Community Outreach 

The FBI’s Community Outreach Program supports the Bureau’s investigative mission by working to address multiple interrelated societal problems—including crime, drugs, gangs, terrorism, and violence. Linking community service, prevention, and law enforcement is a national trend spurred by grass roots efforts around the country, and FBI employees have joined this movement, volunteering in a wide variety of community-related efforts.

Community Outreach

(858) 320-1800

Social Media Outreach

Twitter: @FBISanDiego
Facebook: FBISanDiego
Instagram: @FBI

Citizens Academy 

The Citizens Academy is an engaging six-to-eight-week program that gives business, religious, civic, and community leaders an inside look at the FBI. Classes meet in the evening at the FBI field office. The mission of the FBI Citizens Academy is to foster a greater understanding of the role of federal law enforcement in the community through frank discussion and education.

Candidates are nominated by FBI employees, former Citizens Academy graduates, and community leaders. Participants are selected by the special agent in charge of the local FBI field office.

To Apply
We are not accepting applications at this time.

Director's Community Leadership Award 

Since 1990, the Director’s Community Leadership Awards has been the principal means for the FBI to publicly recognize achievements of individuals and organizations that make extraordinary contributions to education and the prevention of crime and violence in their communities. Each field office nominates an individual or organization for the award, and, once selected, the recipients are invited to a ceremony and reception at FBI Headquarters.

Teen Academy 

The FBI’s Teen Academy program in San Diego allows a diverse group of high school students the opportunity to develop leadership skills and to investigate the world of law enforcement. Active explorations of fitness and forensic science grow students’ minds and bodies while age-appropriate lessons on topics such as violence prevention, sextortion, and hoax threats teach them how to stay safe. FBI staff, including special agents, intelligence analysts, and professional staff, lead discussions and interactive sessions focused on the work we do, how we do it, and, most importantly, why we choose this work in service of all Americans.

Any student with an interest in leadership and service is welcome to apply for this free opportunity. An interest in a law enforcement career is not a pre-requisite.

2024 Teen Academy 

Applications for the San Diego Teen Academy program are closed

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the FBI Teen Academy

  • Is there a cost to attend?
    • No, this and all FBI programs are offered at no cost.
  • Is the program only for high school students?
    • Yes, the program is for current high school students in San Diego and Imperial counties.
  • Is the essay important?
    • Yes, the essay is important as it is the first element of the application package that is reviewed by our panelists. This essay offers the review panel insight into the student’s expectations, reasons for attending, and how the student intends to use the information to benefit his or her school and community. A high GPA in absence of a well written essay and vice versa can be problematic.
  • Do 4.0 students get a guaranteed seat in the class?
    • No student will be assured a seat by GPA alone. All students must submit a well-written essay detailing why they want to attend the academy and how the experience will benefit their school and/or community. Students should list all school activities and community involvement that demonstrate that he or she is a well-rounded student.
  • Is a particular GPA required?
    • GPA is not the only method of student evaluation and a minimum GPA is not stated; however, given the competitive nature of the application process, it is advantageous for a student to have a combination of a good GPA, well-written essay, school activities, and community involvement.
  • Does a student have to have specific experience or interest in law enforcement to be a successful candidate?
    • No, a student does not need to be in a criminal justice program, explorers program, ROTC, etc. The primary objective is to identify students who are capable of leadership and have an interest in what the FBI does.
  • Is this experience similar to an internship?
    • The FBI Teen Academy is not an internship and while students may be offered case studies drawn from adjudicated cases and may be given hands-on experiences in a simulated scenario, students will not be exposed to active cases, day-to-day investigations, or sensitive information.
  • I love forensic science! Will I get to learn techniques?
    • While students will be exposed to some basic evidence collection techniques during one of the many sessions, the day covers a wide variety of topics from a classroom and experiential perspective as well as concepts that are designed to enhance student awareness of issues such as cybercrime, drugs, gangs, and more.
  • Additional questions?

Junior Special Agents 

Field trips students participate in through the Junior Special Agent Program are meant to be fun—and educational. The emphasis is always on learning.

The Junior Special Agent Program aims to provide elementary school students the information, skills, and discipline necessary to stay away from gangs, drugs, and crime. Students also take a course in civics and learn about the FBI and the ways in which law enforcement helps to serve and protect their communities.

Child ID App 

The Child ID app—the first mobile application created by the FBI—provides a convenient place to electronically store photos and vital information about your children on your smartphone (note: no information is stored or collected by the FBI). In the event your child goes missing, users can show the pictures and provide physical identifiers such as height and weight to security or police officers on the spot. Using a special tab on the app, users can also quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities.

The app also includes tips on keeping children safe, as well as specific guidance on what to do in those first few crucial hours after a child goes missing.

Chasing the Dragon 

The FBI, in partnership with the DEA, created a short documentary focusing on the crisis of prescription drug and opioid abuse. The film, Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict, outlines the dangerous cycle of opioid and prescription drug abuse—how the problem starts, how the addiction takes hold, and how that addiction damages one’s life and body. High school students and all ages above are the target audience for this video and the curriculum/facilitated discussion that accompanies it.


FBI-SOS is a free, fun, and informative program that promotes cyber citizenship by educating students in third to eighth grades on the essentials of online security. For teachers, the site provides a ready-made curriculum that meets state and federal Internet safety mandates, complete with online testing and a national competition to encourage learning and participation. A secure online system enables teachers to register their schools, manage their classes, automatically grade their students’ exams, and request the test scores.

Anyone—young or old, in the U.S. or worldwide—can complete the activities on the FBI-SOS website. The testing and competition, however, are only open to students in grades 3-8 at public, private, or home schools in the U.S. or its territories.

Think Before You Post 

Informational graphic depicting a cell phone texting conversation that states the fact that making hoax threats against schools and other public places is a serious federal crime.

The FBI has an awareness campaign to educate the public about the consequences of making hoax threats of violence to schools, events, and other public places. The Think Before You Post campaign serves to remind everyone that any threat is taken with the utmost seriousness and will be quickly and thoroughly addressed by law enforcement. Hoax threats are not a joke; they are a crime.

In the aftermath of tragic shootings like the ones at Santa Fe High School in Texas and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, the FBI and law enforcement agencies around the country often see an increase in threats made to schools, events, and other public buildings. Issuing a threat—even over social media, via text message, or through email—is a federal crime (threatening interstate communications). Those who post or send these threats can receive up to five years in federal prison, or they can face state or local charges.

Community Awareness Presentations 

The Community Awareness Presentation (CAP) is a shorter, more focused version of the FBI Citizens Academy program and is conducted in partnership with a specific community group, generally at an offsite location. The program is designed to build trust and strengthen relationships between the FBI and the communities we serve. Community groups are encouraged to identify topics that are of concern or relevant to their group or organization for the FBI to discuss. Classes are taught by FBI subject matter experts. Generally the participants are selected by members of their organizations or community and there is no restriction on audience size. To request a presentation, please contact your local FBI field office.

Speaker Requests 

The San Diego FBI offers public speakers on a limited basis on a variety of topics pertaining to the Bureau’s investigative mission. All requests for speakers must be submitted online a minimum four weeks prior to your presentation date. Requests are subject to availability.