Hailing from Aachen, Marco is not your typical 15-year old exchange student. Although he may look like the average German teenager, Marco is already on his way to bigger and better things.
When he signed up with Ayusa to come to America for a semester, Marco listed as one of his goals that he wanted to become a police officer in the United States. After we successfully matched, Marco and I started to communicate via email and I was able to verify that he indeed had a strong interest in a career in law enforcement.
With this information in hand, I contacted the local chapter of the Police Explorers, an organization affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America offering leadership and training to young men and women between the ages of 14 and 25 interested in law enforcement. I eventually spoke to a Corpus Christi Police Department officer volunteering with the CCPD Police Explorers Post 133 and received an application which I forwarded to Marco.
In becoming an Explorer, Marco has taken his first steps into a career in law enforcement by volunteering at CCPD Headquarters as a dispatcher, at the CCPD Training Center as a role-player helping train police cadets, and as a ride-along participant over the course of several Friday nights. He has also had the opportunity to represent the Corpus Christi Police Department at an official Police Explorers competition in San Antonio this past October, bringing back a first-place trophy for Domestic Disturbance and a third-place trophy for Academic Achievement.
And let's not forget that Marco was also a valuable contributor on his Flour Bluff High School Sophomore Football Team this fall, where his hard work in practice was rewarded on 10/28/2010 with the opportunity to score his first (and only) points of the season on a 2-point conversion.
All of this was accomplished in Marco's first three months on program, and while earning straight A's in the classroom.
I guess a proud daddy can be allowed to boast a little when his kid is such an amazing success and overwhelming pleasure to be around. Marco is not our first exchange student and probably won't be our last but I am certain of at least one thing: he will make all of us very proud one day.
I know he has already done that for me on November 9, 2010, when Mayor Adame made him an Honorary Citizen of Corpus Christi, surrounded by a dozen police officers and CCPD employees who were there to support him. And he will do so again when he returns to South Texas after graduating from high school in Germany to continue his journey towards his lifelong-dream of becoming a police officer.
And I will be right there in the first row when he graduates from the Police Academy proudly beaming with the knowledge that I played a small part in making this moment come true...