ARDSLEY, N.Y. — Twenty-eight young men and women graduated Saturday after successfully completing the rigorous seven-week Greenburgh Police Summer Youth Camp that included trips to Arlington the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan, Arlington National Cemetery and several police and justice system training programs.
The Summer Youth Program completed its 15th year and included 28 teens from the Greenburgh community, who participated in an intensive program aimed at teaching students about the police department and expanding their perceptions of law enforcement.
The local teenagers were called to formation at Anthony F. Veteran Park in Ardsley Saturday where they exhibited disciplines then were awarded their completion certificates and awards by Greenburgh Police instructors Community Affairs Sgt. Robert Gramaglia, and Police Officers David Zenon and Keira Knoesel.
Police Chief Joseph DiCarlo made opening remarks and Zenon put the cadets through their paces as parents, family members and friends stood by. DiCarlo then thanked Patricia Lanza and the Lanza Foundation for funding the program for the last seven years.
"The cadets learn that having authority from being in law enforcement comes with an awesome responsibility," Zenon said. "It's just not about following rules and the science of police work. They get to understand the humanity behind police work and the fact that we're here to serve."
Zenon also acknowledged the support of the numerous local and national agencies, including the Westchester County, New York City and local police, FBI, Greenburgh Court and the U.S. Secret Service Department Academy in Washington D.C.
The cadets received several individual awards including Best Overall Camper, Best Squad Leader and the Herman Killiebrew Award, named for former cadet and now Greenburgh police officer who was on hand to present the ward to the cadet most likely to pursue a career in police work.
Adriana Cruz was awarded the Report Writing Award and gave a tearful reading of her letter to the Lanza Foundation expressing what the camp meant to her and the other cadets.
"(Mrs. Lanza) thank you so much for making this camp possible," Cruz said. "Although I'm not very good at expressing things (writing), they told me to write my favorite parts... and simple, I loved it all. They taught me that me that I could achieve anything I put my mind to and that we should work as a team and if someone is behind we should help them."
The graduating Greenburgh Summer Camp Cadets are: Kaela Addison, Sophia Amendola, Imani Anderson, David Batchie, Amari Bilal, Jordan Carmona, Adonis Carrasco, Jade Crichlow, Adriana Cruz, Anya Diones, George Guarnieri, Madison Hood, Javaun Johnson, DaVeittoMcKenzie, Makayla Morrison, Christopher Reyes, Rayshawn Rose, Aniyah Ruffin, Montan Samuels, Imani Sebo, Danaya Sharp, Datavia Sharp, Nicolas sozio, Ashley Stegeman, Bryanna Valentine and Yonatan Wasserman.