. SkillsUSA encourages kids to learn skills to take into the workplace, build their resumes, and connect with their community.

More than a dozen vendors paid about $25 to take part. The money raised will go towards the Carver Community Center’s Graduating and Parenting (GAP) Program, which has a goal to make receiving a high school diploma easier for teen parents by providing free child care and transportation.

The program is an initiative Imani Burke, SkillsUSA community service committee leader, said she’s passionate about.

“It’s something we could relate to,” Burke said. “We’re all teenagers, and we know how important it is to graduate high school, and with that, we know childcare is really high, and not a lot of teenagers have the money to support that or some of them just don’t have the money to do that in general. So for them to have a program to help those teenagers out was an amazing thing for us.”

The community service project will be presented at the SkillsUSA statewide competition by 15 students. The competition will be held on April 28, 29, and 30 in Peoria.

Learn more about SkillsUSA here.