CALEXICO, Calif. - Students from Calexico High School are participating in a first of its kind mock academy all week long this week.
California Border Patrol agents are providing a hands-on learning experience for those who are interested in law enforcement.
It’s not the usual wakeup call students are used to, but around 40 Bulldogs were put to the test and were given a real taste of what it's like to go through a law enforcement academy.
“We try to make it as real as possible given the environment we have and the location we have. We try to give them a high stress environment, similar to that of a police academy or law enforcement academy,” said Agent Carlos Pitones with California Border Patrol.
The mock academy is an extension for the students that are part of the law enforcement class on campus.
Students are selected based on their interest in law enforcement as well as personality traits and GPA.
“Our program is now six years in the making, this year is the second year that we have been articulated with IVC. My juniors and seniors are able to earn college credits while attending my class by taking the final exam and scoring a “b” or better,” explained Mike Davies, Law Enforcement Teacher at Calexico High School.
Not only is running and push-ups involved, but there is a major obstacle course too.
“It’s mostly the mental aspect that you have to go through with, but physically I don't think it’s that complicated, it’s mostly mentally,” said Joseph Ankori, Senior at Calexico High School.
“It takes your breath away honestly, it’s very, I’m an athlete so I run cross country and track. Despite the fact that i am an athlete it’s still challenging. They want everyone to be in unison as a group. So if one person is a little behind they make us do the exercise again, until we are all able to do it,” explained Anne Flores, Senior at Calexico High School.
Instructors tell us that there is a high interest in these types of programs as the response from students and teachers has been very positive.
“Believe it or not the kids love structure; they love discipline, they like being pushed to their physical fitness limits. And then they like bragging about it. It’s a rewarding feeling for them to be able to accomplish a program like this and they look forward to the next time,” added Pitones.
Border Patrol agents have done similar mock academies at other local high schools and hope to continue to provide this experience to other students in Imperial County.