Peoria Public Schools and the Elite Youth Program have joined forces to empower local teenagers for a prosperous future. At the core of this partnership is the W.I.N.N.I.N.G. program, an acronym denoting “What I Need Now In Ninth Grade,” which is designed to equip District 150 students who may face disadvantages with the skills and confidence they need to excel in high school.
Carl Cannon, founder of the Elite Youth Program, emphasized that some young people may find themselves at a disadvantage due to various factors, including the impact of the pandemic and academic challenges.
Participants in the program have the opportunity to receive uplifting insights from distinguished individuals known as “game changers.” Among these influential figures is U.S. District Judge James Shadid, who shares his personal experiences and expressed his hopes for the program’s participants.
Judge Shadid emphasizes the importance of empowering these students to make their own choices and avoid the need for others to make decisions on their behalf. He encourages them to resist peer pressure and negative influences, envisioning a brighter future if they stay true to themselves.
Carl Cannon underscores the program’s objective of providing students with the essential tools to pave their path to a successful future, emphasizing that the first step toward success is often the most challenging but that they would receive the necessary support to get started and build a positive, lasting trajectory.
Cannon also highlightes the vital role of community collaboration which is essential to address issues like violence in the city and create a more promising future for our youth.