Peoria summer job program giving teens professional experience early on

Peoria Mayor Rita Ali's new summer program for area teens looks to give future careers a boost.
Peoria Mayor Rita Ali's new summer program for area teens looks to give future careers a boost.(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 7:22 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25 News) - For the first time, the City of Peoria is offering summer job opportunities for teens as young as eighth grade to get their careers started early.

The ‘Mayor’s Summer Youth Internship Program’ lets any 14 and 15 year-old Peoria Public Schools students get work for $10 an hour, 20 hours a week from June 6 to July 15. It’s thanks to a $250,000 grant from Sen. Dave Koehler. The six-week program matches participants to their areas of interest, in cooperation with a wide array of community groups. Those include District 150, city government, the public library, the Public Works Department, and community centers like the Tri-County Urban League, just to name a few.

“It’s a jump start for young people, to connect them with the workforce,” says Mayor Rita Ali.

The goal is to provide area youth with the chance to gain exposure of professional work environments early on, while providing activities that teenagers would find interesting.

“They may be pulled in another direction,” adds Mayor Ali, referring to how kids may spend their time over the summer. “We want to pull them in a positive direction, and keep them involved in a very productive way.”

While this is the first year of this particular offering, it’s separate from the eight-week Mayor’s Summer Youth Program for 16 through 18-year-olds.

An official application is available to fill out, along with a recommendation form completed by a school official (a teacher, counselor, or principal all count). If accepted, all applicants are expected to be on time and dress appropriately for the job they’re assigned. When taking on assignments, the ability to follow instructions, think and speak clearly, and keep up relationships with team members are all expected.

60 to 80 students will be accepted to the program. The deadline is this Friday, May 13 at 5:00 PM. You can find a copy of the application below. Copies are also available at middle school offices and at the Peoria Public Schools Administration building, located on 3202 N. Wisconsin Ave., Peoria. You can return applications to Marie Lowry, the Youth Program Internship Coordinator, at City Hall, 419 Fulton St.,, Peoria. You can also contact her via email at or by phone at (309) 494-8528.

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