Al’s Pals Field Trip 2023

girls making arts and crafts

Al’s Pals is a student mentoring program with The Center for Service and Leadership (CSL) in the Division of Student Life. Through Al’s Pals, UA students volunteer in after-school programs where they mentor local Tuscaloosa elementary students. UA students engage their mentees in academic enrichment, character education, and recreational activities, all while developing a personal relationship with their mentees. The program is a mutually beneficial experience. The UA student mentors learn valuable leadership skills while practicing impactful community engagement across Tuscaloosa. The elementary mentees gain invaluable weekly experiences that would not be possible without the Al’s Pals program.

The CSL collaborates with the participating elementary schools and other community partners to plan an annual field trip to UA’s campus for Al’s Pals mentees.

group playing wheelchair basketball

The purpose is for the young mentees to explore campus with their UA mentors and envision themselves succeeding in a college environment (and beyond).

In March, Al’s Pals hosted 330 elementary students at the University for this year’s field trip. They had a wonderful time seeing so many parts of the campus. Classes of students engaged UA faculty, staff and students across different facilities around campus.

Some visited the Alabama IMaDe laboratory and Astrobotics laboratory learning about robotics in STEM, and some visited the Adapted Athletics basketball arena and met a few UA champions! Others visited the Capstone College of Nursing to learn all about the world of nursing and medical care! Other Al’s Pals students visited Art and Art History‘s Foundry and Ceramics areas as well as the Alabama Museum of Natural History and UA Recycling.

group doing arts and crafts

Al’s Pals continues to provide excellent enrichment for both the mentors and the mentees year after year. The Division of Student Life extends a big thank you to all the mentors who work hard each week to help their mentees grow and develop, as well as to the partnered Tuscaloosa City and County elementary schools, Tuscaloosa OnePlace and CSL staff who helped make this field trip possible.

You can support Al’s Pals through Bama Blitz this week (April 18-20, noon to noon) or anytime at! Contributions cover things like background checks for UA students and other supplies for the Al’s Pals program. Give today!

group standing in a basketball court