Seven young Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) participants were presented with individual checks totaling $21,500 thanks to the Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarships program, Thursday, May 17, at the DoubleTree Suites in Santa Monica.
“I am glad to say that joining PAL when I was six years old was the best decision my mom has ever made for me because it shaped me into the person I am today,” said Taneia Bryant, scholarship recipient and PAL member for 11 years.
Bryant received her check in front of more than 250 guests attending the ceremony.
Through a joint gift from Ed Simmons and Standard Parking and from Neil and Karen Carrey, an endowment fund has been established for the Chris Carrey PAL Education Fund.
“This fund provides scholarships for post-high school education expenses to a PAL member who meets required criteria, shows financial need, successfully completes an application package, and is selected by the Chris Carrey PAL Education Fund Committee,” organizers said. Now in its 16th year, more than 100 scholarships totaling $245,000 have been awarded to PAL youth.
The seven Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarships 2018 recipients include Erica Atkins, $3,000; Sammy Bonilla, $4,500; Katie Bravo, $3,500; Taneia Bryant, $4,000; Jacob Duren, $2,000; Kevin Felix Madrigal, $1,500; and Jasmine Morales, $3,000.
“The Police Activities League is honestly a wonderful place to be involved in, because you find out who you really are as a person,” said Erica Atkins, PAL member for eight years.
“PAL has allowed me to keep my focus on school and the staff constantly push me to keep pursuing my goals to get into college,” said Sammy Bonilla, PAL member for 11 years.
“On behalf of the PAL kids and our entire organization, we are extremely grateful to all of the participants in the Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarships program,” says Eula Fritz, Director at Santa Monica Police Activities League. “Their donations help each student continue with their academic dream. Without their support, these kids would most likely not have an academic path to pursue.”
The Chris Carrey PAL Scholarship presenters included Phil Brock, Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica; Elaine and Joel Polachek; Karen Carrey; Neil Carrey; Ed Simmons, SP Plus; Baker & Hostetler; Mary Ann and Jim Powell; Patty and Cheryl Loggings; Laurel Rosen and Richard Laurence, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce; Kathy Irby and Lois Clark; Lauralee Asch; Helen Albright; Jean McNeil Wyner; Jack Walter; and Mike and Adrienne Blackman.
In addition to the presentation of the Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarships, the annual PAL Recognition ceremony provides an opportunity for PAL to bestow Community Recognition awards to deserving members of the community who have had an impact on the lives of youth. This year’s two award recipients were volunteers Ebonicia Fisher and Kevin Jackson.