https://www.palsprograms.org/

PALS Programs

Peer

July 2019 • Princeton, NJ

What I liked

PALS Programs is truly a life-changing experience. I’ve learned so much about myself, others, and the world around us through these inclusive experiences for people with and without Down Syndrome. We got to play sports, sing karaoke, and go on field trips to amusement parks and the beach. One of my favorite parts is the 1:1 model where each peer is paired with a partner with Down Syndrome. This evolves into a true, genuine friendship over the course of the program and shows how we are so much more alike than different. I also love the support of the leaders who help to lead our teams in activities, facilitate small group interactions and bonding, and plan out the week. I was nervous going into my first week of PALS but everyone was so welcoming and I instantly felt like I was home.

What I wish was different

I only wish I had more summer availability and could be at every program!

Advice

Just do it! If you’re hesitant at all, take a leap and apply! You’ll have a welcome call with a PALS leader or staff member who will answer all of your questions and ease any concerns. Leading up to camp you’ll get to know your leaders and your partner and fellow teammates. You’re going to fall in love with this program and never want to leave.
1 person found this helpful

Peer

July 2021 • San Francisco, CA

What I liked

I had the best week at PALS last summer! I really enjoyed interacting and building friendships with people with Down syndrome. It was a very fun and inclusive environment. PALS has taught me what a true environment of inclusion looks like. I take these leadership and communication skills into every aspect of my career and classes now. It has given me a such a great perspective going into the workforce. I couldn't have asked for a better experience!

What I wish was different

I wish I could go each week of summer!

Advice

My one piece of advice is to join and put yourself out there! I promise you will thank yourself for joining this program. It has been a great way to get volunteer hours and great to add to my resume.
2 people found this helpful