Carl Cannon, founder of Peoria-based E.L.I.T.E. youth outreach program, showcased his organization’s work with at-risk youth during the Leadership in Education, Human Services and Counseling’s alumni celebration at Bradley March 8. This year’s event centered around emotional and mental health issues teens face.
Cannon emphasized love, hope, motivation and mutual respect during his keynote address. His E.L.I.T.E. program has been instituted in six high schools and two elementary schools in the Peoria area.
The alumni event also included breakout sessions such as “Working with LGBT Students,” “Compassionate Care: Teens and Self Injury” and “Facts About Youth: Onset of Bipolar Disorder.”
Later in the afternoon, department chair Dr. Christopher Rybak presented three Bradley alumni with awards for innovation, community service and scholarship.
Kathy Corso ’99 was honored for innovative professional practices for her work with the Cook Well, Eat Well, Live Well program. She is an integral part of the organic and market food movement in the Peoria area.
“Through my Bradley education I became self-aware and aware of others,” she said. “Innovation is exactly what I learned at Bradley University.”
The second honoree, for community service, was Lieutenant Colonel Edith O’Bryan ’00. Currently working for the 182nd Airlift Wing with the Peoria National Guard Airbase, O’Bryan is instrumental is shipping goods for humanitarian efforts globally. O’Bryan also volunteered in a foster home and a children’s hospital both in the Middle East.
The third alumna honored was Dr. Lucretia Dye for her scholarship, which combines counseling and yoga.
“Choose joy, look for the best in people, and if you are breathing, you are awesome,” Dye said.