The ELITE program was developed by Carl Cannon. A native of Peoria, Mr. Cannon grew up in the inner city himself so he understands many of the challenges students face in today’s world. While serving in the military for more than 20 years, Mr. Cannon also learned that self-discipline and an attitude of mutual respect can take you a long way in this life.
A graduate of Peoria Central High School, Mr. Cannon enlisted in the Army where he distinguished himself in the ranks of the Military Police, receiving a Meritorious Service Medal. He also received a Meritorious Unit Award for his role in quelling a riot at the USDB in 1994. In 2010 Carl was designated as US Army Illinois Citizen of Interest (COI).
Throughout his career, Mr. Cannon always hoped to return to his Peoria roots. An open position at the nearby Pekin Federal Correctional Center allowed him to do just that. While at the prison, Cannon received the nationally-recognized Selective Placement Program Manager of the Year Award for the North Central Region and was known as one the Federal Bureau of Prison’s best and brightest.
“I had become an expert at keeping people behind bars,” says Cannon. “Then, one day, it hit me: what I really wanted to do was become an expert in working with youth to keep them from going behind bars in the first place!”
Carl Cannon’s dream, which became ELITE, is now a reality!