Merced Sheriff Explorer's

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What Is Exploring?

Exploring is Learning for Life's career education program for young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) or 15 to 20 years old. Adults are selected by the participating organization for involvement in the program. Color, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, economic status, or citizenship is not criteria for participation.

Exploring's purpose is to provide experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults. Explorers are ready to investigate the meaning of interdependence in their relationships and communities.

Exploring is based on a unique dynamic relationship between youth and the organization in their communities. Departments or agencies initiate an Explorer post by matching their people and program resources to the interests of young people in the community. The result is a program of activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, grow, and develop.

Exploring will be one of the best opportunities you offer your department/agency, your employees, and the youth of your community.


Department / Agency Benefits

  • Impact on the education process of youth
  • Team- building attitude within the department /agency
  • Opportunity to interpret adult occupational roles for youth
  • Preparing young adults for transition into the workforce
  • Creating a "safe haven" for the healthy development of adolescents
  • Developing future responsible and caring adults
  • Ensuring that young people see how your department/agency relates to the free-enterprise system.
  • Helping young adults gain insight into the ethics and ideals of law enforcement
  • Visible commitment to the welfare of your community

Employee Benefits

  • Greater Job awareness
  • Developing leadership and problem-solving skills
  • Re-evaluating ethical and moral values
  • Opportunity for greater community involvement
  • Respect for youth and community
  • Identification as appropriate adult role models
  • Enhancing communication, planning, and program development skills
  • Greater commitment to service
  • Developing interpersonal skills used in the workplace and elsewhere   

Youth Benefits

  • Stimulated interest in continual education
  • Career information; insight into future vocation
  • Positive alternative to negative youth activities, such as drug abuse and involvement with gangs
  • Sense of acceptance and belonging to the "right" group
  • Safe environment for adult like activities
  • Opportunities to participate in practical, real, and meaningful hands-on experiences
  • New career and personal skills
  • Opportunities to try leadership roles and develop skills
  •  Cooperative relationship between adults and youth
  • Service to others

More Info

Visit the official Exploring website to learn more!

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Contact Information

If you would like to join the Explorer Program, please download and fill out an Explorer Application. You can email the finished application to Deputy Joey Cardenas ( or mail it to:

Merced Sheriff Explorers
P.O. Box 713
Winton, CA 95388

For more information, call (209) 777-2397 or send an email to

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