Youth Take Over Philadelphia for 40th Annual “PAL Day”
In collaboration with the City Representatives Office, PAL was able to celebrate an annual tradition on February 12, 2013, Lockheed Martin PAL Day at City Hall. 25 PAL teens spent the day shadowing Philadelphia’s top city officials in their day-to-day professional activities. All PAL participants were nominated by their respective PAL center director for excellence and dedication in PAL programs.
They day started off with a swearing-in ceremony with inspiring congratulations from Mayor Nutter, Lockheed Martin President Gerard Fasano, PAL Commanding Officer Lt. William Eddis, PAL Board Education Chair Athole G. Jacobi, MD and Honorary Mayor Rasheeda Brumskill from Cozen PAL. They all urged the exemplary PAL representatives to make the most of the day and think about their own career paths and education. City officials were excited to be in the presence of Philadelphia’s future leaders. After a reception in the Mayor’s Conversation Room, the honorary City officials and their hosts were off to work for the remainder of the day.
Honorary Mayor Brumskill is a 17-year-old senior at the Philadelphia Military Academy. Rasheeda has been a productive member of Cozen PAL for more than a decade, participating in cheerleading, US Airways PAL Challenge trivia competitions, General Mills soccer, Lenfest chess, bowling and double dutch contests. She also helps tutor younger PAL members in Lane Bryant Homework Club. She believes the biggest problem facing Philadelphia is homicide, not only because so many lives are taken, but also because children and young adults live in fear. To help decrease the number of incidents, Rasheeda would start an organization that provides advocacy, education and legal support to families experiencing trauma after a homicide. Many of the other PAL participants also believed that youth violence needs attention, a concern that was continuously brought up throughout the day.
This year’s PAL Day at City Hall participants left with memories that will last a lifetime. PAL thanks Lockheed Martin Corporation, PAL Day at City Hall founder Sally Berlin, participating city official and the City Representatives Office for their tremendous coordination.
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