Home Portland News and Outreach Stories FBI Youth Leadership Academy Brings Safety, Forensics, and Fun to High School Students

FBI Youth Leadership Academy Brings Safety, Forensics, and Fun to High School Students

FBI Youth Leadership Academy Brings Safety, Forensics, and Fun to High School Students


03/01/13

Each summer, the FBI’s Portland Division gives local high school students a unique, behind-the-scenes opportunity to see into the daily lives of FBI special agents and professional support employees through its Youth Leadership Academy. The Portland Division launched the program in 2010 with help and guidance from a number of community mentors. The overall goal: to provide a positive and enriching experience for tomorrow’s leaders by helping to give them the skills they need to succeed. Team building, intercultural communication, and respect for self and others are all key components.

Chanly Bob is a valued leader within the local Cambodian community who assisted with the development of the academy. He said he wanted the teens “to understand the role and challenges of law enforcement and to appreciate the freedom and opportunities that are so precious.” He went on to say that “this youth academy is giving our kids an opportunity to see and understand, to learn to work, and to help one another. The transformation we have seen in the teens who have gone through this program is priceless, and I want as many students as possible to have the opportunity to experience this.”


Over the period of two days, students receive an introduction to careers within federal and local law enforcement, leadership and teambuilding skills, and tools to communicate effectively across cultures. They also have a chance to learn about topics such as forensics and cyber citizenship. Dorian Kershaw, a recent graduate of the youth academy, said this about her experience: “The FBI Youth Leadership Academy has made me significantly more aware of opportunities available after college. Before attending the program, I knew little to nothing about career opportunities within the FBI. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see myself in the future applying for an internship.”

The Portland FBI Youth Leadership Academy is held annually each summer, and it is open to students attending high schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington. For more information about this program, contact our community outreach office at (503) 224-4181.