PALs Program Set To Continue In The Future

Victoria Ward, Staff Writer

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Peer Assistance and Leadership, or PALs, a nationally recognized program that started in Texas, was implemented in Quincy at the start of this school year. It was put in place to have students who could better help other students.

One of the two sponsors of PALs, Lori Cox, said that they plan on keeping the program running in the future but with a few changes.

“We just wanted a sustainable program that would allow for students to get support,” Cox said.

They wanted to have an even mix of different students involved with PALs for a more diverse group Cox said. Next year’s seniors in the program are expected to help with training students who will be new to the program.

One of the changes that is being implemented next year according to Cox is scheduling for PALs so that times for the PALs program can be more easily included in each student’s class schedule.

Junior Avery Wilson, one of the students involved in PALs, said, “[This year] many kids come to [PALs] with small or large problems but the results are very noticeable in social lives and interactions with peers.”

PALs is a nationally recognized program that was developed in the 1970s and first started in 1980.

Senior Samantha Reed said that she hopes to be involved with the PALs program more in the future or programs like it so that all people can get the help and support that they need.

Cox said that one of the reasons why the PALs program was implemented was tragic deaths of students in the past. She hopes for more students to be open to receiving help for their mental health; she wants students to feel like it is okay to ask for help.

“When we began talking about wellness at our school in response to our students’ needs, what it was telling me was that due to the losses that we had [we needed to look at it] as a big picture. We just kept more conversations going about [students and their physical and mental health]. I think that┬áPALs got started around the conversations that we were having based around wellness,” Cox said.

The PALs program has been effective in reaching and helping students because the day that it was implemented students began to reach out and take part in the program Reed said.

“This year was our kind of trial year to see how [PALs] would go and since we are continuing it I think it will continue to become more successful,” Reed said.

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PALs Program Set To Continue In The Future