Our Newest Crop Of PALs

High school Peer Assistance and Leadership students are about to begin their mentoring journey with our little seedlings and I am jazzed about the hand-picked PALs in this year's crop! It’s such a thrill to work with teenagers who are willing to step up and be a mentor, confident that they’ve got something good to give, and to commit to being a positive influence and a 'bud' in the life of a younger twig.
     Our PALs apple-themed bulletin board will display their pictures to visually affirm them for the critical role that they play in the Westwood family: PALs . . . go out on a limb for us, help us branch out, are 'tree'mendous, model core values, are the apple of our eye, help us bear good fruit, root for us! All of that, and SO much more.   
     The coolest thing happened when my group of 34 PALs came for their tour of Westwood last week. Since our student teacher was headed our way, I stopped to introduce her and to announce that she had returned to Friendswood and was now doing her student teaching right here where she’d served as a PAL not too many years ago. That’s when I heard a little gasp, then a squeal. Then it happened; one of this year’s high school seniors – now a PAL herself - ran to hug that student teacher as she proudly proclaimed: Hey, she was MY PAL! Talk about your defining moment; the circle of life unfolded before our eyes.  
     I cannot wait to see what sprouts as these firmly-planted young mentors help shape the hearts and minds of our future orchard.

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