Rain or shine this summer – we are keeping thousands of children throughout all five boroughs engaged in academics, arts and sports. Whether at our Carnival Day or our Cultural Day – PAL kids are always learning while having fun.
We also connected more than 1,500 teens to much-needed summer jobs. PAL’s Summer Youth Employment Program is possible because of your support and critical funding from the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development.
A lucky few of these summer teens are being mentored by Detective Tanya Duhaney, a 17-year NYPD veteran, at the 113th precinct in Jamaica, Queens.
Det. Duhaney is a textbook example of why PAL’s mission has thrived for over 100 years. Det. Duhaney grew up in Jamaica – in the very precinct she now serves. She is also a former PAL kid, who spent her summers with us thanks to a NYPD youth officer. The officer gave her and other children a ride to the nearest PAL summer camp back when the PAL Edward R. Byrne Center did not exist.
“I think it’s important that we work with PAL,” says Det. Duhaney, who has mentored PAL summer teens for the past ten years. “We not only have fun with the young people, but we inspire them to do something meaningful in New York City.”
If you follow PAL on Twitter, you will see that under Det. Duhaney’s guidance, PAL teens are getting a meaningful summer job experience. They are learning to interact with people from all walks of life, including former First Lady of New York State Matilda Cuomo. Last week, our young people helped NYPD officers organize the National Night out against Crime event at Baisley Pond Park in Queens.
“PAL teens get to see firsthand what it’s like to be a police officer,” says Det. Duhaney. “When they first come in, several kids have negative perceptions of the police from the media or their friends. In a day or two at the precinct, the kids observe the police officers’ professional conduct, often in circumstances where members of the public are agitated. They say: Wow, we never see you guys go through all this.”
Throughout the year, NYPD officers coach and play with our young people, read with our kids and inspire teens to become the best they can be. PAL alum and Detective Tanya Duhaney is another exemplary role model for PAL youth. Thank you for making a difference.
This has been another great summer at PAL and we owe a special thanks to our public funders and, of course, each of you for your support.
Frederick J. Watts