PAL’s Pick! is a quarterly series that highlights participants in the Dallas Police Athletic/Activities League who show great improvement and progress in the program. This quarter’s PAL’s Pick! is 23-year-old Prentice Richmond, and while he’s no longer a child, he grew up as a “PAL kid” and continues to volunteer his time and give back to the program.
Prentice grew up in a low-income community and left home at 14 years old to escape his negative environment. He witnessed drug sales and homicidal violence at a very young age, and he felt like sports was his only refuge.
“When I left home, I was going from place to place, staying with different friends, not knowing where my next meal was coming from,” Prentice said. “I got involved in as many after school activities as possible, one being the Dallas Police Athletic League.”
Prentice started participating in the PAL program in 2006, and has since become a coach for the midnight basketball program. He volunteers his time and talent every weekend in the summer months, to teach the fundamentals of basketball, along with other character traits, such as respect for authority and self-control.
“I enjoy watching Prentice assist PAL during our Midnight Basketball clinics,” said Dallas Police Officer Christine Smith. “He possesses such a natural gift of the sport but also as a coach. All of the police volunteers and kids who participate in the program look up to him and respect him.” Officer Smith works in the PAL Unit and said Prentice is not only a delight to be around, but that he is a natural leader.
“There are so many mischievous things a young man or woman can get involved in, and I applaud the PAL program for giving kids a positive alternative,” Prentice explained. “PAL is amazing, and this program saved my life.”
Prentice is also a product of the Dallas Police Explorer Program Post #4264 and a former volunteer with the DPD Gang Intervention and Community Outreach Program. Despite the instability of his childhood, Prentice graduated from Lincoln High School as the captain of the football team, Student Body President and Prom King. He attended the University of Texas A&M Commerce to pursue a degree in law enforcement. Policing is in Prentice’s blood; in fact, he is currently employed with the Dallas County Sherriff’s Department.
Kudos to Prentice Richmond for using what the PAL program instilled in him, and paying it forward by giving back to the children of his community.