Javier Mendes of Lindsay one of two Junior Explorers to receive Pathway Scholarship from the Sheriff’s Department
VISALIA – Sheriff Boudreaux awarded the Sheriff’s Pathways Scholarship to two deserving Sheriff’s Explorers: Abraham Sanchez of Porterville and Javier Mendez of Lindsay. They each received a plaque and a check for $2,500.
“I had a vision four years ago to create a pathway for our Explorers to get an education and to become deputies in their hometowns,” Sheriff Boudreaux said.
With funding from the Sence Foundation, this program helps college-bound Sheriff’s Explorers pay for their higher education and, after they earn their degree, sends them to the police academy. Kim Oviatt, president of the Foundation, spoke during the grand opening ceremony.
“This scholarship program completes the dream of Sheriff Mike Boudreaux,” he said. “It was a unanimous decision by our board of directors to be part of this program.”
The Sheriff’s Pathways Scholarship Program came full circle during 2017 when the first two recipients, Jasmine Orozco and Hector Negrete, finished college, graduated from the police academy and became deputies in their hometowns.
In addition to Dep. Orozco and Dep. Negrete, three other previously named Pathways Scholarship recipients are finishing their college degrees. They are Daniel Luna, Joseph Banda and Samantha Elias.
Both Sheriff Boudreaux and Kim Oviatt shook hands with the new recipients:
Abraham Sanchez of Porterville is a student at National University majoring in Field Criminal Justice Administration. He’s been a Sheriff’s Explorer for five years and has earned the rank of Corporal.
He said it is a huge honor to be named a Pathways Scholar.
“I appreciate the Sheriff investing in my future with the department,” he said. “All that support is really great.”
Javier Mendez of Lindsay attends Porterville Community College majoring in Administration of Justice. He plans to transfer to Fresno State. He also has been a Sheriff’s Explorer for five years and has earned the rank of Sergeant.
He said receiving the Pathways Scholarship means a lot to him.
“Coming from two immigrant parents who taught me to cherish every opportunity, I can’t stop thanking the Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “I’ll cherish this award each and every day until I become a deputy.”
Bicycles given to Junior Explorers
Sheriff Boudreaux presented new bicycles and bike helmets to 22 Junior Explorers. The Sheriff’s Junior Explorer Youth Development Program, formerly called the Sheriff’s PAL Program, fosters positive relationships between law enforcement and at-risk children, ages 8-12.
Lt. Harold Liles, Jr., explained that the children who were chosen to receive new bicycles Wednesday were being rewarded for getting good grades and for trying their best to be good role models among their peers.
Throughout the year, the Sheriff’s Office gives away up to 200 bicycles to Junior Explorers thanks to generous donations from businesses and community members. Junior Explorers get to go on a camping trip to the Central Coast in the summer, to the Tulare County Fair and to the International Agri-Center for a holiday party. Soon, Lt. Liles said he will offer sporting events for the youngsters.
If you know someone who would like to become a Junior Explorer or an Explorer, contact Lt. Harold Liles, Jr., at 559-782-6852.