If there was one place in the desert to find team spirit, it was within the gymnasium walls of Summit High School where fifty middle school students gathered to tackle an obstacle course.
“I felt really good,” said Jessica Rodriguez, 14. “I felt I was getting some energy. It’s what I needed.”
The Cadet Academy is a joint effort among the City of La Quinta, Desert Sands Unified School District and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
“I think this is a great opportunity,” said Lt. Jason Huskey, “particularly at this age for them to understand and learn about law enforcment [and] any job in the public service field.”
Jessica Rodriguez said she wants to be a firefighter because she wants to save lives. “I don’t want to watch anybody die in front of me. I’d rather help them get up and help them survive.”
The students also take field trips throughout Southern California to broaden their horizons, such as the Marine Corps Academy in San Diego and the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
The academy keeps them quite busy: four hours a day, Monday thru Friday.
Summer vacation was anything but a vacation. “It’s not boring!” said Mireya Garcia, 13.
This is the academy’s fifth year with no cost to the students.