What is PALs?
The PALs (Peer Assistant Leaders) program is designed to provide students with a non-threatening, confidential, peer support system. This system will function to provide academic, social and emotional support and give students the opportunity to talk with someone their own age, someone that they may better relate to.
Who are the PALs?
We are Canyon Crest Academy students with varied interests and personalities who have one thing in common: we genuinely love to connect with people! We were carefully selected for this role through an application and interview process. At the beginning of the semester, we receive over 2 weeks of intense training and ongoing training throughout the year. We are fellow students who understand that feeling connected to our school and each other is crucial to our well-being.
What can I expect when I meet with a PAL?
You can expect to meet someone who will accept you and listen to you non-judgmentally, and who will keep what you share with us private. You can expect to be provided resources both on and off campus when relevant, but you will not hear us tell you what to do about your situation. You can expect us to care, to ask questions, to respect boundaries and, for the most part, let YOU guide our interaction. We believe that you are the only expert on your wants, needs, and feelings, and so we listen in a way that allows you to work through things for yourself.
What can I talk about?
Anything!!! During our training, we learn about anxiety, stress, first year adjustment, relationships, and other experiences CCA students could be dealing with at any given time. Any reason is a great reason to talk to a PAL!
How can I identify a PAL?
A list of PALS is located under the "Meet the PALs" section our webpage. Click the "Contact a PAL" button on the homepage to get in touch!
CCA is pretty small. Isn't it going to be awkward?
**So you don't talk to other students about what I tell you, but what about staff? Do you keep everything private?**
A PAL is required to break confidentiality for 4 reasons:
- A student is harming him or herself
- A student is harming others
- A student is being harmed by someone else
- A felony may have been committed or illegal substance abuse is occurring.
We may talk with a counselor or an administrator about what you have shared with us if we feel that there exists a threat to your own or someone's safety. Depending on the type and urgency of the situation, we will reach out to a counselor who we believe, based on our training, can best help. This has been a very uncommon circumstance, but if it does arise, we will both inform you beforehand and will provide you options as to when, how, and with whom we move forward.
How can I talk to a PAL?
How can I become a PAL?
The application process for new PALs begins during spring semester as you begin your class selection for the following school year. Students fill out an application and get a letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor. Applications will be pre-screened and then interviews will be held in May. The students selected at that time will be notified of their acceptance and will need to confirm with their counselor to add this class to their schedule for period 2 BOTH Fall and Spring of the following academic year. Students who become PALs can not only benefit from acquiring listening skills and techniques, but they also get the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations, which contributes to their own personal growth and development. If you would like more information about the program, application process, or training, contact John Unwin, PALs Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.