North Star Youth Partnership

North Star Youth Partnership engages youth ages 11-18 through educational, recreational, leadership and service-learning opportunities. What started in 1997 as an educational program to prevent adolescent pregnancy in Yavapai County has expanded to 11 different programs serving youth in Central and Northern Arizona.

Friday, 30 September 2022

PAL Students Spread Kindness in Their Community

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In the media, teens are often portrayed as sources of peer pressure. Their humanity and kindness is overlooked in favor of negative stereotypes. More often, teens are sources of positive social influence, serving as teammates, role models and leaders.

Peer Assistance and Leadership Creates Positive Change

As a program of Catholic Charities, North Star Youth Partnership strives to nurture youth’s potential through programs that build their self-confidence and ability to make good choices. North Star’s Peer Assistance and Leadership (PAL) helps teens learn skills through peer helping, leadership, mentoring, conflict resolution and community service. This year, North Star had the privilege of serving about 70 students in five locations.

Building Confidence and Leadership Skills

The students learned how to listen, respect each other and be leaders at home and at school. It was exciting to see their growth and even more encouraging to hear what they had to say about being a part of PAL.

Some students said participating in PAL “made them more confident and gave them courage to run for student council.” Others said it made them feel like they belonged and that they were able to make friends. It’s clear that PAL not only encourages teens to be kind to others, but also to themselves.

Teens Grow Through Acts of Service

Each year, students participate in a variety of creative projects to serve their community. For example, last school year, they wrote encouraging notes on water bottles and then handed them to people experiencing homelessness.

For another project, the students wrote encouraging notes to teachers on water bottles for Teacher Appreciation Week. The students also provided Crystal Light packets that the teachers could put in their water bottles. “The teachers really appreciated the water bottles and were very excited about the Crystal Light packets,” added the school’s principal.

Peer Assistance and Leadership teaches students that positive change is made in steps. Small acts of kindness add up over time. For example, students at Prescott High School participated in a Love For Our Elders service project to help address loneliness in elderly Americans by writing personalized letters. Although it’s not always obvious, giving back can create a ripple effect that inspires others to pay it forward.

Support North Star

It is North Star’s mission to value youth and help empower them to be healthy, self-assured individuals that make a difference in their communities. Each year, through PAL and other programs, we strive to achieve that mission. Support our work in creating a brighter future for youth.

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Nicole Sanders

 Nicole Sanders is a North Star Youth Partnership educator and has a bachelor’s in education from Arizona Christian University. She has a heart and passion for youth and has worked with middle and high school students for more than 20 years. She has been married for over 16 years and has four kids including two teenagers.


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