The graduation was held at the Hebbronville Border Patrol Station. A total of ten students were recognized after successfully completing an aggressive three-week law enforcement explorer academy.
The academy is a first ever for both the Hebbronville and Zapata Stations. Young men and women from the community were tested by a rigorous academic, field, and physical curriculum, providing them a taste of how federal agents are trained and held to high standards.
Explorer Advvisors included: Supervisory Border Patrol Agent, Maria Rivera alongside Border Patrol Agents Tracy Anderson, Jason Wells, Gilbert Munoz, Miguel Lopez, Ruth Hernandez, Jesse Sanchez, William Torres, Roberto Lopez, and Jose Garza.
The agents enhanced program experiences by extending not only Border Patrol expertise to activities and curriculum, but supplemented them with parents, the community, and various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
The Jim Hogg County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers, Drug Enforcement Agency and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were all active participants in the program.
Students were taught academy segments highlighting the strength and intersection of community and law enforcement coming together in partnership to strengthen local youth.
In a keynote speech, Hebbronville Acting Deputy Patrol Agent in Charge Juan “Vinny” Barberena, a former Border Patrol Explorer himself, spoke about the benefits of being an explorer that includes career opportunity, leadership, life skills, citizenship and character development.
The academy graduation was led by the Laredo Sector Honor Guard, with the badge pinning by Laredo Sector Acting Division Chief Darren Matthews, Hebbronville Patrol Agent In Charge Dion Ethell, and Zapata Acting Deputy Patrol Agent In Charge Adrian Reyes.
The graduates were Josephine Arredondo, Abran Gomez, Alan Gomez, Florencia Gonzalez, Jorge Gutierrez, Leandro Hinojosa, Alyssa Martinez, Candice Medellin, Vanessa Perez, Jesus Resendez, Monique Singleterry, and Mario Solis.
A flag retirement ceremony with the local Hebbronville American Legion Post completed the day’s events honoring the proud traditions of the U.S. Border Patrol and their motto, “Honor First!”
To report suspicious activity such as drug and/or alien smuggling, contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol at toll free telephone number at 1-800-343-1994.
Edited by: C.R.