Two CHS students attend Law & Public Safety camps in Washington D.C.
Two Clinton High School students used their summer break to do more than recharge their batteries.
Juniors Destiny Carpenter and Casey Wright spent part of their break in Washington D.C. in order to further their individual educational experiences in the Law and Public Safety realm.
Destiny Carpenter, who spent ten days enrolled in the Youth Leadership Program hosted by the FBI National Academy Associates, Inc., said the experience challenged her both mentally and physically.
“Along with the numerous leadership classes we attended, we had the chance to experience a truly hands-on approach of what recruits in the FBI do during their training,” she said.
She said her days started at 5:00am with physical training to prepare them for the program’s final physical challenge dubbed the Yellow Brick Road.
“For FBI recruits, the Yellow Brick Road is a 6-mile Marine Corps obstacle course they must complete in order to graduate,” Carpenter said. “For us, it was a 4.25-mile all-terrain run with numerous obstacles to overcome as a team in order for us to graduate from the camp.”
Casey Wright also spent a week in D.C. attending the National Youth Leadership Forum: Law and CSI and said the information attendees were exposed to allowed them to develop a deeper understanding of the forensics field as well as a broadened appreciation for leadership training.
“I was in the CSI branch at the camp,” he said, “so we did a lot of hands-on forensics in the lab—looking at blood analysis, hair samples, fingerprints and serving in a couple of mock trials.”
Like Carpenter, Wright participated in leadership building exercises and heard from speakers like retired FBI agent John Douglas, one of the first criminal profilers in the Bureau.
For admittance, both programs required enrollees to demonstrate high academic standards in the classroom and good citizenship in their communities.
Wright was nominated for the NYLF camp by former Law and Public Safety instructor Jeff Franks, and Carpenter applied for the FBINAA YLP after current Law and Public Safety instructor Al Kimbrell encouraged her to apply.
The duo said their time spent inside Clinton classrooms had them more than prepared to interact with fellow students from around the country.
“Our Law and Public Safety instructors at Clinton High School taught us how important it is to work together in teams,” Wright said. “And from the Law and Public Safety side of things, I wouldn’t have known most of what was being discussed if I would not have taken Law and Public Safety with Mr. Franks last year.”
“It was great to meet new people,” Carpenter said. “Right from the start, we were all talking and starting to develop those bonds that only grew stronger after we participated in numerous team-building exercises. I still talk to many of my friends I made this summer.”
Wright said much of the same. “The first five minutes were awkward, of course,” he said, “but we quickly got over that and did some ice breaker activities that helped us all get to know each other.”
For Carpenter, she said her attendance challenged her both physically and mentally. “With our busy schedules beginning so early in the morning and our schedules having so much packed in it, we realized it wasn’t going to be easy,” she said. “We just had to get used to it. And as we progressed, we encouraged each other to build ourselves up for the final Yellow Brick Road challenge.”
“I worked mainly in the CSI field,” Wright said, “so trying to convey information to the law side was challenging. The lawyers were always questioning our findings, trying to get us to slip in how we reported our analysis, so we had to make sure we knew how to properly convey accurate information.”
Aside from growing as individuals, the two said the camps encouraged them to continue exploring career opportunities inside Law and Public Safety.
“I got to learn a lot of new information about various career paths, both from the law side of things and the CSI side of things,” Wright said.
“I would highly encourage anyone to participate in the FBINAA Youth Leadership Program,” Carpenter said. “Although it’s centered around Law and Public Safety, it’s a great chance for students to learn leadership skills while also exploring more of what it takes to be an FBI agent.”
“Just being exposed to various aspects of the career field is worth anyone attending the National Youth Leadership Forum,” Wright added. “It truly was a great experience that allowed me to learn so much about the career field.”