SEA GIRT N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Why are a number of New Jersey high school students giving up lazy hazy days in the sun to train hard and see what it's like to be a state trooper?
CBS2's Meg Baker was given a unique opportunity to get the answer.
Over a hundred trooper youths line up in unison at New Jersey's police academy in Sea Girt, many of these 16 and 17-year-olds have aspirations of going into law enforcement.
"After a few days here still thinking that?" Baker asked.
"Yes it's a challenge but up for anything," Cole Everinghan said.
"I'm thinking about the military for college, like the ROTC program," Sarah Harrison added.
The week combines classroom study with military style drills.
"They are learning the state's criminal law codes, the state's traffic law codes, and policies and practices," Capt. Phil Buck of the New Jersey State Police said.
Through physical fitness instructors teach sportsmanship.
There's a lot of mental discipline as well as physical discipline. I mean it takes a lot to be able to stand out there and march in place for 10, 15, 20 minutes at a time," Everinghan explained.
Organization is also key.
"Wake up around 5:30ish. We'll make our beds and then we all walk out together. We never leave one person behind," Sarah Mireles said.
"It's taught me so much from self-discipline to dedication to doing everything from the little things to the big things right," Brandon Dominguez explained.
These young people are marching towards success. Bringing life lessons learned here back with them to their families, schools, and communities.
It's not easy to get into this program. To qualify, students had to write a 500-word essay, have good grades, and be recommended by their school or community leaders.
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