Youth Academy Experiences

Since I was in the sixth grade I have wanted to be a Colorado State Trooper.  My school resource officer told me about the youth academy and encouraged me to look into the opportunity.  I attended the academy right after I graduated from high school.  This opened my eyes in a way I can’t explain.  The excitement the instructors had in teaching the academy brought out enthusiasm in us all.  I especially enjoyed the driving, arrest control, and shooting aspects.  As a teenager, who wouldn’t love this?  Staying in the dorms gave me the perspective of what it is like to actually stay on campus and attend training.  I never knew how important it was to make your bed the “correct” way, not the way I made it at home.  I made several friends that week.  We all shared the same passion for law enforcement.

I would like to personally thank you for my time at the Colorado State Patrol Youth Academy. My experience at the Youth Academy quite literally changed my life, and was the major decisive factor in my current employment with the Port of Entry. Before the Youth Academy, I was a police explorer with Sterling Police Department and knew that I wanted to pursue a career in Law Enforcement, but was unsure about where and what agency. However, after my experience with the Youth Academy, I was sure that I wanted to join the Colorado State Patrol. The most influential factor of the Academy was being able to get a feel for the agency dynamics such as the high regard that the agency has for its employees, the professionalism of the employees, and the camaraderie of everyone involved.  I look forward to a long and fulfilling career with the Colorado State Patrol. I am hoping to transfer into the Trooper side of the Patrol after I serve my two years with the Ports and become old enough to be eligible for the position.

POE Cadet A. De Souza

After attending the academy I knew the importance of staying focused and not giving into peer pressure.  This was probably the most valuable lesson I learned.  I was anxious to start my law enforcement career.  As soon as I turned twenty-one an opening came up at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and I soon became a Deputy.  I spent the next three years as a Deputy, but I always remembered back to my experiences from the youth academy.  I noticed how law enforcement agencies respected the State Patrol’s professionalism, and the importance they played in traffic safety.  At that point I knew I needed to become a State Trooper.

Trooper Cory Vanzant

The time at the Youth Academy made me a better person in many ways. The Youth Academy was a great experience. It gives a small look into a life of a Trooper. It showed me the difference between a local, county and state Law Enforcement Agencies. The physical training that is done is what should be expected from any law enforcement officer. The driving was great because it gave a small look on how law enforcement drive, and also more experience for just regular driving from day to day. The fire arm safety part of the Youth Academy was great because you can learn about how to handle, and fire the hand gun and shot guns properly. I am glad that I got the chance to go through the Youth Academy and now being employed by one of the best Law Enforcement Agencies in the nation.

Trooper Mark Hanson

Marc Russell - Platte County Sheriff's Office
Trooper Keeton,
You probably don't remember me, but my name is Marc Russell.  I attended the CSP Youth Academy in 2003.  I'm taking a stab in the dark to see if this is your email address.  Just wanted to let you know how appreciative I am of you, my squad leader, and the rest of the folks who participated in helping out with the Youth Academy.  I'm now in law enforcement, and I would attribute that to the CSP Youth Academy.
I have been a Deputy with the Platte County Sheriff's Office in Wheatland, Wyoming for the past 4 years.
Thanks again,
Marc Russell

Going into high school I knew I wanted to go into the military. My sophomore year one of my teachers, whose husband works for the Colorado State Patrol, brought the Youth Academy to my attention. I put in my application and was accepted to go in 2005.

While at the Youth Academy I learned how to shoot, drive, and what the average day in the life of a State Patrol Cadet looks like. The whole experience was fun and life changing. When I learned the Patrol puts the Cadets through schooling to get their post certification I changed my mind from military to law enforcement. It became my new goal to become a Colorado State Trooper.

After turning 21 I put my application in a few times and had to drop out of the process. In the summer of 2013 I resubmitted my application. I started with the Patrol March 9, 2014. Although there were difficult times, I pushed through and graduated from the Academy in September of 2014.

I have enjoyed working for the Patrol from the very beginning. When I think back on the Youth Academy I realize I would not have the Career I love and enjoy had I not gone. I am forever grateful to the teacher who suggested I go and to the staff who worked the Youth Academy in 2005.
Trooper E. Bodine

I was a proud member of the blue squad the summer of 2016; I attended the Youth Academy to see what life would be like as a law enforcement officer and in a basic training environment.  This was the first step I took toward applying for and gaining an appointment to the United States Coast Guard Academy.  I’ve now completed my first academic semester and basic summer training.  Upon my graduation, I will commission in the U.S. Coast Guard as an ensign. 

In the summer of 2017, I attended the Summer Leadership Experience hosted by the United States Military Academy, and in my opinion, the Youth Academy was by far the best preparation I had for the Coast Guard Academy basic training.  Experiences that the Youth Academy gave me would come to ensure my success during basic training and my first academic year.  The Youth Academy effectively simulated the mental and physical stresses of a training environment.  The team building and leadership skills I learned with my squad in the Youth Academy were the same ones I applied with my platoon at the Academy.  The ethics discussions facilitated by the staff imbedded within me a set of morals which should be held by all law enforcement officers, including Coast Guardsmen.  If I had to choose a single event which has positively impacted my life and placed me on this rewarding career path, it would certainly be the Colorado State Patrol Youth Academy.

I want to thank the Colorado State Patrol for their continued service to the great state of Colorado,  I want to thank the 2016 State Patrol Youth Academy staff, and I would like to thank you for your continued support for this wonderful leadership program, which sculpts young Colorado leaders and enables them to serve their communities, state, and nation in amazing ways.

4/c Cadet Johnathan Kattnig