It’s not about authority. It’s about building relationships.

STAR/PAL is a place where kids of all ages get the chance to discover what’s inside them and who they want to be. It’s a safe space filled with other kids seeking a chance to explore and learn–or to just exist, and with engaged adults who have dedicated themselves to supporting the community and the youth within it. That support could be anything from friendship to homework help, assistance with a project or advice about a personal issue. 

STAR/PAL youth often call the relationships they make here fundamental to their growth and successes in the future. These relationships are built through the unique programming we offer.

STAR/PAL means everything to me because it feels like my second home. I am proud that I came here because it inspired me a lot; it made changes in my life.

— Erick, STAR/PAL Participant, age 13

The best thing about being at STAR/PAL is the relationships you build. You don’t find them anywhere else. Yes, you will go to a school for four years, but you would never build a relationship like you do in a program like this where you become a family.

— Malba, STAR/PAL Participant, age 17

…we’re a family and the facilitators are like parents. No matter rain or sunshine, I always wanted to go to STAR/PAL. Even though there was pizza, we weren’t there for the pizza.

— Trevor, STAR/PAL Participant, 20

My mother was never around due to drug use, and my father spent most of my life in jail. STAR/PAL has been my support structure when I had no parents.

— Aileen, STAR/PAL Participant, age 17