COVINA, CA – Trinity Palumbo, a junior at Northview High School, dreams of becoming a firefighter. Thanks to Covina-Valley Unified’s Public Safety Pathway, she feels like she has a head start on most other high school students to achieve her goals.
The Public Safety Pathway and the San Gabriel Valley Law Enforcement Academy (SGVLEEA) have made Covina-Valley Unified a well-known destination for young adults passionate about community service across the San Gabriel Valley.
Since her freshman year, Palumbo has been working toward a career as a firefighter in C-VUSD’s Public Safety Pathway, which is part of 26 robust career technical education (CTE) options across all C-VUSD high schools. Her passion for public service has only grown over her last three years in the program and led her to enroll in the SGVLEEA, a 14-week program open to any 14- to 21-year-old interested in a career in public safety.
Eight C-VUSD students, including Palumbo, walked and received certificates of accomplishment during the SGVLEEA’s graduation ceremony at Northview High on Jan. 14, which Covina Police Chief David Povero attended.
“I knew these programs would help get my foot in the door,” Palumbo said of the Public Safety Pathway and Explorer Academy. “It is definitely a jumpstart to my career. The Explorer Academy certificate will show people how serious I am about this career path.”
Northview High has been home to the SGVLEEA since 2016, and the Public Safety Pathway formed in 2017. Gregg Peterson, a 28-year veteran and retired sergeant from the Covina Police Department, teaches in the pathway and is the SGVLEEA Director.
“These students’ interest in exploring public safety careers is infectious,” Peterson says. “I love sharing what I have learned in my law enforcement career with them.”
The Public Safety Pathway is a three-year program designed to give students insight into careers as police officers, information security analysts, and fish and game warden. It includes an introduction to forensics and two administration of justice courses where students learn public safety theories, principles, and techniques.
The SGVLEEA emphasizes leadership, accountability, teamwork, and providing an understanding of police operations. Police agencies from San Gabriel Valley send qualified recruits to the SGVLEEA for hands-on training. SGVLEEA Explorers receive training from established police officers and work various duties within the police department.
“Covina-Valley Unified has set itself apart from other school districts through its Public Safety Pathway and its partnership with the Explorer Academy,” C-VUSD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Eminhizer said. “We are honored to empower and prepare our students who have a passion for public service.”
CVUSD_SERVICE1: Northview High junior Trinity Palumbo, right, takes fellow junior Elizabeth Frasquillo’s fingerprint during a Public Safety Pathway class. The pathway includes an introduction to forensics and two administration of justice courses where students learn theories, principles, and techniques of public safety.
CVUSD_SERVICE2: Covina-Valley Unified Public Safety Pathway Teacher Gregg Peterson, right, assists senior Kiki Villegas, left, with pulling a fingerprint for analysis. C-VUSD provides young adults pursuing a career in public service access to resources few other schools can offer with its Public Safety Pathway and the San Gabriel Valley Law Enforcement Explorer Academy, which are both hosted at Northview High.
CVUSD_SERVICE3: The San Gabriel Valley Law Enforcement Explorer Academy hosted its graduation at Northview High School on Jan. 14. Eight Covina-Valley Unified students participated in the ceremony and received certificates of accomplishment for finishing the 14-week program for 14- to 21-year-olds pursuing a career in public safety.