FBI Teen Academy welcomes GBHS students
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While junior year is always hectic and filled with activities, this school year, high school juniors have another thing to look forward to.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Sacramento field office is accepting applications for the upcoming FBI Teen Academy, a program that is offered twice annually.
“Today’s teens are exposed to a near-constant flow of information from a variety of Internet and social media sources, but it is often difficult to discern which are credible,” said special-agent-in-charge Monica Miller in an FBI press release.
With TV shows like “Quantico” and “Criminal Minds” circulating frequently, many teens are becoming more and more curious about the role of the FBI in society.
High school juniors in the 34 counties surrounding the Sacramento region are eligible to apply for the program, which will be held is held in April and November.
Students that are currently in a public, private or even a home schooling system can apply for the program.
Students who participate in the one-day program are exposed to topics of cyber safety, terrorism, active-shooter situations and civil rights investigations.
Faraz Saeed and Brayden Johnk, both juniors at Granite Bay High School, attended the camp this past November.
“The camp allowed me to understand the importance of cyber safety for the next generation,” Saeed said.
FBI public affairs specialist Gina Swankie said students participate in a range of activities and discussions including a simulated evidence-response team and bomb tech scenarios as well as conversations about online communication.
Every junior is qualified to apply, and applicants don’t have to be planning to pursue careers in forensics, law or law enforcement.
Swankie said the teen academy is a unique opportunity for any student who is interested in knowing what the FBI does, how the FBI works and what the FBI investigates.
“You never know where life will take you,” Swankie said.
Applicants have to complete an application and write an essay about why they think the Academy program is a good fit, and they also have to include one recommendation. The spring Academy is scheduled for April 7; it will be held in FBI’s new Sacramento field office in Roseville.
“I want students that are going to be interactive,” Swankie said.
Looking back on the November academy, both participants from GBHS would like to spread the word about the FBI.
“I would recommend this camp to any junior,” Saeed said. “It helps you get to know the FBI better and important safety concerns in the status quo.”
Johnk also has positive words about the academy.
“I would recommend this academy to other juniors mainly because it gives you an opportunity to see if you have interest in any aspect of the FBI,” Johnk said.
FBI officials and students feel the Academy is a unique opportunity. That was certainly true for both Saeed and Johnk.
“The FBI Teen Academy helped me learn the basics of cyber safety,” Saeed said. “Something I normally wouldn’t be able to do.”
“I think I’ve become more versed as a person and citizen since being exposed to the variety of different topics in the FBI Teen Academy,” Johnk said. “It has changed who I am for the better.”