Local teens graduated from a law enforcement program and were honored by family, friends and law enforcement officials.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Del Rio Port of Entry honored the CBP Explorer Class 1901 graduates from CBP Explorer Post 2302 on Friday with a ceremony held at the Texas Community Bank Meeting Hall. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advisor Victor Villarreal introduced the ceremony and introduced the guest speaker, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Del Rio Port of Entry Assistant Port Director Vincent Villalobos.

“It took a lot for us and it took a lot for them. I think they deserve another round of applause,” Villarreal said.

Villalobos congratulated the cadets and told family and friends in attendance it did not matter what law enforcement career the graduates chose, but they would pursue something similar after this experience.

“You may want to become doctors or lawyers, but the skillsets you end up developing here will end up taking you to places you wouldn’t believe,” Villalobos said.

Certificates were presented by CBP officers to the graduates. Majority of the graduates had a member of their family pin their badge onto the uniform. Villarreal pinned the badge onto the graduates whose family could not be in attendance.

Afterwards, all CBP officers present handed out the excellence in awards citations for special recognition and accomplishments.

The Firearms “Top Shooter” Award for male and female were awarded to Nicolas Padilla and Andreya Castro respectively.

Padilla and Ariana Alcaraz were awarded the Physical Fitness Award. Jessica Nuñez received the Determination Award and Alcaraz also received the Leadership Award.

The Port of Directors Academic Excellence Award was given to Castro. The Explorer of the Year Award for 2017 and 2018 were given to Israel Limon and Ana Santos respectively. Villarreal presented the closing remarks and Alcaraz dismissed the graduates. By choosing to serve in law enforcement, the graduates will be serving their community selflessly but they will always have someone on their side.

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