Keeping kids on the right track

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LANCASTER, Pa. - The Lancaster City branch of PAL (Police Atheltics League) formed about 8 months ago. They have created multiple programs to build relationships between officers and kids. PAL and The Mix at Arbor Place knew the Lancaster City Track Club was in need of funding. They were already a successful group, Coach Derek Jennings was paying to operate the club out of his own pocket. PAL and The Mix at Arbor Place saved the club.

"It was a real blessing. I have the passion. I'm willing to donate as much time as humanly possible, but being a teacher the funding was becoming an issue," said Jennings.

The partnership has been successful. Kids from all over inner city Lancaster are part of the club. Regionals were just held in Slippery Rock and 23 kids completed. Thirteen kids qualified for nationals.

"I try not to limit our kids, but even in our best case scenario, I didn't see," said Jennings.

Aliyah Striver is one of the students who qualified.
"The girl in front of me, she threw far and I was like I wanted to take gold so I tried and I succeeded," said Striver.
Off the track, the interaction between Lancaster City PAL Officer Josiah King and the kids has been just as successful.
"When you feel like you have the police in your corner they are generally apt to make better decisions in their life." said King.
The club and PAL go beyond keeping kids on the right track. For the first time, some of them are thinking about college.
"We are very excited for the kids to see this level of competition and understand that it could change their lives," said King.
To learn more about PAL or to donate to the program you can email King at PAL@arborplace.org.