R.E.A.L Mission Class 14 Graduates
The Rewarding, Education, Attitude, and Leadership (R.E.A.L.) Mission concluded under the guidance of Border Patrol agents assigned to the Border Community Liaison program. Community mentors addressed the students of the R.E.A.L. Mission Class 14 at a graduation ceremony held on May 16. The R.E.A.L. Mission Program is under the guidance of Chief Patrol Agent Felix Chavez and Justice of the Peace Jose "Pepe" Salinas. The program was created and implemented in 2010, due to an increase need for a community program that would mentor at-risk students.
Thirteen students participated in the eight-week program and successfully graduated the program. The program consisted of class sessions held twice a week with Border Patrol agents and partners. The students received instruction on techniques and strategies for obtaining success in their future endeavors. They contributed with community service projects to include: the City of Laredo home beautification project, Sacred Heart Children’s Home trash clean up, food distribution at the South Texas Food Bank, and maintenance cleaning at the Bethany House of Laredo. The students improved their physical health by participating in physical activities and learned life-saving skills such as CPR.
The continued success of this program is attributed to the joint collaboration of community and law enforcement partners, such as: International Bank of Commerce, Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, Webb County Constable Precinct 4 office, Webb County Sheriff’s Office, City of Laredo, United Independent School District, Webb County Juvenile Court Coordinator, United South High School ROTC, Mid Rio Grande Border AHEC, South Texas Food Bank, Bethany House of Laredo, Border Region Behavioral Health Center, PILLAR, Sacred Heart Children’s Home, Workforce Solutions for South Texas, and Ernest “Buddy” Bruni Jr.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.