Life Skills

Life Skills

Have you ever wondered how to take the next step toward adulthood? We always hear about growing up, but sometimes in your teens, knowing that you’re expected to suddenly become an adult can be intimidating. They teach math and science in school, but where do you learn the “real” stuff? 

STAR/PAL’s Life Skills course is the critical step youth need between being a kid and becoming a responsible adult. The course gives youth help and direction during this difficult transition, covering things like: getting a driver’s license, managing money responsibly, applying for jobs and interviewing. 

The Life Skills course is a 6-8 week course intended for high school aged students.

We Can

We Can

Do you ever look ahead and wonder how to get from where you are now to where you want to be? Each path begins with one step, and the We Can course with STAR/PAL helps you determine which steps you need to take to realize your dreams. 

We Can teaches youth how to set and achieve goals to help prompt and support actions that will take them step by step toward their dreams. Breaking big objectives down into smaller, achievable pieces helps to keep youth moving forward, maintaining the momentum required to reach dreams that might otherwise seem too far away or too big. 

Law enforcement officers and community leaders offer guidance and mentorship to help high-school-aged youth identify their goals, set priorities, develop positive attitudes, learn assertiveness and gain skills in resolving conflict. This 6-8 week course lays a foundation that will help youth become resilient and inventive when approaching their future objectives.


TeenLEAP Leadership, Empowerment, Awareness Program

Have you heard the saying that leaders are born, not made? STAR/PAL doesn’t think it’s true. The Teen-LEAP program teaches youth how to tap the potential within themselves to become leaders in their schools and communities, because leaders can be made.

TeenLEAP talks directly with teens about community issues and the kinds of active civic involvement needed to address them. Youth are engaged in thoughtful discussions and debates using presentations and a civic engagement project, and through this work, they gain the knowledge and skills necessary to develop into leaders within their communities. 

Teen-LEAP demonstrates how leadership skills can be applied in daily life. This program also explores the importance of working together in a diverse community and the critical need for tolerance and communication with one another.

Making Changes

Join Now: Making Changes

If you’ve ever wished there was a way to get involved in the community, build on your personal interests and gain skills for your future all at once, this is it!

Making Changes engages kids in grades ten through twelve in civic service activities while also giving them a chance to build critical skills in areas like public speaking, financial management, and community involvement. This program helps teens develop leadership skills and nurtures awareness about the ongoing impact of our choices and actions on our own lives and the lives of those around us. 

STAR/PAL teams up with community partners to ensure the success and impact of this program, including: 

  • San Diego County Office of Education
  • The Travis Manion Foundation
  • Toastmasters
  • Local colleges and universities
  • Mid-City Collaborative
  • Community Housing Works
  • San Diego Canyonlands
  • Atria Senior Living
  • Ocean Discovery Institute
  • The military
  • The Karen Organization of San Diego

By joining Making Changes, you’ll become part of a group accomplished youth from your community. Year after year, every single senior graduate from Making Changes is accepted into and attends college. 



Have you ever thought about how theater arts impact the world? By giving us a way to explore the world and our own lives, and a voice to express how we feel about those things, theater can have a powerful effect on things like confidence, mental health, and connectedness to the community around us. 

InterACTion is an 8-10 week course that provides a powerful way for high school students to learn confidence in their decision-making skills, embrace the power of communication, and the value of the spoken word through a theater arts focus. The Law component of the program provides young people with the opportunity to better understand their rights and obligations in society at large and within their local communities.

The program features presentations by San Diego Police Officers and STAR/PAL partners and staff on topics like juvenile law, healthy teen relationships, smart social media, and mental health and wellness, and gives students a place where they can ask the officers open and direct questions.

A local theatre artist and/or credentialed teacher works with students to create an original script that the student will present. Students will explore various aspects of the theatrical process by writing and designing a monologue and performing a variety of roles. This professional mentorship and hands-on collaboration is a powerful way for students to build self-confidence, and learn to trust their voices and their communication abilities.