Brownsville ISD holds youth leadership academy

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BISD students attending a Police and Security Services Department summer youth leadership academy receive a hands-on demonstration from the Brownsville Fire Department. (Gary Long | The Brownsville Herald)

The Brownsville Independent School District Police and Security Services Department is holding a youth leadership academy this week at department headquarters for students in fourth through eighth grades.

On Tuesday, the Brownsville Fire Department brought a fire truck and presented to the 30 students attending. Topics included home fire safety and how to perform CPR in an emergency situation.

The students got to see the truck from Fire Station 6 in action, and they sprayed water from one of its hoses during a demonstration of the truck’s capabilities.

BISD students attending a Police and Security Services Department summer youth leadership academy receive a hands-on demonstration from the Brownsville Fire Department. (Gary Long | The Brownsville Herald)

Leroy Perez, a student from El Jardin Elementary School, said his mother encouraged him to attend. He said so far he had learned about CPR and what to do if someone suffers a stroke.

Heidi Saldana, a rising seventh-grader from Manzano Middle School, also said her parents had encouraged her to attend. She said she was learning how to keep herself and those around her safe in case something happens. This included CPR instruction and how not to panic.

Other topics to be covered during the week include social media and internet safety, a presentation on vaping, first aid procedures, and a visit by one of the district’s drug-detection dogs.

Officer Melissa Maldonado said one purpose of the youth leadership academy is to help students stay active in the summer. The hope is that it will open their minds to safety issues and possibly even a career pathway.

Police Chief Oscar Garcia said the department is looking into holding a leadership academy next summer for an older age group, possibly incoming high school freshmen.