PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — A new, free recruitment tool for Pennsylvania State Police is reaching out to a young group of possible future troopers.

A Saturday morning at Pennsylvania State Police with some not-so-typical cadets at the academy. That’s because they’re teenagers.

“It gives high school students between the ages of 15 and 18 to come up and experience what we would go through as a Pennsylvania State Trooper coming in as a cadet. We run them through PT, military drill, and curriculum we would learn as we are going through the academy here,” Pennsylvania State Police Recruiter, Trooper Clint Long said.

It’s all part of the first Hill Program attracting students across Pennsylvania and the Junior Cadets agree, it’s worth the ride. “I am enjoying the new experiences, like the physical activity. Learning new things about the state police I didn’t know before,” Aun Mukaddam of Northampton County said.

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“Getting to learn things and hearing real-life stories,” Veronica Mercado from Pottsville said.

They see the stories too while touring the State Police Historical, Educational, & Memorial Center. From history to hands-on learning, including traffic stops.

“They learn discipline, respect, and all our core values we carry on through troopers out in the field,” Trooper Long said.

With the goal in mind to build up the ranks.

“Everyone is hurting right now, the more people we can get interested, especially at an early age, it’s going to help us because a lot of people don’t understand who we are and what we are as a department. Especially as an organization and the history we have as an organization. The more that we can teach them at a young age and hopefully keep their interest as they grow older and give them a career when they graduate,” Trooper Long said.

Lessons these Junior Cadets will keep in mind.

“I want to be like them when I grow up one day and that could be my future spot,” Mukaddam said. “From the time I was 14, I did Camp Cadet and everything the state police had to offer all the camps. I want to be a state trooper,” Mercado said. “After high school, I plan on going to the Air Force. They say if you want to go into the military, you can skip the 60 college credits so that was my plan and I think I am going to stick with that,” Rogan Harter of Annville said.

“They are awesome. They are so dedicated, they put in the effort, they put in the time, they’ve really been putting to better themselves each day,” Trooper Long said.

Graduation for the Junior Cadets is May 3. The next Hill Program will start in September. If you’re interested, contact ra-sprecruiter-acad@pa.gov or 717-497-4577. Classes are free but size is limited. Starting salary for Pennsylvania State Troopers is $65,000 plus benefits. To learn more, you can visit the link here.