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William (Kyle) Powers, Misa Nagase, Meghan Anderson, Kristin Drew, and Chuck Ebeling.

For his senior capstone project at Bradley University, Kyle Powers of Morehead and his classmates formed MK PR public relations agency with a goal to address the lack of youth participation in Peoria neighborhood associations.

This goal was decided upon after discovering that of the 119 active Peoria neighborhood associations, no members were under the age of 21 as of January 2019; the majority of members are over 30.

The students brought young voices into community conversations through the creation of Peoria's first and only youth neighborhood association, West Bluff HomeSpace. This new neighborhood association included four teenagers who served as the inaugural executive board. Five community leaders joined as mentors to the students.

Last month, West Bluff HomeSpace's first meeting took place in the Quest Charter Academy High School cafeteria. Members of all ages attended this event that included student discussion and remarks from The City of Peoria Community Development Department as well as Peoria Magazines.

For their efforts, the team won the Spring 2019 Ebeling PR-ize.

The Ebeling PR-ize was conceived by Bradley alumnus Chuck Ebeling and faculty member Dr. Ron Koperski in 2004 and is a competitive program among Bradley's senior public relations students in their capstone course.

Students form "agency" teams and are responsible for planning and implementing a real, coordinated public relations campaign on behalf of a local business and a compatible community service organization.

Campaign submissions and judging criteria are based on the nationally recognized Silver Anvil Award competition administered by the Public Relations Society of America.

Bradley University is a top-ranked, private university in Peoria, Illinois, offering 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students the resources of a larger university and the personal attention of a smaller university. More than 185 academic programs are offered in business, communications, education, engineering, fine arts, health sciences, liberal arts and sciences, and technology.