Rogers Sophomore Zia Cooke and Scott High School Grad Jared Anderson both got their athletic starts at the Police Athletic League Youth program also known as PAL.
Cooke is a Olympic Youth Basketball Player and just got a gold medal in the national competition, while Anderson is headed to Germany to compete on the Olympic youth Boxing team. Anderson is ranked number one in the country and 4th in the world for his age and weight class.
"It kept me off the streets and kept me busy and kept me on track, it help out a lot because they have tutoring programs." says Anderson.
PAL is for kids 8 to 17 in the city of Toledo. It started off as a boxing program for at risk youth, but has since expanded to Baseball, Lego Robotics, Boy Scouts and Basketball. Cooke is one of the Basketball success stories. "Nothing ever goes wrong here, it's an amazing place," says Cooke. Cooke says the fact that the coaches are Police Officers does make a difference. "There's a lot I can learn from him being a Police Officer, he taught me a lot of respect and a lot of hard work."
Toledo Police Sgt. Mack Collins says "I guess that is the advantage of being a police officer. They're more apt to listen when we're in this uniform." But Collins goes on to say "The goal of this program is to show the community that Police Officers are actually people too and for the kids to let down their guards they see us in a different light outside of here."
The PAL program is funded 100% by donations and fundraising. For more information on the programming and to donate: