Peer Assistance Listeners Program
The PALs Program has been working since the beginning of SDA! Each year, twelve to thirteen juniors and seniors are selected to participate in the program. Each student applies, interviews and is then selected for one of the few available spots in the program. During training, the students learn how to be active listeners, good communicators and sensitive to the needs of the students they are working with. Each PAL is assigned a class period where they are responsible for seeing students in need. They work one on one with each student. These meetings are confidential unless they are of a serious nature, then a counselor is called in to assist. They also do several projects that must benefit the PALs Program or the school community. Each year they host a Yellow Ribbon Day for suicide prevention and awareness and Red Ribbon Day for drinking, drugs and driving awareness. They have also been trained to work with students with academic concerns, to explore careers and to conduct conflict mediations.
To see a PAL, students can self-refer or refer a friend. They can tell a teacher, counselor or administrator that they would like to talk to a PAL or are concerned about someone. Referrals come through emails or students use the referral slips in the counseling office. Teachers, counselors and administrators also refer students to the program.
Overall, PALs are a wonderful resource for our students at SDA. Students can talk to a PAL about anything in a safe environment. The program, the trainings and the day to day advising is run by a counselor.