The Peer Assistance for Learning (PAL) program is a paid opportunity for Virginia Tech students. In this role, PALs provide programmatic support for the counseling center by making and giving outreach presentations on various topics. They help spread information about mental health awareness and study skills.
Cook Counseling Center’s PAL’s also provide educational programs designed to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, as well as helping students better understand when to seek treatment. They present programs in the classrooms, residence halls, or other requested venues. The Peer Assistance for Learning programs include:
Orientation to the Cook Counseling Center Services
Adjusting to College
How to Refer a Friend to the Counseling Center
Recognizing the warning signs of: Anxiety, Depression, and Eating Disorders
PALs learn invaluable leadership skills while getting the chance to gain public speaking experience and learn about academic success strategies. The PAL program allows students to make like-minded friends while educating their peers on more productive ways to study. Training is provided by Cook Counseling Center. For additional information please download our PALS brochure.
Students of all majors are encouraged to apply if interested. Applications for the 2024-2025 academic year can be submitted online and will be accepted beginning in November of 2023 until 5pm on February 1, 2024.
If you have any questions about the program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I became a PAL because I understand finding resources on campus can be difficult. This job allows me to reach more people who can benefit from the resources. Mental health is very important to me and I would like to see everyone get the help they need.
Fun fact: I'm Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian and I like to cook. I have also lived in Germany.
I became a PAL to become more involved with Virginia Tech and specifically Cook Counseling Center. Mental health has always been something that I have advocated for, and the PAL program gives me an outlet to help students all around campus find the resources that they need.
Fun fact: I love to travel! I just spent this past semester in Lugano, Switzerland and Rwanda, Africa!
I became a PAL (Peer Assistance for Learning) in order to spread awareness for mental health and how the Cook counseling center can help! In the future, I hope to continue working in this field by helping those receive the guidance they need in order to develop strong, healthy habits towards their everyday life.
Fun fact: My family used to own 5 cats because, apparently, 1 just wasn't enough!
Hi everyone! My name is Cesar and I’ve been with the PAL’s for 3 years. I became a PAL to spread more awareness of our mental health resources in the Latinx community! I work closely with El Centro and we host a variety of events throughout the year to promote Cook Counseling and the services they have to offer!
Fun fact: I love backpacking! This summer I backpacked to Irvine, California for 1 week! During my stay, I visited Shaw’s Cover, Laguna, Wood’s Cove, and Rockpile Beach!
I became a PAL because promoting and advocating for mental health is a passion of mine that I want to be able to help share the important resources Virginia Tech has to offer to my fellow Hokies and throughout the Blacksburg community. I am a Psychology major who plans on pursuing graduate school for Mental Health Counseling, so being able to work with Cook Counseling is an opportunity I am so incredibly grateful for.
Fun fact: I am a student DJ and current Business Manager at Virginia Tech's Radio Station, WUVT! I am a cat mother, a certified lifeguard, and enjoy crochet and casual gaming in my free time!
I wanted to become more involved in the Virginia Tech community and thought this would be an amazing way to start. Spreading awareness for all the amazing resources we have at VT was also very important to me because I feel like a lot of people don’t know what they have at their disposal (and there’s a lot). Overall, this organization is an amazing group of people and I’m happy I get to share my love of helping others!
Fun fact: I am playing on an intramural flag football team with my fellow PAL, Seneca!
I became a PAL because I am extremely passionate about advocating for mental health and helping to reduce the stigma, especially among college students. As a PAL, I hope to bring more awareness to the counseling services that Virginia Tech offers and foster an encouraging environment.
Fun fact: This past summer I studied abroad in Switzerland and went paragliding over the Swiss Alps!
I wanted to be a part of a community that was devoted to spreading awareness around topics of mental health. Fighting the stigma and helping people accept themselves and get the help they deserve is important to me!
Fun fact: I know every single word of Don McLean's "American Pie"
I became a PAL because I come from a community that doesn’t emphasize mental health and through my time working with Cook Counseling, I hope to open up a more in-depth dialogue about it. This also ties in with the negative stigmas associated with mental health and with the added emphasis on outreach events, my goal is to help end those stigmas.
Fun fact: A fun fact about me would be that I ama photographer and writer in my free time.
I became a PAL, because I believe mental health is very important in a university community. I wanted to be a part of a program that advocates for students mental health. I love the Virginia Tech community and want to make a positive impact on everyone in it.
Fun fact: I am playing intramural flag football with my fellow PAL Caroline!
I became a PAL because I want to spread awareness about mental health. I’ve seen stigmatization against mental health, so I want to try and help make the talk about mental health more common on campus.
Fun fact: I love having hobbies and starting new ones. Some of my favorite hobbies currently is art, crochet and reading.
I became a PAL because I wanted to give back to Virginia Tech. After hearing about this program from a fellow PAL, I was extremely interested and wanted to apply. As an avid speaker, I love giving presentations and was extremely keen on presenting important information to students about mental health.
Fun fact: I have a huge passion for traveling as it exposes me to new places, people, and cultures. I have traveled all over Europe, South America, India, and a bunch of other places. My most favorite place I visited is Milan, Italy.
I became a PAL because of my passion for helping others. I have a strong belief that mental health should not have a stigma surrounding it and by working with this program I get the opportunity to make a difference on campus.