Miguel Elizondo remembers well his first day in the D.A.R.E. program. He was so excited that he sat on the edge of his seat answering the majority of the interactive questions from the officer. Elizondo impressed the officer so much that he was the only one in the class who received a sticker naming him a D.A.R.E. Deputy. From that moment on, Elizondo knew that he wanted to be a California Highway Patrol officer.
“I thought to myself ‘you can have a dog as a partner?’” Elizondo said reminiscing about his grade-school days. “That’s cool.”
Having a dog as a side-kick though isn’t the only reason why Elizondo wants to be a CHP officer.
“It’s about the power, respect and what they stand for,” he said.
Elizondo will be graduating from Denair High School on May 21 and will shortly begin his journey into the criminal justice field.
However, before he begins his civilian law enforcement career, he will be getting valuable experience in the military. On June 8, he will be shipping out to Fort Knox, Ky. for basic training through the Army. He will then head off to Maryland for three years where he will serve as a small arms artillery repairman.
He plans to enter into the CHP Academy shortly after his time in the Army.
Elizondo had a different idea of how he was going to achieve his dreams before his sophomore year.
Right after high school he was planning to attend Modesto Junior College to work on his college credits until he turned 21 years old so he could enter into the CHP Academy.
His path changed when Army recruiters came to the Denair High campus his sophomore year and informed him of a different path that could potentially offer him more benefits.
“It sounds better,” Elizondo said.
He is happy with his new pathway and even more excited to come back to Denair after he achieves his dreams, he said.
There were times where he said that he veered off the right path and he wants to show those that it is possible to get back on the right path to achieve your dreams.
“Just the way I have been changed,” Elizondo said, “I can change someone else’s mentality. I can see myself coming back and telling them it’s possible.”
He wants to come back to Denair and give his testimony of how his life has changed to motivate others to do the same, he said. He used to be a counselor at sixth grade camp where his campers looked up to him and he is hoping to come back as a CHP officer when they are in high school to show them their dreams can also come true.
“I am looking forward to being righteous, making righteous decisions and setting an example,” Elizondo said.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.