One took top honors for his detailed note taking skills. Another was among the best at executing drills with military precision.
And yet another earned special recognition for her courageous effort to participate; her mother was hospitalized with a serious illness.
The accomplished teen-agers were among 22 members of Anaheim Police Explorer Post 249 who competed against Explorers from throughout Southern California at the 2010 Summer Explorer Academy. The five-day academy was held last month at the Outdoor Education Center at Irvine Park.
Earning the APD post’s highest honor was Lucas Estep, 16. He placed third place overall – and fifth in physical fitness. More than 180 teens participated.
Earning the 1st place for note taking was Loara High School graduate Enrique Mosqueda, 18. The Santa Ana College history major hopes to pursue a law enforcement career.
When asked if he has always been good listener, he showed off his first-place plaque and answered, “well, apparently.”
Earning 5th place honors for drill was Yoselin Colunga, 17, a Savannah High School graduate who is studying criminal justice at Westwood College.
“I would like to thank Officer Chris Ned for all the great training,” Colunga said.
Ned, a 23-year APD veteran, drilled Colunga and other APD competitors every Friday morning for seven weeks leading up to the academy.
Competitors were judged for how they marched, and the precision with which they responded to orders. The judging was so detailed, Ned said, that one teen was eliminated for interlocking her left thumb over her right – rather than the other way around – when the order was to stand at “parade rest.”
Also honored was Micaela Mosqueda, 18.
She was voted “most improved” by the 25 police officer volunteers who mentored the explorers. Ned said her gutsy performance was even more inspiring after learning about her ill mother.
Ned joined Officers Jonathan Nooitgedagt and Flora Palma as the APD staff who volunteered to work the event.
The Explorer post was rechristened Post 249 in February in honor of Sgt. Rick Martinez, who served as adviser for 25 years.
To read more about the renaming of the post, click here.
Anybody interested in joining the post or making a donation to help pay for their college educations can contact Ned at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The other summer academy graduates are Michael Rubio, Joe Fonseca, Gerardo Jimenez, Debbie Reyes, Efren Sandoval, Shah Mukhtar, Edwin Colunga, Javier Gamboa, Adriana Lara, Jose Castro, Mario Gonzalez, Areli Guevara, Alexandra Reynoso, Keith Yoder, Adrian Valadez, Anthony Rodriguez, Cristobol Martinez, Robert Santaella.