Michael Israel has raised over $250,000 and helped draw sponsors for the Peoria Promise, having worked with Mayor Jim Ardis since he founded the tuition reimbursement program working to help local students go to school and join the workforce.
The program was initially for students who had attended public schools in Peoria but has since expanded to private school graduates and now to students with GEDs and those homeschooled.
The galas serve to raise funds and celebrate those who made the program possible.
“The promise pillars this evening will be announced. They are the top 5 companies that have supported Peoria Promise from day one: Caterpillar, Advanced Medical Transport, RLI, OSF Health Care, and Unity Point,” Peoria Promise Executive Director MJ Schettler said.
The program has raised over $4.4 million and helped over 2,600 students get an associate’s degree or certification. Schettler said 87% of their alumni are working in Peoria.