During the summer, the Police Athletic League placed more than 1,500 New York City teens in much-needed jobs through PAL’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). The program is made possible through funding from the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development.
In Jamaica, Queens, teenagers were mentored by Detective Tanya Duhaney, a 17-year NYPD veteran, at the 113th Precinct. Det. Duhaney grew up in Jamaica in the same precinct she now serves. She is also a former PAL kid.
“I think it’s important that we work with PAL,” says Det. Duhaney, who has mentored PAL summer teens for the past 10 years. “We not only have fun with the young people, but we inspire them to do something meaningful in New York City.”
Under Det. Duhaney’s guidance, PAL teens had a meaningful summer job experience. The young New Yorkers interacted with people from all walks of life, including former First Lady of New York State Matilda Cuomo. They also 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, ‘we never see you guys go through all this.’”
“PAL alum and Detective Tanya Duhaney is an exemplary role model for PAL youth,” says Frederick Watts, PAL Executive Director. “NYPD officers participate year round in a wide range of our programs and activities. We are truly grateful to all the NYPD officers, like Detective Duhaney, who give so generously of their time and talent to serve as an inspiration to PAL children.”
New York City’s Police Athletic League is the first and finest civilian-run PAL in the country. Founded in 1914, PAL has served the city’s young people for over 100 years. PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to 35,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization. For more information, please visit www.palnyc.org.
Andrea Kotuk / Andrea & Associates / (212) 353-9585
Frederick Watts / Police Athletic League / (212) 477-9450