The Police Athletic League held a virtual graduation ceremony on June 1 to celebrate PAL’s College Access Program. Graduates head to college in the fall and PAL Rising Stars move up to their senior year of high school.
PAL College Access Program Graduates from the Bronx included students from the PAL Webster-Giannone Center: Destiny Cannon, 17, Jonathon Jenkins, 17, Matilda Owusu, 17, Kayla Rhys, 17, Kamariya Safiou, Cheyenne Scutt and Abdullah Soulemana. Anthony Foster, 16 from the PAL Webster-Giannone Center, was a Rising Star.
The College Access Program is offered to high school juniors and seniors attending PAL Teen Centers to help young people overcome barriers to college. Students attend youth development workshops while gaining valuable career preparation. The program aims to not only encourage students to enroll in higher education, but to prepare them for success in school and in their careers. The program focuses on academic support, college awareness, job skills development, targeted internships and life skills workshops.
The virtual ceremony began with a welcome by Shakeia McPherson, PAL College Access Program director, followed by greetings and congratulations by Theodore Allen, PAL director of teen programming, who introduced the Keynote Speaker Hon. Llinét M. Rosado, Justice of New York State Supreme Court.
“The Honorable Judge Rosado, elected by the people of the Bronx, has been a strategic partner with PAL for over two years,” Allen said. “She has empowered youth and dedicates her free time to help PAL with securing internships and enlisting fellow judges to speak with our students about their educational and career paths. Judge Rosado is dedicated to creating change for youth, and she is truly an inspiration to our young people.”
The ceremony closed with words of wisdom by PAL College Access Program Alum Isabella Lebarr, messages from the young people in the program, a video and certificate presentation and special wishes from PAL College Access Program advocates, Sade Whyte and Shaquaya Weaver.