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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Off to a Flying Start: PALS Kick Off the School Year with a Colorful Surprise


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  • Tayla Score ’25 and Amelie Byrne ’25 cover their eyes as the PALS officers run around spray painting members.

  • PALS leader Evie Castellani ’24 spray paints Emily Collins ’24 with her assigned campus color.

  • PALS members assigned to Spicewood Elementary celebrate together after finding out their campus.

  • Campus coordinators Ashna Karthik ’25 and Ava Dasari ’24 eagerly greet their new group members assigned to Canyon Creek Elementary.

  • Campus coordinators await their newly assigned members with hand painted posters.

  • Piper Bray ’24 sprints away after spray painting fellow PALS member.

  • Charlotte Stidvent ’24 spray paints Allison Petty ’24 with the color assigned to her future PALS campus.

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On Friday, Sept. 8, the members of PALS (Peer Assisted Leadership) gathered on the band parking lot for their annual campus reveals, where they discovered their campus assignments for the remainder of the school year. This year, PALS officers surprised their members by spraying their shirts with the color of their campus, bringing fun and excitement to the school day. 

“We wanted to do something that would give our new members a chance to get to know each other and to work together as a team,” Campus Coordinator for Anderson Mill Elementary Charlotte Stidvent ’24 said. “Through this, they can get a good idea of what we are going to be doing for the rest of the year” 

PALS is a school-sanctioned organization that pairs its members with middle and elementary school students in need. Through this partnership, PALS members strive to build a relationship with the children, in which they will be a friend throughout the school year. 

“It’s really impactful to see the difference we’re making in the lives of kids who might not have anybody else they can fully trust or lean on,” Stidvent said. “It’s cool to see the overall effect of us simply going and spending time with them. Throughout the year we will see them open up more and gradually come out of their shells. We get to become someone they can trust and look up to for guidance, and see how this helps them flourish.”

Previous to the block, the members knew nothing of the activities that awaited them and were simply instructed to wear a white shirt they didn’t care about. During the PALS block, the campus coordinators spread out every member on the band lot and instructed them to close their eyes. 

“It was kind of scary because you didn’t know when you were going to get sprayed,” Faith Dietz ’24, a new member of PALS, said. “The overall suspense of it was exciting and I’m glad we got to start the year with something fun.”

Once the PALS were assorted, campus coordinators sprinted to each member one by one, spraying paint on their shirts with the color assigned to their campus. Finally, members were instructed to open their eyes and see what color had been sprayed, and greet their corresponding campus coordinators. Each campus then participated in bonding activities such as going to lunch with their new groups or participating in a scavenger hunt in the school building. 

“I’m so excited,” said Dietz. “I love Grisham- I was a Grizzly myself, and now I get to give back to the community as a Warrior. I am really looking forward to getting closer with the people that are on my campus, and of course, getting the opportunity to help out kids in need.”

The PALS members are scheduled to visit their campuses for the first time on Sept. 22. 

“I’m really excited about our campus,” Stidvent said. ”We have a lot of good people who are going to make great members of PALS and I am really looking forward to seeing how they interact on duty. I can’t wait for our first day, and getting to work with the kids again.”

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About the Contributor
Mallory Milner
Mallory Milner, Reporter
Class of 2024 Hi! I am a senior and this is my third year as a reporter for Westwood Horizon. Outside of press I enjoy hanging out with my friends, reading, and spending time outside.

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