Inside the FBI: Junior Special Agents Program
June 6, 2017
More than 200 fifth and sixth-graders from five schools in the Washington, D.C. area graduated from the Junior Special Agents program during a ceremony at FBI Headquarters on June 1, 2017.
Mollie Halpern: More than 200 fifth- and sixth-graders recently joined the FBI as junior special agents.
FBI agents, intelligence analysts, and professional staff employees mentored students from five schools in the Washington, D.C. area over the past eight months.
During their training, kids learned to be good citizens and students as well as the importance of staying away from drugs and violence.
Gaby Martinez Rodriguez, a sixth-grader at Bucknell Elementary School in Virginia, says the FBI agents taught her a lot.
Gaby Martinez Rodriguez: We would train with two FBI agents or we would go on field trips in Washington or we would have meetings at least every month. So the meetings basically taught us important lessons like cyberbullying, and the field trips showed us historic places.
Halpern: The kids were also taught about being physically active.
Trina Washington: They get together and they do, like, some pushups and runs and that kind of thing.
Halpern: That was Special Agent in Charge of the Administrative Division at the Washington Field Office Trina Washington. She says the kids even took a fit test.
Washington: They do have a lot of energy and they have a lot of fun with it, but they do take it very seriously. It is very competitive for them, and they are just out there working their hardest to try to score the best out of all of their classmates.
Halpern: When the students’ training was complete, a graduation ceremony was held at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The highlight? When the students received their certificates and took the pledge of duty.
They raised their right hands while Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office Andrew Vale administered the pledge to them.
Andrew Vale (administering pledge in parts) and Junior Special Agents (echoing pledge in parts): I promise to be a good citizen. I will obey all the laws of my country and will do my best in school. I will make the right choices by remaining drug free, staying in school, and practicing nonviolent behavior in handling difficult situations.
Vale: Congratulations, you’re all junior special agents.
Halpern: And with that, they graduated as junior special agents and were welcomed into the FBI family.
Executive Assistant Director Paul Abbate sent them off with some final inspirational words.
Paul Abbate: And don’t ever forget that you can make a difference for your community, here in our country and even around the world. You just have to try.
Halpern: It was a special day for Gaby, who says her experience in the program prepared her to be a role model for her younger sister.
Martinez Rodriguez: I can tell her all the stories that I’ve learned and all the things that I’ve seen.
Halpern: Gaby also says she wants to someday advance from being an FBI junior special agent to a special agent.
Martinez Rodriguez: I actually want to be an FBI agent because I really thought about life and what to do when growing up, and I really want to protect the country from dangerous things.
Halpern: The Junior Special Agent Program began back in 1990 at the FBI’s Washington Field Office as a way to help bridge gaps between communities and the law enforcement agencies that serve them.
Washington: Our youth really is our future, so it’s important that we have strong communications with them.
Halpern: Junior Special Agents is just one of several programs in which the FBI engages with young people.
To learn more about the FBI’s outreach efforts, visit www.FBI.gov.
With Inside the FBI, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau. Thanks for listening.
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