NEWS & EVENTS
A series of graduation photos from PAL's 2021 graduation. June 3rd, 2021
PAL Center: New Grant Helps More Students
For once, 92407 is the winning zip code.
This month, the Pal Center Academy had bumper-to-bumper high school graduates, and now getting ready to implement their latest windfall grant to take them into the next three years of job training and more resources for local youth.
Dwaine Radden said their recent Youthbuild $1.3 million award is the largest grant their agency has received so far.
“It took a lot of work but we got it. I’m excited, wow,” said Radden Sr., CEO of the Provisional Accelerated Learning Center.
The three-year grant, only one of two awarded in the state, means their program can help more local youth age 16-24 years that had been incarcerated or dealing with probation. Radden said they plan to stretch those dollars as far as it can go.
The competition was fierce, but the need for the local community is obvious, he said. Local data reveal terrible unemployment and college-going rates.
“We’ll make it work for our community and the kids, it’s right up our alley, it’s why we wrote it from the heart. We had to write for zip code and some of the data we got from the 92407 zip code was so disturbing.”
Last week, the PAL Center Academy had another win despite many challenges of the past year. Their drive-through graduation was an emotional experience. Cars snaked down the street as graduates prepared to walk across the stage.
“It was really emotional for parents, grandparents. It was rewarding,” Radden said.
During the pandemic, the PAL Center pushed through without missing a step. Most of their online distance learning, Chromebooks and hotspots were already in place, and ready to transition the classroom to the living room.
Students had opportunities for scholarships, and the staff got creative to keep them engaged.
One grandmother put her five grandchildren through the PAL Center Academy, all are graduated now. Both their mother and father had passed away.
“She was crying tears of joy. It was emotional for her when I went up to the car to give her a fist bump. Her grandson was the last one to graduate,” Radden said.
An African American father, who had two of his sons that died, also persevered through struggles to make sure his son, a football player, graduated. At first, his son didn’t want to walk the stage because he couldn’t afford a cap and gown.
Radden called him.
PAL Clean-Up Day!
PAL Center Participates in the First Annual - I AM GIFTED- Football Camp
Employee Apreciation Day
Alexander Mattison, current Running Back of the Minnesota Vikings, came back to his hometown of San Bernardino to host his first annual I AM GIFTED Youth Football camp on Friday, July 2nd at his alma mater San Bernardino High School. This camp was completely free thanks to the many sponsors and contributions. Alexander dedicated this camp to give back to his community through the sport that gave him his platform, and to also educate students and parents that attended with information on NCAA Clearinghouse, A-G requirements, and mental health awareness.
He left the campers with a special message stating, “Everyone is born with a gift; we just have to find it, embrace it, and use it to shed some light in this world”.
A student-athlete gave their perspective of how they felt about the camp:
“The experience was like we were actually trying out for the NFL. We felt like we were real people getting invited to the combine. There were great vibes all around and we were having lots of fun. Everything was perfect to the T. “
- Steven Hernandez.
The PAL Center and our partnership with Alexander held signups for our AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) sports programs in an effort to support student-athletes.
Alexander would like to thank Greg Bell, the corporate sponsors, and all of the volunteers who played a huge role in the success of the camp. There were over 350 participants and all left with excitement and anticipation for next year’s camp. The PAL Center has consistently worked as a Community Collaborative Partner with San Bernardino High School and we look forward to all efforts that support student achievement both on and off the field.
Inland Empire Charters Serve our Community
PAL Center Collaborates in Rialto Community Backpack Drive-Thru Event
PAL Center Participates as a Community Partner in the So Cal Multi – Cultural
Thursday, July 8, 2021, the Rialto and surrounding communities came together in providing resources
for those in need. The PAL Center has been instrumental in serving the community for more than thirty
years and we felt it necessary in providing our assistance in making this event a success. More than 200
cars with over 400 backpacks containing school supplies were disseminated amongst community
members. Rialto resident and Carter High School Alum, Darious Harris, was key in spearheading the push
with Supervisor Joe Baca Jr. PAL CTE Coordinator Evelyne Sheffield stated, “We are here to work
together in creating a brighter future for our kids”.
Although the 100 (+) degree temperature was a deterrent for some, it did not keep the great number of
volunteers and community-based organizations from coming out in support of the effort. It is always
encouraging when people can find a common good and purpose in working together to help one
another. The PAL Center and PAL Charter Academy are pleased to collaborate with Churches, the city,
the county, and other Community-Based organizations in this effort to make a difference in the
communities we serve.
On June 23rd, guests were invited to join the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of
Commerce, Spectrum Reach, and our partners for a networking extravaganza
celebrating the launch of the newly established Southern California Multi-Cultural
Business Initiative (MCBI). The MCBI is a multi-county partnership between
ethnic-driven business organizations throughout Southern California.
There were over 194 businesses in support of this event and as the first in-person
mixer. It was well-received amongst those in attendance. CEO Dwaine Radden Sr.
commented, “Businesses, especially our Ethnic Driven Businesses and
Organizations must work collaboratively in these changing times to be
competitive and relevant in the markets we serve. The PAL Center and PAL
Charter Academy has provided resources to the San Bernardino and Riverside
County communities for over 30 years. We are pleased to announce we will soon
be opening a PAL Community Resource Center in Moreno Valley. This center will
serve as a hub for Business Development, improving and advancing employment
skills, and providing food resources for the underserved senior and homeless
populations. Our PAL Center team has been a part of the frontline relief effort in
providing essential needs to the communities we serve during these difficult times.
Our goal is to meet people where they are and assist them in reaching their full
potential. We stand on the legacy of our founder, Dr. Mildred Henry, who always
advocates to inspire,“Dare to do the Impossible”.