PALs: Peer Assistance Leadership


Katelyn Tschoerner

PALs at CPHS’s annual Trunk or Treat event. Junior Riley Short watches as students play “Spider Toss.” PALs had over two trucks at Trunk or Treat.

Anjali Sundaram, Reporter

In elementary and middle school, we would always see them in the halls. They took students out of class and played games with our friends. The high schoolers that took time out of their day to be a PAL, those were the cool kids. Now, five to eight years later we are the high schoolers and many students are opting to take time out their day to be a PAL.

What is PALs? PALs  is an organization that is devoted to helping younger students with their social ability and to have a friend to hang out with. To be PAL, one needs to simply chose the class, get teacher recommendations and then go through a series of interviews. Once inducted, students must let the “older PALS” dress up the new inductees.

“It was kind of embarrassing,” senior Cassidy Smith said. “But it was also really funny. The seniors from last year would just pile on makeup and dress us in the most ridiculous clothes.”

PALs  is only open to juniors and seniors; senior Hunter Valk joined junior year, because it was important for him to use this opportunity. 

“I just wanted to be able to mentor a younger kid and help them out and be a friend to them,” Valk said. “I think it’s important for [students] to have the option to have a  PAL so that they always have a friend and someone to look up to.”

Valk is not the only one to have this sentiment, junior Mackenzie Brents also shares the importance of being a good example.

“To me, being a PAL means being a mentor and role model for not only those we visit every week, but being able to represent our community and having a positive attitude in every situation,” Brents said.

CPHS PALs also has a class period where students spend their time either playing games or going to the elementary or middle schools.

“In class at CPHS we work on our leadership skills as well as fun games to get us warmed up,” Valk said. “I like playing a game called Zip Zap Zong because it gets competitive and it’s fun.”

The PALs program is different than many other programs at CPHS because the organization uses school hours for high school students to go and mentor younger students at the different schools. CPHS in particular uses their time to tutor students from Deer Creek, Cypress Creek, Naumann and CPMS. However, the program has spread across the district.

“I think that the PALs program is different than others because it is filled with loving students who have made a commitment to want to make younger kids, the community and even themselves, better,” Brents said. “I think that speaks volumes about the club. PALs has taught me to look for people who are struggling and be a light in their life, and not to stress and have a good attitude.”