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.
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.