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More than 300 individuals and businesses have joined the Promise to support education and economic development in the City of Peoria by contributing to Peoria Promise. The organization started in 2008 with a mission to support economic development in the City of Peoria through the enhancement of workforce skills and academic opportunities for the graduates of Peoria public schools. The Peoria Promise Foundation is an organization dedicated to improving economic development through education by providing funds for scholarships for city resident graduates to attend Illinois Central College.

In just two short years, Peoria Promise has already supported more than 600 Peoria area students. As the 2010-2011 school year begins, more than 350 students will receive scholarship dollars to attend Illinois Central College. The goal of the program is to create a more skilled and better educated workforce for our city. By doing so, we will strengthen the economy; increase civic engagement; and reduce crime, poverty and lack of healthcare—in short, improve the human condition. The social and economic opportunities facing our country today can best be addressed by educating many more people, not only through high school, but also beyond.

With the first set of graduates finishing the program, Peoria Promise is starting to show its impact. Graduates of the program are already joining our local workforce and putting their newly acquired skills to the test in the Peoria area! These students are helping to strengthen our local workforce and are providing local employers with more skilled candidates.

Each semester, the number of applicants increases. While the popularity of the program is growing quickly, the funds are not. The Peoria Promise Board is hoping that will all change with some new fundraising events in the near future.

Join the Promise and show your school spirit by attending the Holiday Inn City Centre gala on October 23rd to benefit Peoria Promise, featuring entertainment by the world-famous, live entertainment artist/painter Michael Israel. Israel will incorporate music into his performance while he paints with seemingly random splashes of paint on a spinning canvas. He will create five paintings during the gala, all of which will be auctioned off to attendees. For more information on Michael Israel’s amazing performance art, visit michaelisrael.com. Tickets to the gala can be purchased by calling (309) 677-5886.

Helping students better themselves through education is made possible with the active engagement and support of many organizations and individuals. That is why Peoria Promise is reaching out for support from local businesses, individuals and others committed to making the Promise of higher education a reality for hundreds more Peorians. Visit our website at peoriapromise.org or send a check made payable to Peoria Promise to 331 Fulton St., Suite 310, Peoria, IL 61602.

Peoria Promise—developing our community through education. iBi

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