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Philadelphia PAL Logo

Contact: Chris Lyons
Public Relations & Grants
(215) 291-9000 x124

he Police Athletic League has and contnues to make a positive impact on the youth of Philadelphia. The PAL experience transforms children and prepares them for a productive and fulfilling life. The following testimonials are just a sampling of those we receive from PAL participants and alumni.

Pedro Garcia
Rivera PAL
Age 15

"Hello. My name is Pedro Garcia and the PAL center I go to is Rivera PAL on 5th and Allegheny Avenue. The officer is Frank Rivera. I was with Frank since I was eight years old. If it wasn't for Frank convincing me to join PAL, I don't know where I would be. There were some days that I was bored and Frank invited me to go on trips with him. If it wasn't for Frank, I would've been committing felonies and been on the street. But Frank changed my life completely. He taught me how to play sports better and now I play sports with people older than me. I knew a lot of people that, instead of joining PAL, started to smoke and mess up their lives. I didn't follow that road; I followed Frank into PAL. PAL has given me a lot of opportunities that I probably would never have done in life, such as going to Phillies, arena football and college football games. Frank also convinced me to play golf, soccer, flag football, ping-pong, chess and other PAL activities. These are my reasons Officer Frank Rivera and PAL changed my life."

Ahmeeya Goldman
Haddington PAL
Grade 5

"The PAL helps me with my homework. The PAL also teaches me how to play sports for example basketball and flag football. The PAL has taken me on trips like the haunted house.

PAL also has book challenges. It was fun to read those books. The PAL helps by keeping me out of trouble. The PAL even helps by keeping my body in shape. The best thing about the PAL is the help I receive with my spelling and the good help with my reading. Math is my favorite subject, but I'm not too good at it, but guess who's there to help. The PAL."

Sean Kelly
Rizzo PAL
Age 13

"My name is Sean Kelly and I have been a member of Rizzo PAL in Port Richmond since I was six years old. PAL has been such a big part of my life; I don't know what it would be like not being involved at PAL. I have participated in many activities over the years. I have been in the Homework Club, basketball, soccer, wrestling, Math 24, Golf, PAL Challenge, Chess and the Paper Airplane Contest. I've also been to Washington, D.C., the Constitution Center, the Zoo and the Penn Relays. I went to Sixers, Flyers, Phillies, Phantoms, Temple and Soul games. I've done so many things and met so many people through PAL. I don't think that I would have had so many opportunities if it wasn't for Officer Ernie Rehr and PAL. I've learned a lot from the PAL Challenge and Math 24 that I could use in school so much that I have been an honor student for eight years. I've also learned about sportsmanship from basketball and soccer. But the best thing of all is the friendships I've developed."

Dwayne Benard Sheaff
Haddington PAL
Age 17

My name is Dwayne Benard Sheaff, of West Philadelphia. I am 17-years old and I am a member of Haddington PAL. I have been attending the PAL for seven years now. Before I started going to PAL I was the "worst" kid you would have met; anything to get into trouble for, I would do. I guess it's because I never really had parents; all I had was my Pop-Pop, two older sisters, and a little brother. My Pop-Pop did the best he could do for us and he would always tell me, "Don't take anything for granted." I never fully understood what that meant until he passed away. That was the hardest day of my life so far, but it woke me up. That's when I finally understood what that meant.

When my little brother and I got separated from my sisters, we then went to live with our grandmother. That's when my friend Jason told me about PAL. At first I didn't want to go but he talked me into it. The first day I went, kept me coming back there because it was fun. Right then, I was reminded of my grandfather's words and grateful that I was part of such a wonderful PAL. Over the seven years I have been going to PAL I have played basketball, flag football, baseball, and ping pong. I have also coached games, help keep score during games and snack coordinator. I did PAL Day at City Hall where I was Fire Commissioner for the day and participated in numerous trips. Sometimes I sit back and wonder; "What if I didn't go to the PAL that day? Where would I be today? I am thankful for what the PAL has done for me. I never have and never will take that for granted."

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Information listed here is believed to be current at the time of publication. However, some of the material presented here may have expired since it was posted. Persons should contact a PAL representative whenever relying on dated material or information that is subject to change.
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