We are proud to spotlight our accomplished Alumni. The list of successful Detroit PAL Alumni is lengthy and we are honored to have the opportunity to highlight the achievements of a few at a time. We encourage all of our alumni to share their success stories with us so we can all join in sharing with others the GREAT impact Detroit PAL has had and continues to have throughout the Detroit Metropolitan area and beyond.
Chanté Adams was born and raised in Detroit and found success as an actress. Her favorite childhood memories go back to her time with PAL when she participated in our cheerleading program. Chanté loved the adrenaline rush of cheer competitions in a stadium as cheer teams competed and encouraged one another. PAL gave her something healthy and fun to look forward to during summer breaks and was an important part of her life and childhood. “The PAL organization is vital to the city and the children”, says Chanté.
“PAL is where I learned my discipline and work ethic. My cheer coaches made me who I am today and I would not be where I am without them.”-Chanté Adams
One story I want to share with you is Jordyn Allen, a PAL Alumni and former cheerleader. Like a lot of our Alumni, PAL holds a special place in her life. She grew up with PAL being her village of people where she could be herself, build confidence, and find support.
“It gives children the chance to build self-confidence, character, and friendships. It gives them a safe haven for whatever is going on in their lives. You can come, have fun, and just be yourself.”-Jordyn Allen
Now, with the help of PAL, Jordyn Allen has built the JR Allen Foundation, a non-profit to give back and help underprivileged youth in Detroit. So far her organization has given away hundreds of back-to-school supplies for students in need.
Lester Booker, Jr.
Lester Booker, a Detroit PAL Alumnus, participated in PAL in the mid 90’s in our youth football program for 3 years. During that time he learned the importance of citizenship, hard work, and teamwork. The coaches, activities, and mentors gave him positive experiences that he carried with him beyond sports and into his personal and professional life. He said that PAL is a platform that kept him on a successful path that opened up more doors. He looks back on his time as a PAL kid with fond memories.
“The hard work ethic and teamwork are things I learned as a PAL kid; those are things that I keep with me in my personal and professional life.”-Lester Booker, Jr.
Kira Borum cheered with the East Side Falcons for 5 years until she aged out of the program. She is a current VISTA & Volunteer Coordinator at Detroit PAL through the AmeriCorps program and an M.S student at UNC Greensboro in the Kinesiology (Applied Sport Psychology ) program. She is committed to providing mental health resources and consultation to youth athletes that foster their growth in all of their many identities and help them find healthy practices. Kira is an advocate of learning through play.
“Cheerleading helped me find my voice. Now I can help other young women find their voice in sport and outside of sports too!”-Kira Borum
Raina Shanel Harmon got involved with Detroit PAL when she was young, and literally grew up in the program. She participated in PAL programs all year: as a cheerleader for the Northwest Cougars, as a basketball and softball player, and as a participant in the ski program.
Raina attended Central Michigan University on a full basketball scholarship and enjoyed a successful collegiate playing career. After that, she became an Assistant Athletic Director, then Athletic Director, for Detroit PAL. Raina also served as Commissioner for the cheerleading, basketball, golf and softball programs.
“Detroit PAL is very near to my heart,” Raina said. “Not only have I learned character qualities through playing sports, but I also met some of my best friends and mentors through this organization. PAL afforded me an opportunity to explore a world outside of Detroit at a young age.”-Raina Harmon
Following two years as the Director of Women’s Basketball at the University of Michigan, Raina became the Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at Central Michigan University.
“The success that I have had is a direct result of the way that I was raised, and a large portion of that was through the Detroit PAL organization,”Raina added