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Pasadena Police Department Celebrates its Explorers Heading to College

Published on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 | 7:03 pm
 
Pasadena Police Chief John Perez and with Pasadena Officers and with seven high school students from Pasadena, who recently received computers from the Pasadena Police Department, pose for a picture at the Pasadena Police Department on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. (Photo by James Carbone)

For eight Pasadena PD Explorers, their senior year may not have ended as they envisioned.

Graduations were held virtually, proms cancelled and end-of-the-year parties were nixed once COVID-19 shook through the nation.

But for the Pasadena PD Explorers, the pandemic didn’t take away their well-earned high school diplomas and it wasn’t going to stop them on their next journey.

College.

On Tuesday, June 16th, Pasadena Police Chief John Perez congratulated the Department’s explorers with a fist bump, flowers and a brand new laptop, courtesy of a $6,000 donation by the Pasadena Police Foundation.

“This is a tool. You’ve worked hard for it. You are our future and your community’s future,” Perez said to the group. “The world is trying to find its balance. Good change will come from all of this, so just hang in there. We are lucky you guys are here and a part of us.”

The Pasadena Explorers Program is for young men and women ages 14 to 21, and gives them a chance to work with officers and employees of the Pasadena Police Department while also learning about a career in law enforcement.

“I was really excited to get the laptop,” said Mireya Arrieta, who graduated from Marshall Fundamental and has been with the Pasadena Explorers the last few years. “It’s really going to help me in college, especially now with everything online. Now I don’t have to pay to get a lap top and I can use my money toward something else.”

The Pasadena Explorers were accepted at colleges throughout California, including: California State University, Long Beach, University of California, Los Angeles, Pasadena City College, California State University, Northridge, California State University, Los Angeles and University of California, Santa Barbara.

Each of the students were thrilled to celebrate their accomplishment with their Pasadena PD Explorer advisors, Michelle White, Charles Tucker, Corporal Cristian Allen, retired Sgt. Glenn Thompson and Pasadena Police Youth Advisor Michael Bentley.

“This is what it’s all about for us,” said Thompson, who retired in 2019, but continues to be a mentor or the Explorers program. “Help young people and to mentor them. What they can do with support is amazing.”

For Nicholas Gonazales, his time as an Explorer is a huge inspiration for him and toward his future. He will use everything he learned at the Pasadena PD at Cal State LA in the fall where he will begin his education toward becoming a police officer.

“My advice to anybody considering being an Explorer is that it will help you in your personal life, as an individual and as a whole. Being an Explorer helps you become a well-rounded person and prepares you for society. It makes you proud to be part of an awesome program.”

Meet the college bound Pasadena Explorers:

Nicholas Gonzales from Pasadena High School smiles as he receives a computer from the Pasadena Police Chief John Perez at the Pasadena Police Department on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. (Photo by James Carbone)

Nicolas S. Gonzales.

Pasadena High School

College Attending: California State University, Los Angeles

Major: Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice

“Being an Explorer has made me a better individual a better person, more sociable, more conscientious and respectful of the people around me, my family and my community. Being an Explorer has taught me how to be part of the community by giving, caring and helping all in our community.”

Candrha Lopez from Pasadena High School is all smiles as she receives a computer from the Pasadena Police Chief John Perez at the Pasadena Police Department on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. (Photo by James Carbone)

Name: Candrha Lopez

Pasadena High School

College Attending: University of California, Los Angeles

Major: Pre-cognitive science major

Hillarie Padilla from Pasadena High School is all smiles as she receives a computer from the Pasadena Police Chief John Perez at the Pasadena Police Department on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Chief John Perez later said: “you are our future, the computer is a tool to get you further to where you need to go.” (Photo by James Carbone)

Name: Hillarie Padilla

Pasadena High School

College attending: Cal State University. Los Angeles

Major: Biochemistry

“Explorers helped me become more organized and taught me how to prioritize important things first. For those who want be become explorers it is a great program for learning discipline and they push you to your limits to be the best you can be.”

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