Press Release, June 14, 2022
Nashua PAL Teen Leader, Junely Grullon, Honored with National Award: National PAL’s 2022 Female Inspirational Youth of the Year Award
Nashua PAL (Police Athletic League) is proud to announce National PAL’s 2022 Female Inspirational Youth of the Year awardee is Nashua PAL’s Junely Grullon! Junely, 16, was named Nashua PAL’s Jr. PAL of the Year at the 2021 Nashua PAL Night of Champions, and Nashua PAL was excited to nominate her for the National PAL Inspiration Youth of the Year. National PAL received nominations from PAL programs across the country, and Junely’s outstanding leadership record shined. On June 3rd, Junely traveled with her mother, Melissa, to receive her award at the National PAL Gala in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Junely and Melissa joined up with Nashua PAL’s Family Support Specialist, Jenn Benoit, who was already in Atlantic City attending the National PAL Conference.
Junely is a rising junior at Nashua North High School. Junely joined the Nashua PAL Youth Safe Haven afterschool/summer care program in 2015. She was first chosen as Nashua PAL’s Junior PAL of the Year in 2016, at age 10, and was once again chosen as the Junior PAL of the Year in 2021. Junely was officially designated as a Teen Leader at the PAL Youth Safe Haven on Ash St. when she was 12 years old, technically still a pre-teen, and has thrived in that role. Jaela Solis, Nashua PAL’s Youth Safe Haven Program Coordinator, describes her as a “strong leader” of the afterschool program. Since joining the Nashua PAL Youth Safe Haven program at age 9, Junely has regularly participated in all of the afterschool/summer programs offered at Nashua PAL, such as mentoring, field trips, community service, cooking classes, dance classes, and much more. Today, Junely enjoys co-leading PAL’s teen mentoring programming, welcoming new members to the program, using her bilingual skills to communicate with new members/families, and working at the front desk of the Youth Safe Haven a few days a week.
Junely’s nomination to National PAL’s award was a given for her Nashua PAL staff and mentors. Jaela Solis states, “Junely makes my heart smile. One of the attributes I find most impressive about Junely is her ability to speak up and address anyone that walks into the Youth Safe Haven. New youth members, parents looking for information, volunteers, staff – whoever you are, Junely is here to listen and help.” PAL staff and volunteers can count on Junely to step up as a leader for any activity – from preparing snack for youth members to helping her peers with homework. Solis continued, “Junely’s strong leadership amongst her peers, along with her openness, acceptance of others, and welcoming nature are just a few of the reasons that we (PAL staff) nominated her for the National PAL award.”
At home, Junely helps to look after and care for her younger brother and is an avid reader. She aspires be a physician or attorney in the future. Jen Miller, Nashua PAL’s Development Director, states that “Whether caring for her community as a physician or advocating for her community as an attorney, Junely’s beautiful spirit and sharp mind will make her a phenomenal community leader.”
On behalf of all Nashua PAL staff and volunteers, we want to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to Junely for her National inspirational leadership award! We are so proud of you!
Nashua PAL provides 2,000+ youth in Greater Nashua with robust education-focused programming. Junely and 250+ Greater Nashua youth receive free afterschool and summer care provided at the PAL Youth Safe Haven.