THROWBACK THURSDAY: PAL program starts strong

Late ’90s saw the birth of a prominent Mac staple


Dave Winter

Current PALS Anderson Zoll, Bella Gonzalez, Leah Gordon and Kate Boyle serve snow cones at the Pink Week courtyard fundraiser. Pink Week is without a doubt an iconic school tradition, an event that has always been spearheaded by the PALs.

Julio Carreon-Reyes, staff writer

Mac students have recognized the need for their peers to have someone to relate to. They have answered their call, and their answer is PAL: Peer Assistant Leadership.

I really enjoy PAL because we get a chance to know the kids and be a good role model for them.

— senior Mark Raup

The select group has made it its mission to be a friend to those in need.

“I really enjoy PAL because we get a chance to know the kids and be a good role model for them,” said senior Mark Raup.

In order to become a nominee for the program, a student must be first nominated by either a teacher or a student. Next an application is necessary, after which there is the final interview.

Throughout the year, the PALs are required to complete 36 hours of community service. The first six weeks are dedicated to the training of the PALs and preparation for the months ahead.

After this preliminary education, the PALs are assigned three students who teachers think could benefit from having someone to talk to.

This year, Brentwood Elementary fourth and fifth graders, along with Lamar Middle School eighth graders will benefit from the PAL assistance.

The program adheres to a strict code of confidentiality. This bond is only broken in the event of information being learned that the PALee is being hurt by someone, about to hurt someone, or knows of someone currently being hurt.

The PALs are making a difference, even though, their job is to “primarily listen.” The PALs’ basic job is providing friendship to those who “need someone to listen to them,” said senior Fae Henderson.

This story was originally published in The Shield on Oct. 18, 1996.