12/04/2000

Fresno police build esteem of inner-city kids through 'Images' program
[FRESNO, CA]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(FRESNO, Calif.) -- The Fresno Police Activities League celebrated the eighth annual graduation ceremony of 40 young people from Images, a program to promote self-esteem and proper groom through peer support.

On Dec. 1, youngsters from 5 to 18 years of age demonstrated their new talents by singing, dancing and modeling for friends and family during the ceremony.

The children had set aside the bulk of Saturdays for the last six-months to participate in the program, which is designed to promote self worth among disadvantaged children.

"What happens is, a lot of kids come in here on the first day dragging their chins on the ground and we like to think that we teach the boys and girls to hold their head up high," PAL director John Herring told PoliceOne.com.

The Images program began eight years ago to help children that were not as athletically inclined, but could still benefit from participating in PAL.

Deborah McCoy, who instructs the children, has worked as make-up artist, model and hair and fashion consultant.

This year a 9-year-old graduate of the Images program auditioned with the Fresno Community Theater and received a part in the holiday production of "The Nutcracker."

"We like to think that we had something to do with his ability to go down and audition and get the part," said Herring.

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