Today's elite job fair is our top story at noon, where students begin their journey to become tomorrows leaders.
The Elite Youth Outreach Program is helping more than 130 students in Central Illinois take a big step toward earning a little summer pay.
Carl Cannon - "You could call it the first day of the rest of their adult lives."
Elite hosted a job fair at the Peoria Riverplex, more than 20 employers interviewed possible candidate for job vacancies. Cannon says this is a big step as far as maturity for these teens..
"For some it's real late, so getting them started this early, looking for jobs, getting a job, it serves them, but it also serves our community."
For Dunlap sophomore Sam Nellinger, this job fair couldn't come soon enough.
Sam Nellinger/Dunlap Sophomore - "I thought I was just going to sit around at home, you know I didn't think I was going to get a job, I thought I was just going to sit around and watch TV."
The Elite program got him going in the right direction when things weren't going so well.
"They got me a tutor when my grades were struggling."
Those grades went from struggling to strong and now he's looking to cash in with a little summer work.
"It's actually pretty fun, you get to meet some new people, maybe get a job, you know maybe a summer job, make some cash."
Nellinger says he never thought about working a steady job before Elite. Now he has a new outlook on life and a goal in mind of continuing his education beyond his teenage years.
"Before that I didn't want to go to college, I just wanted to get my high school diploma and that's it. But now I realize a high school degree is actually important."
Sam thanks the program and the opportunities it has provided for igniting a new enthusiasm in him. He says jobs fairs like these help him to push toward elite status.
He already has one interview lined up, he says he hopes his new well-rounded personality and skills are put to the test.