Student Leslie Patino keeps busy helping people
Leslie Patino, a Security, Law and Policing student at Southern Westchester BOCES’ Center for Career Services admits that she likes to keep busy.
In addition to her schoolwork, Leslie is a member of the Greenburgh Police Explorers program, where she puts into practice what she learns in her class at SWBOCES. When the Explorers program went on hiatus due to COVID-19, Leslie decided to fill up her time with a new interest — firefighting.
“I am a person who enjoys trying new things,” she said. “Because my police explorers got cancelled, I felt I was missing out on community work,” Leslie said. “I would watch documentaries looking for something else. I did some research. However, never in a million years did I think I’d become a firefighter.”
While her current goal is to become a police officer, the Sleepy Hollow High School senior wanted to find an activity in a service-oriented field to fill her time until the Explorers program reopened. So she decided to volunteer with the Sleepy Hollow Fire Department. Although the department does not have a formal youn fireperson’s program like the Police Explorers, the department is always happy to have new faces to share expertise and help learn the ropes.
Throughout the six months that she has been volunteering with the fire department, Leslie has learned how to roll hoses, appropriately use a fire extinguisher and perform some EMS techniques, including CPR.
Leslie has also been to emergency scenes, most recently an early spring brush fire.
“I was nervous at first,” Leslie said of witnessing a live fire event. “I’m still nervous when in a real-life situation.”
Nevertheless, from the time she was a child, Leslie’s ultimate goal has been to become a police officer. Now that the Explorers program has reopened, she is able to gain additional information than what she has learned in SWBOCES teacher Ray Sulla’s class.
“When I go to the Explorers program, I take advantage of what they are teaching us,” she said, adding she also uses what she has learned in the Security, Law and Policing program in the Explorers. “It is extra practice for me. I see two perspectives – how Mr. Sulla teaches it and how the Explorers teach it.”
If firefighting and policing were not enough to keep her busy, Leslie got a job as a DJ, where she gets the crowds going at events, like Sweet Sixteen parties. With graduation fast approaching, Leslie is prepared for her future. She will be going into the Air Force.