heather_macdonald_1by Heather MacDonald
Volunteer and Community Engagement Director

On Thursday, February 21st Young Leaders and new volunteers were treated to a special day! The youth at PAL Boxing Center came together to throw a special Volunteer Appreciation event to celebrate the hard work and dedication that Young Leaders and other volunteers have provided to their program. This meant that instead of supervising activities, the volunteers got to enjoy the fun and games.

The youth at PAL love Minute-to-Win-it style games and we were able to participate in some of their favorites like a hula hooping contest and a three legged race. As a thank you to all Young Leaders, we received a framed t-shirt signed by PAL youth and staff. It was an honor to be a part of such a fun day and to hear them talk about the impact volunteers have in their lives. Here is what a few of the volunteers had to say about the event:

I had a wonderful experience spending the evening with students at the PAL Boxing Center in South Salt Lake. During the visit, we played games with students, including a game I’ve never heard of or seen that involved a pair of nylons, golf balls, and water bottles. It was a very interesting and fun game. It clearly wasn’t a game where I shined through! I appreciated the opportunity to connect with students (many who attend Granite Park Jr. High) in a different setting. It was great to see how much they all enjoyed their time at the Center and with each other. It brings me joy to know that these students have a place they can go after school where they are supported in their personal and academic endeavors. –Carmela Castandea

Recently, we spent time with students at the PAL Boxing Community and Welcome Center in South Salt Lake.  This center provides tutoring services, boxing programs, and other afterschool enrichment experiences for children from schools in the surrounding neighborhoods. I appreciated the opportunity to connect with the students through games and was impressed to see how much they enjoyed being at the Center.  For these kids, the Center provides more than just programming.  It is an opportunity for them to cultivate relationships with their peers and further engage in their community.  Through these programs, students are able to participate in activities that can help them achieve their potential.  I admire the students’ energy and their desire to be a part of a program that supports their personal and academic growth. –Chris Ellis

If you are a Young Leader or have considered becoming a Young Leader, we invite you to join us on the third Thursday of each month between 3:00 -7:00 p.m. to participate in homework help, Kids Café, boxing, and recreation activities at PAL. For more information about becoming a Young Leader please contact Cristi Wetterberg at cristi@uw.org or 801.746.2569. To sign up as a volunteer please contact Heather MacDonald at heather@uw.org or 801.736.7715.