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Personal Best Karate

PBK Teen Leadership Team ready for new year

Posted: June 01, 2019

The Personal Best Karate Teen Leadership Team has been quite busy since forming this past spring. They have already met a few times, established their peer support sessions and held their first charitable fundraiser. 

Being on the ground floor of this team sure to have longevity has been very rewarding, said Team Director Paul Relyea, a student at the Personal Best Karate School in Foxboro and one of the founding Board members. "We really want to offer teens the opportunities to lead in fun and impactful events in the community," he explained. 

"(Founder) Master Christopher Rappold and I spoke about creating the group and what we could offer for the members," Relyea said. The vision of the group was to create a social atmosphere but still be the support for each other. "We facilitate meetings where kids can bring their problems and we work together to offer our support," said Relyea.

The Team Board was created with three high school students, all current assistant instructors at PBK: Relyea as the director and Social Coordinator; PBK Norton student Hannah Chapman as associate director and Peer Support Coordinator; and Matt Murphy, PBK Foxboro student as the Community Service Coordinator and also an associate director. Members of the team are PBK students from any PBK school aged 12-17. There is already over a dozen students who have attended meetings so far, from different PBK schools and towns, thus creating a social environment as well.

They are hoping to both participate in charitable events and also create their own, said Relyea, as well as have guest speakers based on the interests of the group members.

With the political climate, hot news stories, and questionable celebrities as role models, having the peer support group was important to create.

Initiating leadership opportunities was also a key part to the team. While Relyea, Chapman and Murphy all have leadership roles within their high schools and communities, they also wanted to bring that out in the members of the team.

The first charitable fundraiser was a Team Sparring tournament featuring the Assistant Instructors from each PBK school which was held in May. The event benefited St. Jude's Children's hospital and raised nearly $1,000. 

The teen group is just one of the benefits in membership at Personal Best Karate. Their first Teen Leadership Team meeting of the new school year will be Sunday, Sept. 9 at the Personal Best Karate School in Norton at 250 East Main Street. If you have a teen aged 12-17 who would like to get more info on the group or join, contact Paul at

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