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About Elite

Our Mission

Making a Profound Impact in the Community

Elite Community Outreach is a 501c3 based in Peoria, IL making a difference in schools, in jails, and on the streets by creating economic opportunity, offering second chances and real solutions. Through Elite, we teach that life is about choices and possibilities. It’s about teaching that today does not dictate your tomorrow. We also believe that a consequence early is better than a consequence late. Our programs keep troubled youth in school and off the streets and provide soft-skills job training to ex-felons re-entering the working world. 

Real Change In Real Time

Since it began in 2006, Elite has changed the lives of thousands
by providing a way out of poverty and instilling hope for the future.


Reduction in Disciplinary Referrals


Elite-Certified Graduates


Increase in GPA Scores


Students with Improved Attendance


Elite Re-Entry Program Graduates


Recidivism Rate


Elite Youth Outreach was founded by Carl Cannon


The High School Outreach program began in partnership with Peoria area schools


An “every-day-in-school” program was introduced to K-8 students


The 18 week Elite Re-Entry program began at the Peoria County Jail


The state, board-certified Elite Game Changers Safe School was founded


Elite Community Outreach becomes an independent, public non-profit and moves to The Dream Center in downtown Peoria.

Our History

The Story of Elite

Elite was founded in 2005 by Carl Cannon in Peoria, IL in response to a crime surge, which primarily involved middle and high school age youth. As a retired drill instructor, military police investigator, and federal correctional officer, Carl began engaging with youth in the community and developing programs to keep them out of the system he was so familiar with. 

Elite approached Peoria area high schools with the idea of a new program in 2006 which focused on preparing students for the job market and building their self worth. Since it started, the Elite High School Outreach program has had over 1,600 graduates. 

Realizing that High School may be too late to make an impact on students and address their potential problems and individual needs. Elite created an “every-day-in-school” program designed to teach students K–8 about the power of respect and the value of an education.

In 2009, there was significant demand for a re-entry program. Men and women who have been previously incarcerated needed a path to successfully re-enter society so the Elite Re-Entry, an 18-week “second chance” program, was born. 

In 2019, the Elite Game Changer Safe School, a state, board-certified alternative school, was founded to help students who have been either suspended or expelled redirect their behavior so they can return to their assigned school and coexist successfully.

In 2021, we became an independent public non-for-profit and moved from the Peoria Park District offices to our own space at The Dream Center in downtown Peoria. But our work is not done. We will continue to serve the local community and are working to expand and make a profound impact on other communities in need.

Our story isn't over yet.

Help us make the next chapter of Elite the most impactful one yet.