justiceSkyline College Administration of Justice student, Nicole Ruggiero, received top honors during the 78th Peninsula Law Enforcement Explorer Academy graduation ceremony held on Thursday, April 10th, at the South San Francisco High School auditorium, in South San Francisco. In addition to studying criminal justice at Skyline College, Nicole is also a member of the San Bruno Police Department’s Police Explorer Program, a co-ed division of the Learning for Life program, which is a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America. The program is open to youth between the ages of 14 and 21 years old. The program emphasizes leadership, civic responsibility, values, and social interaction.

Police Exploring, founded in 1972, is a career-oriented program that gives youth the opportunity to explore careers in law enforcement and criminal justice by working with law enforcement agencies in non-enforcement capacities as they learn about the profession. Explorers must attend the Explorer Academy within one year of joining. The academy meets on nine consecutive weekends where they receive over 100 hours of classroom and practical training in such areas as first aid, patrol procedures, criminal law, juvenile procedures, report writing, crime scene investigation, traffic laws, and more. This is in addition to many hours of rigorous physical training, including pushups and long-distance running.

During the academy, students must do well in their classroom studies and other training and are given points for their daily achievements. Nicole earned a perfect score of 1,000 points out of a total possible 1,000 possible points. She was at least 25 points ahead of her closest male and female competitors.

“My classes at Skyline College really helped me excel at the Explorer Academy because I already knew much of the subject matter they were teaching from my Administration of Justice classes.”, said Nicole. Nicole is pursuing her degree in Administration of Justice with the goal of becoming a police officer.

The graduation ceremonies were attended by graduates’ family members, police chiefs and command staff, police explorer post advisors, and by Nicole’s Administration of Justice Professor Steve Aurilio.

Article by Steve Aurilio | Photo by Ana Ruggiero