2010 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
As the executive director of Project Oz, a youth service agency representing central Illinois, Peter Rankaitis endeavors to keep troubled youth from being sent to out-of-state institutions.
Mr. Rankaitis started Project Oz in 1973 and has worked since then to develop McLean County’s first emergency placement network for youth, as well as street outreach to homeless youth, transitional housing programs, and a youth gang intervention program.
Currently, Mr. Rankaitis remains committed to helping youth work out their problems in the context of their everyday lives. He leads several youth service task forces and service networks and is active in policy development at the local and state levels.
Under his leadership, Project Oz has been recognized at the local, state, and national level. It recently received the Executive Leadership Award of Excellence from the National Network for Youth.