MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Mesa 7th grader was chosen by AAA Arizona as the state’s “Patroller of the Year.”

The program teaches students how to be a leader on and off campus.

[VIDEO: Mesa student wins 'AAA School Safety Patrol Award']

Gerard Gerkin from Christ the King Catholic School was picked after being asked to write about how the “AAA School Safety Patrol” has prepared him for his future.

“A leader must be willing to go and talk to others to make sure they are satisfied with their work, and [AAA School] Safety Patrol taught me to be brave and friendly toward others. I became more talkative to others and not as shy,” Gerard wrote.

The AAA School Safety Patrol helps students by providing them the tools and experiences needed to be today’s leaders on campus and tomorrow’s leaders in society. The program relies on student volunteers to assist their classmates at crossings, carpool areas and bus loading and unloading zones.

Although they do not direct traffic, they help students understand when it is safe to enter roadways.

“The AAA School Safety Patrol program equips students with the skills and resources needed to ensure children commute to and from school safely,” Michelle Donati, spokeswoman for AAA Arizona said. “Mesa’s Gerard Gerkin was selected as Arizona’s Patroller of the Year for his outstanding dedication to safety and leadership.”

[READ MORE: Good Morning Arizona stories]

Kevin McCloskey, 7th grade teacher at Christ the King Catholic School, was  selected as Arizona’s "AAA School Safety Patrol Advisor of the Year."

Gerard and Kevin were honored by AAA Arizona during a ceremony at Christ the King Elementary School on Friday.

AAA Arizona presented the school a $3,000 grant toward supporting the AAA School Safety Patrol program on campus.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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