PALS opens application for new members for the 2022-2023 school year

Natalie Weber, Staff Reporter

As the second semester starts, programs such as PALS are starting their application process for the 2022-2023 school year. This process is open to all incoming juniors and seniors who are looking to serve their community and make a difference.

3 informative sessions were held last week, and now the PALS application process has started. PALS, or “Peer Assistance Leadership Service,” is an organization in schools across the world that aims to “enable young people to use their potential to make a difference in their lives, schools and communities.” 

“ As PALS, we have the opportunity to set a standard to change the world, to bring back manners, to be our own person and to make a difference,” PALS teacher Laura Freund said

The application process may seem daunting to some but having an intensive process is important in helping to keep the integrity of the program. The process includes a written application, teacher recommendations, a video interview and an in-person PALee lesson plan presentation to a panel of current PALS. 

“There’s so many people that apply, and they’re all going to tell us the exact same thing because they think that’s what we want to hear,” Freund said. “So we’ve got to have enough steps to try to really get to know that person for who they are. And I think it’s fair that way.” 

Many current PALS in the program are looking forward to seeing what new PALS will add to the program for next year. PALS social director and senior Nicole Hirscher shares her thoughts on what next year will hopefully bring for the program. 

“I hope in the next year that PALS will be able to build upon the community we have and continue to expand,” Hirscher said. “That they are able to reach new people or combine with other programs even to make a larger difference on those around them. I hope we can find individuals who will participate and put in the work so that they can make a difference in our community.” 

Being a PAL also means being a role model to the other students in the school and community. In addition, being a leader in the community also means following rules that are provided to us and to respect them.

“Following the 10 ethical principles of the district, following the Vandegrift code of conduct, being that example of doing the right thing when nobody else is type thing is what being a PAL is all about,” Freund said. “And we’re all gonna make mistakes; none of us are perfect. But owning it, that’s what is really important. I think a lot of times, people forget that making mistakes is okay, because you’re supposed to learn how to change it and pick yourself up.”