Since 1950, we have celebrated the month of May as PAL Month. It is a great time to appreciate our partnership with the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies. We are grateful to Chief of Community Affairs Bureau Nilda Hoffman and Assistant Chief Kim Royster for being inspiring role models for our young women and men at PAL.
You may recall that we interviewed Assistant Chief Royster – the highest-ranking African-American woman in the NYPD – for this year’s spring newsletter. Growing up, Royster was inspired by role models who looked like her in positions of authority. She is now committed to being a role model for today’s young women.
A few weeks ago, Royster spoke with PAL Girl Talk participants and offered to personally mentor them. Royster is also planning to speak at the annual PAL Girl Talk retreat in June. PAL Girl Talk gives middle-school girls a safe space to learn together from guest speakers, who share their life experiences about topics such as body image, self-esteem, relationships, and career opportunities.
In addition to our partnership with NYPD, I am proud of the annual Robert J. McGuire Scholarship Program, generously supported by former PAL kid Fred Wilpon. Earlier this week, we hosted a dinner to celebrate the accomplishments of high-school seniors who are college bound this fall.
This scholarship program attracts PAL teens from our programs throughout the city. The scholarships are a way to express our appreciation for the hard work and dedication that these teens show to achieve their goals despite personal hardships.
PAL Archivist and a member of the selection committee Elinor King says, “Our scholarship winners are not the average college applicants. They often have touching, sometimes anguishing life stories and yet they continue to strive!”
I am so proud to work with NYPD and supporters like you who are giving our young people a chance to dream big and fulfill their aspirations. It is a privilege to ensure that PAL is a place for our youth to learn, grow, and thrive. Thank you.
Frederick J. Watts
Executive Director, PAL
P.S. Tonight, more than 100 young professionals are getting together to support PAL. The PAL Contemporaries are the next generation of PAL supporters and champions and tonight’s gathering is just one of the many social and volunteer events that the group is sponsoring this year.