Promising Appalachian Leaders in Service (PALS) is a leadership program for students in GEAR UP high schools. Through a process that includes recommendations, applications, and interviews, students from each GEAR UP high school are selected to serve as PALS members. Once selected, PALS members are required to attend PALS meetings and events. In addition to promoting a college-going culture, PALS members develop their leadership abilities to positively impact their own lives, their schools, and their communities. Students selected to serve with PALS learn how to become great leaders through many opportunities to learn, experience, and practice leadership in their lives at home, school, and in their communities. PALS students are responsible for sharing these skills with other students, teachers, and administrators at their schools.
CCHS student Conlan Beck has been selected as a GEAR UP regional PALS student. Conlan is also a member of the First Lady’s Youth Leadership Council (FLYLC). Clinton County’s PALS Liaisons are Sydnee Albertson, Hailey Cole, Kendra Cross, Autumn McCutchen, Gavin Melton, and Abbigale Young. During the Fall Retreat on October 20-22, 2017 at Jabez, Kentucky, GEAR UP PALS and PALS Liaisons were assigned a new community project – to work together on an effort that addressed hate crimes and hate crime groups. They created a skit and presentation with information about the different types of hate crimes and hate crime groups in America. The students presented the community project to the 8th grade class at Clinton County Middle School on March 6, 2018. The students watched a video – Holding Your Heart by Brandon Shepherd, who was a former Clinton County student. Once the video was finished, the PALS students performed a skit in which they demonstrated how bullying can lead to hate crimes. They then presented statistics and other information about the different types of hate crimes and hate crime groups in the U.S. The PALS students also created a pledge to spread love, not hate, which was printed on hands and given to the students to sign.