The powerful impact of bringing youth and law enforcement together in a community is something I have had the honor of witnessing over the last 5 years working at STAR/PAL (Sports Training, Academics, and Recreation/Police Athletic League).
Poverty, gang violence, human trafficking, and drugs are not just international issues - they are domestic ones - and they are here in San Diego, and they are affecting our youth.
Too often and for a variety of reasons, children in our community lack supportive role models in the home, and when challenged by these negative issues, they are at high risk of falling victim to them. At STAR/PAL, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, we provide inner city and at risk youth with programs that offer law enforcement officers as mentors. Full-time officers from the San Diego Police, County Probation, and County Sheriff's Departments are assigned to STAR/PAL to run educational, athletic, and recreational programs, free of charge, to youth throughout San Diego.
Through over 20 different STAR/PAL programs, our officers impact more than 4,500 youth each year. Your support in joining this team, or making a donation of any amount, will provide opportunities for children who lack the resources or support to explore outside of their neighboorhoods and the tools to build a positive plan for the future. Kids in our programs attend leadership conferences, participate in the Youth Traffic Safety Summit in Anaheim, go kayaking, learn how to stand up paddle, explore local museums, learn about the importance of nutrition and healthy lifestyles, attend Padres games at Petco Park, experience the arts (performances at the Old Globe and theatre arts at La Jolla Playhouse), receive public speaking training from Toastmasters International, are assisted in navigating the college application process, and learn about laws as they pertain to juveniles, among many other things - all free of charge and alongside their law enforcement mentors.
By breaking the barrier between community and law enforcement starting with the youth, we are opening the doors for a crime free, empowered San Diego. Please join us in bringing youth and law enforcement together today, to build safer communities tomorrow - thank you for supporting the STAR/PAL All-Stars!