The 50th Annual PAL (Police Athletic League) Day at City Hall was exceptionally inspiring. Forty high-school aged PAL students joined forty elected and appointed City officials at City Hall for a day of mentoring and learning about the inner working of City government. PAL students joined Mayor Jim Kenney, City Representative Sheila Hess, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, PAL representatives, City officials and Honorable Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper.

During the kickoff program, PAL student and Mayor for the Day, Andrew Walker, welcomed the crowded room with a moving speech. Walker stated “Being in PAL has truly helped me to become the young man I am today. It has taught me to be accountable, has given me the opportunity to practice teamwork through various sports and develop strategic thinking skills though programs like chess and the 24 Math Challenge. I am incredibly proud to represent the Wynnefield PAL as well as the amazing Officer Jackie Little. She’s been a constant and consistent force in my life; always encouraging and giving me her ear. Office Little is one of Philly’s finest – my mentor and I am proud to say – my family.”

PAL students then spent the remainder of the day following their City official mentors, networking with other City employees, attending meetings and working on projects.

PAL’s mission is to be the premier youth-serving organization in the city, by reducing crime, promoting character development and improving educational outcomes. PAL accomplishes this by having Philadelphia Police Officers, supported by civilians, offer sports and other programs to youth in the twenty PAL centers, most of them are in the city’s highest crime and lowest income neighborhoods.

Photos from PAL Day at City Hall can be found here. Also check out two former PAL Day at City Hall students speak about the impact PAL Day at City Hall had on their careers here.