PALS En Route to Success

June 20, 2016:


PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) Program Route to Success is offered at the high school level for students attending St. Malachy’s Memorial High School. This is a four-year pilot program where ninth grade students are selected by the faculty to participate, beginning in their 2nd semester of grade 9.

Students attain credits that fulfill part of their graduation requirements as outlined by the Department of Education in New Brunswick. Students have hands-on experience and learn by doing. Research shows that this is the most meaningful method of learning for students. 

Christina Barrington, Vice Principle at St. Malachy’s Memorial High School tells us about life at the school thanks to the PALS En Route to Success Program. “Attendance rates of those who participate in the program are extremely high when compared to peers from their own middle schools. Just by virtue of being in their seat they do better academically."

 Pals En Route
 Matthew Beak, a 9th Grade student at St. Malachy’s, receiving  hands-on work experience at Plasticraft. Matthew is partnered with  work site supervisor, Mike McLaughlin, pictured above.


“Our students have become part of our work family and we are looking forward to continuing to work with them and be a part of their growth and development as we move through this project together,” said Karen Henwood, one of the workplace supervisor’s at Chandler.

Each year students participate in a work placement at an organization in the community and upon successful completion of this placement they are offered a summer job. This means that students have the opportunity to have paid summer employment throughout their four years of high school.  

“There is data that confirms that the PALS En Route to Success program increases the engagement of students in school, their attendance, and academic achievement. The way graduation is determined at the high school level is through the acquisition of credits. Since students have been involved in this program, the number of credits that they have obtained each year has increased significantly,” said Susan Tipper, PALS High School Coordinator. “The 12 organizations that partner with us to make all of this happen are invaluable, as are their employees. These people are truly making a difference in the life of a child.”

Companies currently involved with this program include: J D Irving, Limited, Big Brothers Big Sisters, CFM, Chandler Sales, City of Saint John (City Market and Saint John Water), Industrial Security, Irving Equipment, Key Industries, Loch Lomond Villa, NB Southern Railway, Plasticraft, Stew’s Cleaning Services, and Shur-Fit Automotive.

For more information about this program please contact Susan Tipper, tipper.susan@jdirving.com 

About PALS

The PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) Program addresses the needs associated with students living in poverty. Initiated in Saint John by Mr. James K. Irving and the local school district, PALS has grown to over 30 schools in NB with close to 200 business and community partners and hundreds of volunteers.

PALS partners help impact children’s academic achievements, attendance, school spirit, motivation, social skills, sports activity, and cultural awareness.  Volunteer activities include mentoring, coaching, serving breakfast, offering career guidance, organizing after school clubs, and helping behind the scenes.