The PAL program (Peer Assistance Leaders) is an established one at Arenac Eastern. Students are identified by their peers as being people in whom others would place their trust and confidence. Once identified, students are asked to participate in the program by completing an application packet, providing at least two references, and submitting to an interview. If a student is accepted into the program, then he or she is required to attend a 20 hour mandatory training that includes lessons on active listening, making referrals, helping versus rescuing, teen suicide, alcohol and other drug abuse, tolerance, and knowing their limits.
Recently PAL’s students have played an integral part of ADACT (Arenac Drug Alcohol Containment Task Force) under the direction of Lori Jacques who works with the teens to produce informational brochures, posters, and man “take one” tables at various county events ranging from the Arenac County Fair to the AuGres Pirate Festival.
Students in grades 9-12 are eligible to become PAL’s, and upon completion of the training, are permitted to act as a peer listener to their fellow students in need. The PAL program is a combined effort of Arenac Eastern and the Sterling Area Health Center under the direction of Lori Jacques and Barb Hunter.