You’ve Got a PAL in Me
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Students build relationships, serve as role models for others
Everyone can use an extra friend who will brighten their day and help them whenever they are in need. This is the top priority of the Peer Assistance and Leadership program. PALs is a group of students who build impacting relationships with those in which they interact, especially younger students at feeder middle and elementary schools.
“Being a PAL means students are signing up to be a role model,” PALs advisor Keli McCabe said. “It means you’ve decided you are role model material, and you are committing to mentor young students one-on-one every week. You are also committing to be a role model to your peers at Rouse and be your best self.”
The most important part of PALs is facilitating relationships with PALees.
“I want to show my PALee that school really matters, and that being a good person is very important,” junior Rowan Sanford said. “No matter where a student comes from and what adversity they may have faced, anyone can make a difference in a small way.”
Along with other PALs across the district, last month Rouse PALs created a presentation for Superintendent, Dr. Dan Troxell. They explained the purpose of the program and how it impacts the kids they serve, as well as themselves.
“What was really cool about the presentation was that all five high schools were there and each one had a different way of presenting their material,” McCabe said. “We got to see what the other high schools were doing and get ideas, because every program is different and has its own personality.”
PALs also have a mantra of working hard, so they can play hard. When not planning for visits, members play fun, teambuilding games to get to know each other better.
“Playing group game helps them get comfortable with each other and gets them out of their comfort zone,” McCabe said. “While they’re learning games, they get good ideas of how to have fun with people. Like when they go on 8th grade tours, PALs have all these games in their minds to pull out and play. It comes in handy in life.”
PALs is an expanding family for the members, because each year they add new PALs and PALees to their group. While serving as role models, students learn to always be kind, considerate, do what is right and be a friend to all.
“PALs is pretty much life changing because each member is going through different things, and we all have different experiences with our PALees,” Sanford said. “Being able to relate to each other and bounce ideas off of each other helps us become closer as a family.”