Soledad Kennedy’s ambition for a career in law enforcement started in high school, and carved the path to where she is now — a mentor in the Santa Barbara County Veterans Treatment Court. If Kennedy traced the arc of her life starting as a teenager, she would find that it had come full circle. Kennedy enrolled in a police Explorer program with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office. She trained for six consecutive weekends (a big deal for a teenager) and excelled on her physical fitness tests. She was 20 at the time, but had to wait at least another year to be eligible to become a deputy. Then a Marine recruiter paid the Explorers a visit and made Kennedy an offer she couldn’t refuse — she could do the same thing in the Marines, but didn’t have to wait until she was old enough to drink.

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