P.A.L.S Peer Assistance and Leadership

Peer Assistance and Leadership (PALS) is an important group in working with younger students. The High School PALS students of this school year are working with students in elementary and middle schools, providing a positive influence and attitude.

“[The PALS group] help their students out with character building and self esteem,” Ms.Cason, the adviser of PALS, said. “There could be a problem with bullying, and it could be that they need a positive influence from someone like a big brother or big sister.”

Throughout each circumstance, the PALS must remain positive to set a good example for their younger charges. They have to stay positive in terms of attitude and must keep high grades as well as good character in class at the high school.

“I want to make sure [the members’] grades are up since it’s going to be very hard helping others with their stuff if they don’t have their [own] stuff together,” Cason said.

The young students as well as the PALS must go through a long process before made into a pair. They are first put into some “trials”, like observing their character development and maintaining good grades. Meanwhile the children’s counselors, teachers, or even parents complete surveys in order to have their kids in the PALS program.

“We spend the first six weeks of school training [before assigning PALS],” Cason said. “I may pair them up with a complete opposite to balance each other out, or I may pair them with someone who’s just like them, which kind of helps [the young students] see and be more like themselves.”

PALS are set up I both elementary and middle schools. PALS and Ms.Cason work together in providing assistance to students in all elementary schools as well as West Middle School while the members enjoy the time spent there.

“I really enjoy being a part of PALS,” Jonathan Villalobos, senior, said. “I do it because I get to make an impact on another’s life.”