December 5, 2022 - Mr. Schwartz has been actively working with PAL for 13 years to support youth programs and help foster a relationship between youth and the police community
Today, the Police Athletic League (PAL) announced that Bart M. Schwartz, who has been actively working with PAL for 13 years, will become its new President effective January 2023. Mr. Schwartz has served on PAL’s Board since 2009 and will take the role currently held by David Arena who has been the organization’s President of the Board since 2016.
“I am humbled by this opportunity and look forward to helping advance PAL’s vision and mission,” said Bart M. Schwartz, PAL President and Chairman of Guidepost Solutions. “Under David’s leadership, the organization has thrived and I am honored to continue to work with PAL and its team in this new capacity.”
In 1914, Police Commissioner Arthur Woods began a social movement that would eventually become the Police Athletic League as we know it today. He was concerned for the poor children who lived in congested tenements and organized a citywide search for vacant lots to be converted into playgrounds. He also set aside city blocks where traffic was prohibited. The goal of the program was to reduce tensions between police officers and youth. In addition to providing a safe place, the hope was that new opportunities for children to play under proper supervision would reduce the temptation for wrongdoing.
The play streets also provided a venue for positive interactions between children and police officers, which continues to be the core part of PAL’s mission today, in addition to hosting programs and services such as Head Start, daycare and Universal Pre-K programs, after-school programs, summer day camps and playstreets, evening teen centers, college readiness programs, as well as youth employment and juvenile justice programs.
Carlos Velazquez, Executive Director at PAL added: “Bart’s long history of work with PAL is a testament to his commitment to the organization’s mission and its values. Thousands of children have come to PAL for a wide range of programming over the years. PAL has become a community beacon, facilitating healthy and long-lasting relationships with the police community. I look forward to continuing to work with Bart and thank David Arena for his service.”
About Police Athletic League
The Police Athletic League (PAL) is one of New York City’s largest independent youth development not-for-profits. The organization operates diverse programs such as Head Start, daycare and Universal Pre-K, elementary and middle school after-school programs, and summer day camps and playstreets. PAL’s philosophy is grounded in the belief that young people’s individual strengths and capabilities can guide them to mature, productive adulthoods with our encouragement and commitment.