CRAVE Minneapolis was honored to host the Minneapolis Police Activities League on the CRAVE Rooftop as part of their “Ladies of Summer” events!
We were able to catch up with Officer Monica Hanson and ask her some questions about this great program and learn all about their summer activities initiative!
What is PAL?
The Minneapolis Police Activities League is a non-profit that provides free sports and activities for the youth in Minneapolis. PAL helps build that connection between the police and the youth in the community.
How do you see it’s effect in the children participating?
When kids that I coach and mentor see me on the street, to them, I am “Coach Monica,” rather than Officer Hanson. A top priority for MPD is engaging in our youth, and PAL does just that! Not only do these kids get to see police in a whole different light, they now have someone that they can look up to, someone that they consider a mentor. This positive effect has also transferred to the parents and families of these kids. Connecting with the community, that’s what we succeed in in PAL.
What’s your favorite part of the program?
This by far has been the most rewarding assignment I have had yet while being a MPD police officer. For me, being able to be there for the PAL kids, being able to be a mentor to them, being a role-model, and someone they looks up to, is my favorite part of the program. To get to see the kids experience a sport and/or activity that they otherwise would not have had the chance of, makes me smile and makes me happy that I am able to give them these amazing opportunities.
What is “Ladies of Summer?”
This summer, Officer Stephanie Weibye and I created a mentoring program for some of our girls that participate in PAL called “Ladies of Summer.” The whole purpose of this mentorship program was to bring this group of young ladies to places that they do not have the opportunity to go and experience. The mentors included Officers Stephanie, Colleen, Cheryl, and myself, along with Coach Andrea (one of our volunteer coaches).
We raised all of our own money to fund our weekly summer outings. Some of the places and things we did with the girls were; brought them to The Lion King at the Orpheum, a St. Paul Saints game, Minnehaha Falls, biking around Lake Calhoun & the Lake of the Isles, and a boat cruise down the Mississippi River.
What did the Ladies like best about the Rooftop?
Honestly, I think the girls liked their food the best! Along with the whole dining experience of course. Our server was awesome and made sure the girls were very well taken care of. The girls also enjoyed the views from the rooftop. Overall, their experience was amazing and one that they’ll never forget!
Thank you, again, to Officer Monica Hanson and the rest of the Minneapolis Police Activities League for the great strides they’re making in the community!
Learn how you can donate or become a volunteer coach for one of their many sports teams HERE!
To see what PAL is up to, follow them on Facebook!