Peoria Pathways to Prosperity Initiative earns “College Changes Everything” Champion Award

Peoria Pathways to Prosperity recently was selected for Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s (ISAC) 2015 “College Changes Everything” Champion Award at the commission’s annual conference in Tinley Park, Ill. The designation recognizes “a person or organization making significant contributions to help the state improve college access and completion efforts for all Illinois students.”

Teresa Ramos, Judy Dietrich, Paula Davis, Eric Zarnikow, Jonathan Furr, and Same Nelson
Peoria Pathways to Prosperity receives the College Changes Everything™ Champion Award. Pictured left to right: Teresa Ramos, Outreach Director, Advance Illinois; Judy Dietrich, College and Career Readiness, Illinois Central College; Paula Davis, Community Advocate, Peoria Mayor’s Office; Eric Zarnikow, Executive Director, Illinois Student Assistance Commission; Jonathan Furr, Executive Director, Education Systems Center, Northern Illinois University; Sam Nelson, Director of Outreach Development, Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

The Pathways to Prosperity initiative is a collaboration between ICC, Peoria Public Schools, City of Peoria, Peoria Federation of Teachers, Peoria CEO Council, Greater Peoria Chamber of Commerce, ISAC, and Focus Forward Central Illinois which focuses on college access and completion for students in the 9th through 14th grades. Former Dean of AIT Michael Sloan and Coordinator for College and Career Readiness Judy Dietrich have served on the committee.

ISAC also recognized five communities, including Peoria, “Leadership Communities” for their efforts to provide real-world learning in and out of the classroom. Other communities included Aurora, East St. Louis, Northwest Chicago Suburbs and Lake County.