Emma Hetrick, a distinguished student of Franklin Towne Charter School and member of Port Richmond’s Rizzo PAL, joined Mayor Nutter and other public officials for Lockheed Martin’s special Police Athletic League event.
More than 20 youngsters from the Police Athletic League experienced life in the work place during the annual Lockheed Martin PAL Day at City Hall on Feb. 12.
The students joined Mayor Michael A. Nutter, City Representative Desiree Peterkin-Bell, who was the program’s emcee, PAL Day participants and public officials in a morning kick-off ceremony in the Mayor’s Reception Room.
Many of the young PAL participants are accomplished student leaders, star athletes, academic achievers, community volunteers, role models, peer counselors and tutors.
The PAL Center youths participated in an oath of office, recognizing and appointing them “Honorary Public Officials” for PAL Day. City department heads participated in the program.
Emma Hetrick, 17, of the Rizzo PAL in Port Richmond, participated.
Hetrick is a junior at Franklin Towne Charter School. She has been a member of Rizzo PAL for 9 years. Her interests are basketball, Positive Images Girls Mentoring program, Homework Club and PAL Challenge trivia competition. She assists her supervising PAL officer and younger members by tutoring and serving as Rizzo PAL’s Attendance Coordinator. Her extra-curricular activities include Year Book Club, peer mentoring and helping with her school’s food drive. Hetrick plans to attend Columbia University to study pre-law or pharmacy.
Her adult mentor was the city’s inspector general, Amy Kurland.
For 2013 PAL Day at City Hall, the youngsters represented 25 PAL centers from across the city including sites in North, Northeast, South, Southwest, West Philadelphia, Germantown, Port Richmond, Tacony, Chestnut Hill, Logan, Nicetown and Kensington.
City officials encouraged the PAL participants to get involved in the professional world through internships such as those offered by the Mayor’s Office of Education (email@example.com or info@PhillyGoes2College.com), and other career-assistance programs and opportunities.
Following the “swearing-in” ceremony, the students and public officials enjoyed a networking lunch before visiting various work sites to learn about the daily operations of local government. The PAL participants spent part of the afternoon learning the inner workings of government with the guidance of assigned officials, including those from City departments/offices, the judicial system and City Council.
Inspired by PAL employee Sally Berlin, the PAL Day at City Hall format was established more than 40 years ago. Lockheed Martin, a global security and information technology company, has been a sponsor for the event since 2006.
John Loftus can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.