POSTED: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 1:29pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 1:30pm
BROWNSVILLE — A class of 42 Explorer cadets will graduate at the end of this week.
"A lot of these kids are interested in field jobs. Eventually they want to become officers and agents," says Customs and Border Protection Officer, Eddie Perez.
The cadets have run through many scenarios, have endured physical training daily, and have studied up on several areas tied in to criminal and immigration law, among other things.
The youth cadets are taking part in a two week course that gives them an in depth look at what jobs tied to homeland security really consist of.
"For them to see what we actually do behind the scenes and for them to get a taste of this, it forms a discipline, the professionalism we teach, the core values, which is one of the most important things for us, the morals," says Customs and Border Protection Officer and former Explorer cadet, Manuel Maldonado.
And while the youth are getting an early look at a potential career, Border Patrol and Customs are getting a look at future manpower.
"Putting these students through this two week academy will also let us realize what we have out there as far as a hiring pool," says Perez.
While some of the cadets are seeing what it's all about, others are working towards moving forward with their dream of becoming an agent.
"Since I was a little kid, I've wanted to do Border Patrol; my father is a Border Patrol Agent and it inspired me to become it," says 20 year old cadet, Luis P.
Youth ages 14 to 20 can participate in the Explorer program upon being accepted by Learning for Life.
For more information on the program you can visit their website at RioGrandeCouncil.org or call them at 956-423-0250.