Youth Outreach

High School Elite

high_school_eliteThe original ELITE Program was born in 2006 as an 11-week business boot camp for high school sophomores and juniors in Peoria, Illinois. The weekly one-hour in-school class is taught by teams of trained community leaders and business professionals who have the moral authority to tell kids what does and does not work when you’re looking to land (and keep) a job.

As the volunteer teams prep these young men and women for their first part-time job, they pull no punches. They are quick to deliver the cold, hard truth that “sagging pants and flagging spirits” will not cut it in this classroom or in the business world.

The carrot? If you make the grade, finish the course and become “ELITE Certified,” you get the chance to apply for a meaningful part-time job during the ELITE Job Fair.

In its first five years, the ELITE Youth Program provided more than 500 youth with jobs that give them spending money, keep them occupied and off the street, and help them build self-confidence and a resume for their next job.

The Peoria Park District's ELITE Youth Outreach program takes at risk youth through a powerful and wonderfully life-transforming program.