PAL Day for future leaders of Philadelphia

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Philadelphia got a new administration, from mayor to police commissioner, well, at least for the day. (WPVI)

Philadelphia got a new administration, from mayor to police commissioner, well, at least for the day.

Monday was the annual Police Athletic League - PAL - Day at City Hall.

The students who took part were grateful for the opportunity.

"It's a once in a lifetime experience. They get to do everything from sit in a cabinet meeting to spend the afternoon with the police commissioner," PAL Executive Director Ted Qualli said.

It was also a chance for these young men and women to network and build professional relationships.

Dedrick Parsons shadowed Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

"I'm just trying to get a feel for different jobs and experiences to pursue my dreams in," Parsons said.

"Looking forward to offloading some of my stress on him today," Ross said with a smile.

The event was sponsored by Toyota.

Tom Mellon is the tristate Toyota Program Director, but also a retired police officer. He knows the value of building connections between the police and young people.

"25,000 right now that the PAL organization centers have touched; we want to get out there and transcend it to even larger numbers because it is our youth, our generations, that are going to come up, that are going to take over, and run with good leadership and strong character," Mellon said.

Action News also spoke with Jamir Scott, the young man selected to shadow Mayor Jim Kenny.

His plan was to simply observe.

"Just want to study how the mayor approaches work and how did he become successful," Scott said.

Before they departed City Hall to see how city administrators really got things done, they did a round of speed-mentoring where mentors switched between students.

There's no doubt the lessons learned on this day and through PAL will last a lifetime.

Whether it's a career at City Hall or as a police officer, you never know what a day like this will inspire in a young person.


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