Tyreek Stotts, an 18-year-old senior at Martin Luther King High School in West Oak Lane, was among an estimated 20 city students who participated in the annual “PAL Day at City Hall” on Friday.
But for Stotts, a Germantown resident, his day was not spent behind a desk at Broad and Market streets.
Once the day ceremonially started at City Hall, he got into a car with Philadelphia Prison System Commissioner Louis Giorla and made his way north to the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility and related centers off State Road.
There, he would shadow Giorla for the day as both a deputy and ceremonial “commissioner for a day.”
Things turned personal for Stotts, however, when he encountered a friend who is incarcerated.
On PAL Day, he was afforded the chance to share a hug, after which he shared that he never wanted to find himself on the other side of the prison spectrum.