PAL Youth Take Over Philadelphia City Hall for the Day
In collaboration with the city administration, 26 PAL adolescents spent the day shadowing city officials, giving them the opportunity to learn more about city government. All PAL participants were nominated by their respective PAL officer for excellence and dedication to PAL programs. This rewarding tradition has taken place for more than 40 years.
They day started off with a swearing-in ceremony with inspiring congratulations from District Attorney R. Seth Williams – a former PAL youngster, Mayor Nutter, President of Lockheed Martin Gerard Fasano, PAL Commanding Officer Lt. Bryan Anthony, PAL Chairwoman Sylvia Nisenbaum and Honorary Mayor Erin Dwyer from Tacony PAL. They all urged the crowd to make the most out of the day and to ask questions. City officials were equally 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 Dwyer is a 17-year-old senior at Nazareth Academy High School. Erin has been an active member of Tacony PAL for thirteen years, participating in baseball, basketball, flag football, Homework Club, the Tacony PAL Summer Camp, PAL Challenge and 24 Math Competitions. Erin believes that state and local governments play a critical role in the stability of the United States of America. She references crime as the most significant issue facing the city of Philadelphia and is optimistic that 2012 can bring about positive change. “Our City is too important to America’s history, the economy and to the nation as a whole,” she says. “The necessary changes will be difficult, but I believe that in the year 2012, crime can and will be reduced in Philadelphia.” Many of the other PAL participants also believed this to be true. Youth violence in Philadelphia was no doubt, a topic of many conversations throughout the day.
This year’s PAL Day at City Hall is certainly a day participants never forget. PAL thanks Lockheed Martin Corporation, PAL Day at City Hall founder, Sally Berlin, participating City officials and Charming Shoppes, Inc. and Tates Menswear for providing professional attire for all PAL participants.