Representatives from the Community Development Department, the City Manager, Councilman Sid Ruckriegel, Councilwoman Beth Jensen and Councilwoman Beth Akeson traveled to Bradley University on April 20th to hear student pitches addressing ways to improve Peoria.

The students are a part of Professor Laura Bruns’ COM 103 Oral Communication Process course, and developed their persuasive speeches around the prompt “What Can We Do to Improve Peoria for $1,000 or Less?”

The student speech expo took place in the Caterpillar Global Communications Center. City staff and Councilmembers visited with each presenter to judge feasibility and creativity of ideas. Pitches ranged from live tracking apps for City Link busses to community involvement and beautification initiatives. The Community Development staff along with City of Peoria elected officials chose two speeches as winners and eight as honorable mentions.

Student speeches by Haley Hardtke and Matthew Hoelscher were chosen to be implemented. Hardtke’s idea “Paint a Piece of Peoria” is an initiative to highlight local business owners, and Hoelscher’s idea “Beautifying Peoria for Youth Engagement” will focus on decorating trash cans to foster youth engagement and decrease littering. 

Implementation of winning ideas will take place over the summer of 2018. All student speeches were evident of hard work and good research. Thank you to Basic Course Director and Communication Lecturer Laura Bruns and her COM 103 courses for their partnership and interest in improving Peoria.