Oklahoma City Police Athletic League (PAL)Michelle Mayes has been a dedicated mentor to several young people since she began volunteering for Oklahoma City’s Police Athletic League in 2014. Ret. Captain Phil Carr, program director, described her as “one of the most gifted and compassionate adults PAL has ever had as a mentor.”
“The kids feel comfortable talking to Ms. Mayes about life challenges, academics and sports,” Carr said. “She is always there to lend a comforting smile or to just be a good listener. She stays abreast of the kids’ school activities and regularly goes to their games and events.”
A retired optical lab technician, Mayes volunteers for INTEGRIS Southwest Hospital and serves her church faithfully in attendance, preparing meals for the community, and taking seniors to lunch and medical appointments.
She has recently been through some very profound personal illness, yet she stays strong in her commitment to the mentoring program and other volunteer activities.
“Ms. Mayes never complains about her personal life challenges,” Carr said. “She just keeps smiling and seeking others out to help with their difficulties. She is truly a shining light in her community. “
About the Program: The Oklahoma City Police Athletic League (OKC PAL) provides athletic programs, leadership skills training, and service opportunities to Oklahoma City students. Four full-time police officers run the programs in designated OKCPS schools during school hours. In addition, the PAL Center offers afterschool mentoring and martial arts programs, as well as our elementary athletic leagues, which take place after school and on weekends during their respective seasons. Any high school student in our program is considered a peer mentor, and all OKC PAL involvement will be considered as service hours. The program aims to drive change by providing positive opportunities for youth and their future.