At ECA, we encourage kids to apply for our Peer Assisted Leadership class, or “PALs” program. The heart of the class is to encourage servant leadership through mentoring relationships, and we strive to teach this through hands-on experience. Once upperclassmen are chosen by our staff, they are trained over a 6-week period in preparation to serve younger students at the Lower School. They are then assigned a younger student and given weekly opportunities to provide assistance and spend quality time with them. As a “PAL,” students are given the opportunity to develop trustworthy, interpersonal relationships, provide any necessary emotional and academic support with their peers, and exercise leadership and responsibility in their school community. We help our student mentors develop a strong work ethic, a strong sense of personal responsibility, and the understanding that their influence on another person can make a difference in the world. Additionally, we want every student to learn how to be independent, resourceful, and influential in their time with their designated younger student. Our hope is for students to see that influencing another person will lead to lifetime habits that can positively change lives.