Going to college is a dream for most and a pipe dream for some as they work their way through school. That was partially remedied last month, when 12 worthy participants in the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) received $29,500 toward their education, presented by the Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarship program.
Through several joint gifts coming from Ed Simmons, Standard Parking, and Neil and Karen Carrey, an endowment fund is active for the PAL Education Fund, which provides scholarships to PAL members who require them. PAL has been offering scholarships to students since 2002 who meet strict criteria encompassing volunteering hours, community service, and grade point averages.
The recipients are presented their scholarship at the PAL Recognition Dinner and Awards Ceremony every year. To date, over $140,000 in scholarships has been provided.
Of the many recipients of the scholarship, all of the recipients are grateful not just for the money, but for PAL itself.
“The reason I go to PAL as often as I do is to learn different leadership skills and use those skills in my life and to also teach other lessons that I learned and use them to better my life,” said one of the recipients, Maurice Wilkes. “PAL has helped me and so many others make better decisions for today and in the long run.”
In addition to the presentation of scholarships, the annual PAL Recognition ceremony provides an opportunity for PAL to bestow Community Recognition and Good Citizen Awards. This, combined with the aforementioned scholarships, recognizes people from all walks of life, not just soon-to-be college students.
At the conclusion of this year’s program, longtime supporter of PAL, Gibson Santa Monica, presented a check for $5,000 to the program, which will allow them to give even more next year to future college students in need.
The Santa Monica Police Activities League is located at the PAL Youth Center at 1401 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica. The Center is open Monday through Friday from 12-10 p.m. and Saturday from 12-6 p.m. For more information, call 310.458.8988 or visit: smpal.org.